Back in 2008 at a Mobile Money Summit organised by the Institute of National Affairs (INA), Data Nets first announced their planned ‘Pei Isi’ service which would allow you to send money from mobile to mobile and then be able to redeem cash from selected agents in PNG. You would also be able to use this ‘mobile wallet‘ type service to make payments at selected outlets as well. This ‘walled garden‘ as described by DataNets would have no interaction with the banks initially. So the idea would be to grow demand for it before interacting with banks.
Looks like DataNets have now begun testing of the service and according to last weeks Post Courier, ‘…The innovation is targeted at the rural majority of Papua New Guineans who do not have bank accounts. You can pay your PMV fare, buy your kerosene or even food in the trade store using your phone…’
The mobile payment system is now apparently to be called MPowa and has been piloted over the last few weeks at SVS Foodland and SVS 2Mile supermarkets in Port Moresby.
Post Courier also reported that since the sucess of the initial trial of MPowa the service will be extended to other centres in PNG.