A new mobile banking solution provided by Solomon Telekom will facilitate the flow of currency between the 992 islands in the archipelagic nation.
With only relatively low number of bank branches and ATMs, the new solution from Netfors will allow more than 100,000 Solomon Islanders to access banking services via their mobile phones.
“We expect that 20% of the population will stand to gain from this solution. It may not seem like a high percentage, but compared to the conditions today, where only a limited amount of people have access to the few remaining branch offices and ATMs, this solution will have a severe effect on the economy,” predicts Keir Preedy, chief technical officer at Solomon Telekom.
However, setting up a mobile banking system in an SIDS (Small Island Developing State) requires a unique setup and not least the right expertise. “We needed a USSD Gateway to be the backbone of our USSD Services”, comments Preedy.
Anders Baekgaard, CEO of Netfors, notes that choosing a small network solution vendor for this kind of undertaking was an unusual step. “They were asking for onsite installation and training, but fortunately we always like a good challenge so we immediately prepared the servers, installed the software and shipped it all to the Solomon Islands.”
Using the solution provided by Solomon Telekom and Netfors, ANZ launched their service “GoMoney” on the 16th of September, and BSP and Westpac will follow suit with similar services by the end of September.
Future projects from Solomon Telekom include a top-up service for electricity, in which the Solomon Islanders can pay for their electricity via their mobile phones. Today, all electricity is prepaid, and there are only 3-4 locations in which people can top-up in person.