Haiti mobile banking system

Mobile banking has played an important role in rebuilding after the earthquake. Called the 'mobile wallet' the Haiti Mobile Money Initiative (HMMI) got its jumpstart in June 2010. Though it was initially met with distrust by some who had trouble investing in a purely electronic system it soon caught on with the more than 85% of mobile users in Haiti after the temporary but immobilizing devastation of many traditional banks. Fast forward a few years and Haiti is leading in mobile phone payments in the region.


The mobile banking services include deposits, withdrawals, enumerated records of accounts and funds transfers all done over phone. And the statistics given from one service, TchoTcho Mobile, made available by Scotiabank, Digicel and YellowPepper show 6 million transactions for 2011 alone. Other mobile wallet providers show promising gains as well. Voila, through Mercy Corps, has served over 6,000 Haitians living in rural communities.

It has also become a way for banks to expand their reach into the Haitian society. Less than half of the population have bank accounts, and it is estimated that there are as little as only two branches to every 100,000 citizen. Banks with few branches and few ATMs can open up their capacity for clients by introducing mobile banking. It's also beneficial to government programs as subsidies can be distributed through it.

The success of mobile banking in Haiti is due mostly to its necessity. Most Haitians have no real alternative to suit their banking needs, unlike the case in more established countries like the U.S., where mobile banking can be viewed as a perk and not a requirement.

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Read more: Tcho Tcho Mobile, Haitian Banking, Technology, Mobile Money, Banking, Business & Finance

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