Digicel wins grant to expand mobile money service

12 Jan 2011

Digicel Haiti has won a USD2.5 million grant from the US to help expand its ‘Tcho Tcho’ mobile banking services, reports the Jamaica Observer. The GSM operator beat domestic cellular rival Voila (which has also begun rolling out mobile money transfer services to Haitian cellphone users) and another local company Hitel, to gain funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Digicel Haiti’s CEO Maarten Boute said: ‘You have to understand that in Haiti less than 10% of the people have access to formal financial services. Given the condition of the country the banks have a limited number of operational branches. We are convinced that with the Tcho Tcho mobile banking service we are launching, we will be able to do exactly what we did with mobile telecommunications services. Before we entered the market in Haiti there were about 300,000 people using mobile phones, now that we have entered the market and five years later there are 3.5 million people using mobile phones of which 2.5 million are Digicel customers.’

Haiti, Digicel Haiti