Trilogy’s Voila Wins Gates Foundation, USAID Award for Scaling Mobile Money in Haiti

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    Trilogy's Voila Wins Gates Foundation, USAID Award for Scaling Mobile Money in Haiti

    PR Newswire

    Voila Captures 89% of First 'Scaling Prize'; Awarded $890K to Reinvest in Haiti

    BELLEVUE/PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Oct. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/On the eve of celebrating its 12th anniversary  in Haiti, Trilogy International Partners' Haitian subsidiary, Voila, was recognized today for its leadership role in launching mobile money services throughout Haiti, receiving the majority share – 89% — of the first 'Scaling Award' from the Haiti Mobile Money Initiative (HMMI), a partnership between The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID, administered by The Haiti Integrated Finance for Value Chains and Enterprise (HIFIVE).  
    At a ceremony today in Port au Prince, Voila and its banking partner, Unibank, were presented with a check for $889,250, following HIFIVE's verification of transaction reports submitted earlier this year.   Those reports showed that as of May 1, 2011, Haitians had conducted 100,000 qualifying financial transactions – sending, receiving, or storing money – on their mobile phones.  89% of those transactions were performed by customers of Voila's mobile money service, T-Cash.    

    The results since May have been even more impressive.  There are currently over 300,000 registered T-Cash users who have conducted over 3 million financial transactions on their Voila phones to make or receive cash deposits, withdraw funds, purchase food and supplies or transfer money to friends or family.  Voila has built up a network of over 1100 T-Cash agents and merchants throughout Haiti, with plans to scale up to 1500 by the end of the year.  

    "The promise of using wireless phones to expand financial services to Haiti's rural poor is starting to take root," said Brad Horwitz, President and CEO of Trilogy International Partners.   "Since Voila first commercially launched mobile money services in Haiti late last December, over $16 million worth of transactions have been made using T-Cash, and another $4 million worth of payroll transactions have flowed through the system, demonstrating that mobile payment solutions are a viable option to extend banking services to Haiti's largely unbanked population.  T-Cash was designed to encourage rapid adoption and these early results indicate the approach is working," Horwitz said.  

    An initial, key differentiator of Voila's T-Cash service is a 'mini wallet' feature which allows customers to use a short code to immediately activate the service — without traveling to an agent location – and store up to $62.50  on their Voila phone.  "The mini-wallet is a distinguishing feature for T-Cash that's proven to be a real motivator and sets us apart in the marketplace," Horwitz said. "It's been a particularly useful tool for our NGO customers who benefit dramatically from the additional flexibility it provides in administering payroll services."  

    Voila originally partnered with Mercy Corps to use T-Cash for administering their cash assistance programs, and has since partnered with a variety of other NGOs including Oxfam, World Vision, Help Age, and Catholic Relief Services (CRS), providing payroll services to over 20,000 people.  A recent satisfaction survey conducted by CRS of their cash-for-work recipients who were paid using T-Cash found that 97% were 'very satisfied' with the service, based on quality and speed of transactions.  100% of the respondents preferred T-Cash over other payroll services they had previously used, citing speed and reliability.  

    Tomorrow, October 12th, Voila celebrates its 12 year anniversary of providing wireless services to the people of Haiti.

    About Voila and Trilogy International Partners, LLC

    Voila is a subsidiary of Trilogy International Partners LLC, a privately‐held company based in Bellevue, WA. Trilogy and its businesses owns wireless communications systems in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Bolivia, and New Zealand, holding licenses to provide wireless services to over 31 million people. Voila is a leading mobile telecommunications operator in Haiti, providing high‐quality, affordable wireless service to well over a million subscribers. Since its inception nearly 12 years ago, it has invested over US$250 million in Haiti. Voila employs over 500 local staff and provides indirect employment to more than 25,000 Haitians through a micro‐enterprise venture whereby local entrepreneurs sell time and minute recharges on a customized cell phone. For more information on Trilogy, please see its website: www.trilogy-international.com.

    SOURCE Trilogy International Partners