SUNBIZ

‘Don’t Be Scared Of Technology’

The mobile network provider is looking to also introduce a new e-commerce platform that would enable customers to shop online.
11 Feb 2020 18:17
‘Don’t Be Scared Of Technology’
AN AWARD FOR VODAFONE: From left: Pacific Financial Programme (PFIP) financial inclusion specialist Fiji Praneel Pritesh, Vodafone Fiji head of e-commerce and corporate affairs Shailendra Prasad, chief marketing officer Rajnesh Prasad, UNCDF global digital lead Francios Coupienne, PFIP programme manager Bram Peters, deputy programme manager Krishnan Narasimhan after the presentation of the Reuben J Summerline (RJS) Innovation award for 2019 to Vodafone Fiji on February 10, 2020. Photo: Laiseana Nasiga.

Around 25 companies have become part of the mobile money platform M-Paisa since its inception in 2010.

Vodafone Fiji’s head of e-commerce and corporate affairs Shailendra Prasad, said this equates to a total of about 230 outlets.

“We have the entire chain of supermarkets, such as New World, Extra Supermarket, Shop N Save, and Morris Hedstrom and then we have businesses like Bondwell, Courts Fiji Limited, Vinod Patel & Co. Pte Ltd.

“They are all on board so people are able to make electronic payments through these outlets,” he said.

He said this is to also ease customers in accessing basic financial services especially in the rural areas.

Expansion plans

The mobile network provider is looking to also introduce a new e-commerce platform that would enable customers to shop online.

“With that what we want to try and do is use the online platform and the e-commerce platform so that people are able to go and browse online on the e-commerce platform.

“It will have businesses who come and list their products and services where people can basically browse and select items online and pay using M-Paisa.

“We will have a delivery mechanism in place to deliver the goods and services to them,” said Mr Prasad.

He added that Vodafone Fiji plans to also expand M-Paisa to the Cook Islands market.

“What we are trying to develop is a regional payment platform from where M-Paisa is the common platform across the South Pacific Island market.

Sales growth

In terms of sales through M-Paisa, Mr Prasad said sales have grown but it’s a challenge because people are more used to using cash.

“It’s now been nine years since we launched M-Paisa and there has been a significant increase in terms of growth.

“In the first two to four years, it has been a challenge as people are used to cash over a longer period of time and converting from cash to cashless you know it’s a slow process.

“So what we see is that the younger generation is more tech savvy, more adaptive to the changes as opposed to the older generation,” he said.

Feedback: laiseana.nasiga@fijisun.com.fj

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