TechInPacific – A new app developed by Samoan IT & Geospatial startup, SkyEye Pacific, is taking over the country with its similarity with PayPal, but without restrictions to the available payment methods.
Billed as MauaPay, the app is accessible to any business owners who owned a website or mobile app and who wish to engage in online transactions with their overseas and local customers.
“I first heard of the need for a payment gateway when I first started my career at Treasury (now Ministry of Finance) in 2000,” says Sam Saili, the man behind SkyEye Pacific, a company he cofounded run as CEO with his siblings of thirteen.
“Every year after that, the demand to have a local payment gateway for Samoa and the Pacific keep growing,” Sam continues.
The app is a long due for the Samoans, and the fruition of it is also welcomed by the Prime Minister of Samoa, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa on Monday (22/11). Saili and representatives from Vodafone Samoa and Digicel also attend the launching event.
Is MauaPay really the ‘new’ Paypal?
To answer this question, let’s look at a key feature of the app based on Saili’s explanation.
In the app, businesses can roll transactions from three available payment methods, which are the StripeAustralia (VISA, Mastercard, AmEx), and mobile wallets from MTala Vodafone and Digicel MyCash.
The creation of these methods reduced one step in the online transaction enablement, which is the need to register businesses’ bank accounts in New Zealand or Australia beforehand. Instead, businesses get to do transactions right away, and this is a significant approach for small business owners who may, from time to time, struggle with smooth cash flow. They have to wait at least a week to get their payments from the transactions.
MauauPay will serve all forms of businesses
It is what Saili gets the big picture from as his company started venturing into the e-commerce side of the Pacific. “When SkyEye Pacific got into the e-commerce space with the creation of MauaPay, the full understanding of why a payment gateway is a critical infrastructure was laid bare.”
“As it is now part of SkyEye Pacific’s DNA, when we can’t find an available solution, we create it! Instead of keeping it just for our Maua app e-commerce platform, we have now opened it to all of the Samoan innovators, entrepreneurs, micro, small, medium, and enterprises to connect and unleash the true potential for e-commerce in Samoa.”
The app has received funding from the Women MSME Fintech Innovation Fund, a women-focused program backed by the Government of Canada, and in partnership of the United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) with United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF). It is part of UNCDF’s Shaping Inclusive Finance Transformations (SHIFT) in the ASEAN program with support from the Australian government, UNCDF Pacific. The Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank (FMO) and Visa Inc are also included in the list of funders.
About SkyEye Pacific
SkyEye is a home-grown ICT/GIS company focused on making cutting-edge technology for our Pacific realities. Working in partnership with public, private, and civil society clients, we are able to leverage Geospatial & Mobile Technologies combined with GIS Intelligence to develop Sustainable Solutions. We have been serving Samoa since 2013. Since its inception, SkyEye Samoa has established offices in the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and Tonga.