Port Moresby 26 October 2016
MiBank in Papua New Guinea has developed a ‘Pay-as-you-Go’ Solar Power application to be used with its MiCash mobile wallet to enable the purchase and top up of solar power.
This new mobile application will enable MiBank to work with solar power providers targeting off grid dwellings, to supply cheaper and more sustainable green energy, and at the same time provide access via the mobile phone to many other financial services provided by MiBank.
MiBank initially piloted mobile money in 2011 and according to the Bank of Papua New Guinea, was the first bank-led deployment of a mobile wallet in the South Pacific. Since that time MiBank has continued to deepen the value proposition of its mobile wallet. In 2013 it linked the product to micro insurance and in 2015 it added a bill payment functionality, to enable informal market vendors pay market fees to the Port Moresby City authority (NCDC).
The move to paying for solar energy through the MiCash mobile wallet will benefit off grid households eliminating the need to pay for expensive kerosene and endure the risks of fire and inhaling fumes, at the same time providing what is an affordable way to access electricity. It is estimated that some 82% of PNG’s population has no access to grid power.
Managing Director of MiBank Tony Westaway commented “this additional functionality to our mobile wallet will further benefit rural households not only by enabling access to solar power with the ability to pay off solar power loans, but also bank previously unbanked citizens giving them access to micro insurance, savings, micro credit, and other services”.
MiBank has received support from the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP) who provided MiBank with a grant to enable it to upgrade the technology platform and in training agents in various pilot locations.