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M-VATU As A Mobile Money Service In Vanuatu

TechInPacific – Launched last year on 23rd October in the presence of Mr. Peter Tarimakem, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu, M-Vatu is a mobile money service designed to hold transactions with the mobile phone.

Telecom Vanuatu Limited (TVL), the company behind the service, let user register to the service with zero fees and using all the services offered in the platform, from airtime top-up, bill, salary and utility payments, and international remittances. These features can be accessed without owning a bank account nor restricted to only one of the post-paid and pre-paid options.

“Vanuatu is primarily a cash-based economy. We are confident that people will see value in using mobile money given the convenience, safety, and affordability,” Chief Executive Officer of TVL, Mr. Barlen Lutchmoodoo said.

“We also see M-Vatu playing a crucial role in accelerating e-commerce and will soon extend the service to people living in outer islands,” said Mr. Barlen Lutchmoodoo, Chief Executive Officer of TVL.”

M-Vatu is available for the initial phase in Port Vila, Santo, Tanna, and Malekula with plans on extending to outer islands in December this year.

According to its official website, these are the offered services:

M-VATU is the electronic value [e-money] backed by real money in a conventional bank account.

  • Money transfer by SMS
  • Fast, safe, and easy to use
  • Available to anyone
  • No need to own a bank account
  • No joining fees
  • No monthly charges
  • No minimum balance
  • Pay-as-you go charging model

Current Services offered by M-VATU

  • Send money
  • Withdraw cash
  • Buy credit
  • Bill payment

Anticipated services by M-VATU

  • Utility payments – Electricity Bills, Water Bills, Provident Funds, etc.
  • International Money Transfers (inward remittances from overseas to largely benefit seasonal workers)
  • Salary payments
  • Merchant payments [in store]
  • Facilitating microfinance and other banking services


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