Digicel launches fully inclusive NFC mobile wallet in the Kingdom of Tonga

NFC mobile transactions in Tonga

Digicel Pacific, a mobile network operator across the Pacific and subsidiary of the Digicel Group, is deploying VeriFone’s mWallet services and NFC-enabled payment systems to bring NFC mobile transactions to its customer base in Tonga (view press release). The solution uses VeriFone contactless payment acceptance systems and NFC tags from Digicel linked to mobile numbers. Users do not require a bank account, credit card or smartphone to use the service and can now make payments with a tap of their phone at 50 merchant outlets in the country’s capital, Nuku’alofa. Digicel and VeriFone plan to expand the service to the entire island in the coming months and add new features such as international bill payments.

The roll out follows the introduction of international money transfers to mobile wallets by Digicel last year which enables the transfer of funds from people in New Zealand to mobile subscribers in the Pacific at a cheaper cost than established operators, banks and money transfer companies. A 2011 World Bank report claims that remittance payments constitute around 30% of Tongan GDP making it the 2nd country in the world for dependence on remittances.         

Many Tongans rely on money transfers from within the Kingdom or from relatives in New Zealand and Australia. Digicel’s electronic payment network creates an integrated financial system to connect these money transfers with local sellers,” said Tonga’s Minister of Finance, the honourable Sunia Fili.

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