MPowa – an e-wallet payment service in PNG

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.

6 thoughts on “MPowa – an e-wallet payment service in PNG

  1. Great story and a great idea. Now Users.

    1. Targetting the backpacker or local tourist community that travels through PNG. A backpacker could pay for village stay simply through mobile phone, reducing the need to carry cash. Partner with TPA, villagesrs for an association and open an account with BSP

    2. Microfinance MicroEntreprunerial Groups: They can make saving deposits by sms amount to the agent/institution. Partner with ADRA, World Vision, PNG Microfinance Insitute, Nationwide Bank, BSP Rural Banking.

    3. Charity. People can make individual micro – donations to charity, fundraisers, sporting bodies.

    4. Highlands Buai Buyers – they often carry a ton of cash up and down the Highlands Highway. It would be better if they could travel up and down the highway with a mobile phone, etc, etc.

    5. People can prepay for concert and event tickets, for example get grandstand tickets to the bemobile cup etc etc.

  2. This is quite interesting concept. It has been done before in Africa, Brazil and even Philippines and is not a new concept.

    In African countries such as Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, workers receive their salaries through mobile phone credits which they then use to buy goods and services with. This done to avoid corruption where some corrupt government official tends to get their cut on workers salaries even before it reaches them.

    In Papua New Guinea, this is a good concept to try and I think it’ll work for the rural population to some extent, however I’d like to make a few points.

    1. Absence of Database for mobile companies
    2. Test for security
    3. New wave of cyber crimes
    4. Economic downturn due to less cash being circulated.


  3. Pingback: the Masalai blog
  4. MPowa – an e-wallet payment service in PNG very smart post….very interesting too. Targetting the rambler or local tourist group of people that travels through PNG. A traveler could pay for village stay merely through mobile phone, plummeting the need to carry cash. colleague with TPA, villagesrs for an relationship and open an account with BSP…..
    Thanks for this informations….

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