Fiji, through one of its mobile service providers, will be the first country in the region to launch a mobile phone-based money transfer service.

According to a media release by Vodafone Fiji, the service, called M-PAiSA, was launched last week and 'is expected to transform the banking and financial landscape in Fiji'.

According to the media release, M-PAiSA is a mobile phone based money transfer that allows registered users to send and receive money directly on through their mobile phones.

'Effectively, your mobile phone now becomes m-wallet and store of money in electronic form'.

In welcoming the 300 plus guests for the launching of M-PAiSA, the Managing Director of Vodafone Mr. Aslam Khan said, " this is a landmark achievement not only Fiji but for the entire region as Vodafone Fiji becomes the first mobile network in the region to launch a mobile phone based money transfer service"

"With M-PAiSA, registered users will be able to deposit money in the M-PAiSA account in exchange for equivalent electronic value be able to send money directly onto others mobiles anywhere in Fiji, buy recharge or airtime and also be able to withdraw cash at an M-PAiSA agent.

M-PAiSA now becomes the quickest, most convenient and safest means to sending and receiving money anywhere in Fiji. In essence, M-PAiSA customers will now be able to conduct everyday, low risk transactions in a more convenient and less and cost effective way within their reach.

The Prime Minister, Commodore Bainimarama in launching the service said, M-PAiSA is welcome news to thousands of people in Fiji, particulary those in rural and maritime areas. These citizens have for a long time been denied the opportunity to participate in the mainstream economic activities because of lack of financial services and high cost of doing financial transactions.

M-PAiSA will therfore play an important role in enabling more Fijians to access financial services in a more convenient and cost effective way than ever before. The product is a very good example of using technology and Vodafone's wide reach to improve the lives of our people through greater financial inclusion. I would like to commend Vodafone for this landmark achievement and also acknowledge that is a 100% locally developed solution.