(TCSI): Today marks a historic moment in Solomon Islands’ digital history with the launching of the country’s first ever mobile wallet service, EziPei.
The innovative service is an online financial service platform of the Solomon Islands Postal Corporation (SIPC).
Powered by the UK based digital finance firm Bibi Money, the new service allows holders of EziPei mobile wallets to transact with each other over mobile networks without the need of having bank accounts.
Additionally, the EziPei service is SMS based, which means that those with the most basic types of mobile phones will still be able to access and use the service.
A week before the service’s launch, Solomon Post also secured an important deal with Solomon Water to enable the national water utility’s customers to purchase their cash water tokens through the Ezi Pei service.
Launching the EziPei service today, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare hailed the new service as transformative.
“This initiative will greatly improve and transform our financial services in the country”, Prime Minister Sogavare remarked during today’s launch.
“It is about our country taking control of our own destiny and making life easy for our people in accessing finance.”
The Prime Minister was alluding to the well documented difficulties faced by Solomon Islands’ rural populace and women in particular, in accessing formal financial services.
Prime Minister Sogavare said the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) recognized Solomon Islands’ need for an improvement to the economic well-being of its citizens, particularly women, youth and people living in the country’s rural areas.
Speaking on the country’s geography, the Prime Minister stated that Solomon Islands has been affected by the misfortune of distance through vast geographical disperse.
“Our people are marginalized by the long distance and rough weather that makes travel very difficult and at times risky.
“These contribute to our economic and social challenges that we encounter every day,” he stated.
The Prime Minister further stated that it was against this geographic backdrop and its composite challenges that the government decided to pave the way for a digital transformation of our society to improve financial service delivery and to raise the country’s standard of living.
He acknowledged Ezi Pei as a way to create financial opportunities and access on an unprecedented scale.
“It reduces the burden and the risk of holding physical cash and making spending easier without the need of having hard cash.
“It also offers more security for customers, even if you lose your device, you will still access your e-wallet once you get a new one (sim skin). You do not have that luxury with hard cash.
“This is a huge leap forward, one which will address an enormous challenge we face today in achieving our financial inclusion goals,” Prime Minister Sogavare reiterated.
Ezi Pei uses the country’s existing mobile networks to facilitate its day to day transactions.
The new and innovative financial service is the only mobile wallet in the Solomon Islands that allows its users to spend money and receive money at their own convenience.
Solomon Post hinted at bigger plans for the financial service that would allow users to purchase other products and services from the convenience of their homes.