BSP’s SMS Top Up Service – a step closer to mobile wallets

I did a post last year on BSP’s SMS Banking, basically discussing their abilities to check account balances. They have also rolled out services to top up your Digicel phones from their ATM’s and now they’ve introduced the service to top up your Digicel phone from your bank account via your mobile phone.

There’s allot of convenience in that, I know that it will not immediately cut down on the huge queues at the branches, but it could be the first baby steps towards mobile wallets. Data Nets have been working on something and it was claimed that ‘…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…’

However from what I read earlier about Data Nets system, it sounds like their service will have no interaction with the banks in the early stages. So I’m guessing that they are banking on building up subscribers in their closed system before they go to BSP for example.

So looks like both companies are after the same thing although coming to it from different angles. Perhaps they may be in discussions but I think there’s enough space in the market for all players to start creating a uniform mobile payment system that all service providers and vendors can use so that we can have uniformity and more importantly in the future it will make it easier to regulate since we are dealing with people’s money here.

But nice one BSP, hope to be able to buy more using my mobile in future.

One thought on “BSP’s SMS Top Up Service – a step closer to mobile wallets

  1. Great post!

    The stellar growth of mobile phones is THE development success story of the last decade in PNG. And the introduction of new services – such as mobile payments – is an exciting new chapter in the story.

    Last week at the National Development Forum, both Digicel and Telikom set out ambitious plans to expand mobile phone infrastructure in PNG, and donors such as the World Bank and PNGSDP are supporting the roll-out into remote areas. This is good news for rural populations and their families in the towns.

    It’s also satisfying to see that money money is beging to take off. I’m a big fan of mobile payments and according to Digicel, 60% of PNG Power pre-paid payments are now paid by mobile phone. So as you say, this is all a step closer to mobile wallets. Last week I also spoke to Peter Maiden (CEO of Post PNG) and he’s keen to explore how mobile money could be supported through the existing Post PNG network.

    If you are interested in mobile phones for development, I have a few posts on and one on mobile money in the Pacific at Plus tweets on @mattpdmorris and @virtualpacific.

    It’s good that Masalaifrog is talking about these issues in PNG – keep up the great work!

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