Timor Leste’s First Mobile Money Pilot Launched to Expand Financial Services Access

31 Dec 2014

BNU in partnership with Timor Telecom and with support from the Inclusive Finance for the Under-Served Economy (INFUSE) Program and MicroSave launched Timor-Leste’s first mobile wallet product called BNU Mobile. The mobile wallet product can be used by people with or without a bank account  and it will be available in four districts of the country: Dili, Baucau, Ermera, and Lautem. BNU Mobile customers can make payments, transfer money, do mobile top-up, withdraw cash, and buy goods through a mobile wallet linked to their bank account. The mobile wallet allows them to get account information and make transactions using their phone. Customers can also send money to unbanked customers with a Timor Telecom phone number. Even customers without a bank account can use BNU Mobile to receive money from a BNU customer and cash out at a designated mobile money agent, or make a person-to-person funds transfer.

“The launch of the mobile money pilot, BNU Mobile aims to increase financial inclusion in Timor-Leste. After three months of planning we are now ready to start the pilot and will be cooperating with a substantial network of agents and other stakeholders. This is a very exciting project which will initiate a serious move into branchless banking," said Fernando Torrao Alves, CEO of BNU. “We are very excited to partner with BNU for this pilot. Most of the population would never have access to a bank account or financial services, but with BNU Mobile, they will be able to buy, pay and transfer money in a convenient and low cost way. The service represents a major step forward in the development of the financial sector because Timorese people will be able to overcome the logistical challenges faced with traditional banking," said Manuel Capitão Amaro, CEO of Timor Telecom.

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East Timor