NUKU'ALOFA, Tonga, Nov. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- While operators in major markets like the UK and the USA experiment with programmes using smart phones and credit cards, a small Pacific nation was propelled into the spotlight as a global leader in mobile payments earlier this month when Digicel triumphed at the Connected World Forum, winning the award for Best NFC Deployment for its 'Beep and Go' service.
Launched in the Kingdom of Tonga in July, 'Beep and Go' is the world's first fully inclusive payments network linking NFC point-of-sale (POS) terminals to mobile money wallets across the nation.
The Pacific nation is home to 105,000 people with significant ties to Australia, New Zealand and the USA and is heavily dependent on private remittances. In a developing economy where credit card and bank account penetration is low and very few people have smart phones, Digicel's service in Tonga is now recognised as a unique deployment of mobile-based NFC payments services. Any customer with a Digicel phone can receive international payments direct to their mobile and can then make purchases at over 150 retail stores across the Kingdom. Customers simply tap their mobile on an NFC-enabled POS terminal and enter their secure PIN to complete their transactions.
The Digicel service uses contactless stickers inside the device which have been specifically designed to provide reliable transactions no matter what Digicel mobile phone is used. These contactless stickers give current customers the possibility to use mobile phones to make payments while waiting for NFC handsets to reach critical mass.
The Connected World Forum is the world's leading event dedicated to mobile value added services (VAS). With over 1,000 leading experts focused on launching and scaling profitable Mobile Lifeline services, the Connected World Forum is considered the best place to discover the latest developments in mobile money, mobile health, mobile education, mobile agriculture and other mobile lifeline services.
Darren McLean, Regional Commercial Director at Digicel Asia-Pacific, said; "We are delighted with the award and recognition for the role Digicel is playing in helping to transform the Tongan economy. Financial inclusion is important in the Pacific and 'Beep and Go' is driving a major increase in the use of our Mobile Money services. The service is supporting local businesses across the Kingdom and Tonga is clearly at the forefront of innovation not just in the Pacific, but across the world."
Avid Digicel Mobile Money user, Tupou Riechelmann, commented on the benefits of the 'Beep and Go' service; "Many Tongans rely on money transfers from within the Kingdom or from relatives in Australia and New Zealand. Now with Digicel Mobile Money, Tongans can receive transfers or deposit money and then use 'Beep and Go' to pay for their food, petrol, restaurant bills and to buy goods at stores. It's fast and simple to use and has made shopping and paying for things an absolute breeze. For me, it really is a smarter way to pay."
For more information on Digicel Mobile Money services visit www.digicelmobilemoney.com
Or click on the link below to watch the 'Beep and Go' TV commercial:
ABOUT DIGICEL (www.digicelpacific.com)
After 11 years of operation, Digicel Group Limited has over 13 million customers across its 31 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and the Pacific. The company is renowned for delivering best value, best service and best network.
Digicel is the lead sponsor of Caribbean, Central American and Pacific sports teams, including the Special Olympics teams throughout these regions. Digicel sponsors the West Indies cricket team and is also the title sponsor of the Digicel Caribbean Cup. In the Pacific, Digicel is the proud sponsor of several national rugby teams and also sponsors the Vanuatu cricket team.
Digicel also runs a host of community-based initiatives across its markets and has set up Digicel Foundations in Jamaica, Haiti and Papua New Guinea which focus on educational, cultural and social development programmes.
Digicel is incorporated in Bermuda and its markets comprise: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, El Salvador, Fiji, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Nauru, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, St Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos and Vanuatu. Digicel also has coverage in St. Martin and St. Barts in the Caribbean.
Visit www.digicelgroup.com for more information.
ABOUT DIGICEL MOBILE MONEY (www.digicelmobilemoney.com)
With Digicel Mobile Money, customers can send money or Top Up to any Digicel phone in Fiji, Samoa or Tonga – and pay bills – even from New Zealand or Australia. It only takes a few clicks to deposit money using internet banking and customers can send money transfers back home instantly. Plus, the low fees and great exchange rates mean that customers save money – meaning there's more money to send home or pay bills. Digicel has a large network of agents across Fiji, Samoa and Tonga so there are more places to collect or spend money and recipients can buy Top Up, pay bills or make purchases all from their Digicel phone.
SOURCE Digicel Pacific Limited