HIFIVE Success Story: Bringing a Technological Revolution to Haiti

  • Date Posted: February 3, 2011
  • Organizations/Projects: World Council of Credit Unions
  • Document Types: Case Study or Vignette
  • Donor Type: U.S. Agency for International Development

 Prior to the earthquake that devastated Haiti in January 2010, financial services were severely limited for vulnerable populations. After the earthquake, with over 30 percent of the physical infrastructure of financial institutions destroyed or badly damaged, the situation was much worse.

The USAID/Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Haiti Mobile Money Initiative” (HMMI) was launched in early June 2010 to encourage a rapid and large-scale deployment of mobile money services to help meet the needs of Haiti’s largely unbanked population, and the race was on. By January 2011—only seven months later—two mobile money services had already been launched:  Digicel’s Tcho Tcho Mobile and Voila’s Ti-Cash.

On January 10, 2011, HMMI, which is managed through the HIFIVE program, presented the “First to Market Award” of $2.5 million to Digicel, the mobile network operator that was first to launch mobile money services in Haiti. Mobile phone customers can now use their cellphones to send and receive money, pay for purchases, and store a balance on their phones. Mobile money services address both the humanitarian needs of Haitians as well as their day-to-day needs as payments can now be delivered directly to the beneficiaries’ phone via mobile money.

Download the PDF document below for the full story.

Read the full press release from the Gates Foundation about Digicel’s award here.