Haiti Mobile Money Initiative (HMMI)
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Project short name:
To jumpstart financial services by mobile phone in Haiti and expedite the delivery of cash assistance to victims of the country’s devastating earthquake by humanitarian agencies.
| HMMI Resources:
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID launched the $10 million HMMI incentive fund to jumpstart financial services by mobile phone in Haiti and expedite the delivery of cash assistance to victims of the country’s devastating earthquake by humanitarian agencies. Announced six months after the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in January of 2010, the initiative lay the foundation for advanced banking services that could help millions of Haitians lift themselves out of extreme poverty because enabling Haitians to send, receive, and store money using their mobile phones has the potential to dramatically improve their lives and leapfrog more conventional banking models to safer, more affordable alternatives.
The Incentive Fund provides two types of awards:
1) First-to-Market Award: Providing an incentive to deploy a service as quickly as possible
- $2.5 million for the first operator to launch qualifying services within six months which processes at least 100 qualifying transactions at each of 100 new outlets during such 6 month period.
- $1.5 million for the second operator to do so.
2) Scaling Award: Incentive to reach scale
For the Scaling Award, the project will evaluate the entire market of qualifying transactions completed by service providers, and award funds to providers in proportion to the operator’s contribution to the attainment of the market scale. To qualify for the Scaling Award, a provider must have delivered qualifying services resulting in at least 10,000 transactions that meet specific qualifying criteria in the month preceding the application.
In addition, grants play a key role in HMMI activities under HIFIVE. HMMI provides technical assistance grants to address key constraints or obstacles to the ubiquitous deployment of mobile money services, including agent network deployment, development of applications that will drive demand, support to client information and education initiatives, and client registration.
Project Updates and Achievements:
Incentive Fund Achievements:
- Six months after the activity’s inception, two mobile money service platforms were launched;
- In January 2011, Digicel was awarded the “First to Market” prize for “TchoTcho Mobile;”
- In August 2011, Voilà was awarded the “Second to Market” prize for “T-cash;”
- In October 2011, the first “Scaling Awards” were given to Voilà's "T-cash" and Digicel’s "TchoTcho Mobile" for achieving the 100,000 transaction benchmark.
Technical Assistance Grants:
- Agent Deployment: Yellow Pepper Haiti develops and manages the agent network system for TchoTcho Mobile. An HMMI grant has helped support the network’s development as it extends throughout Haiti and develop software and other tools for managing it.
- Technology Applications: Transversal, a Haitian technology company, has used an HMMI grant to develop an electronic process to facilitate client registration and other payment applications.
- Driving Demand: Mercy Corps, an NGO working in Haiti, received a grant to convert beneficiary payments for food from a printed voucher system to mobile money transfers which could be spent on specific items in a merchant network. The program’s 12,000 beneficiaries also receive financial literacy training and information about the advantages of using mobile money.