Haiti mobile money solution now ‘feature commitment’ at Clinton Global Initiative 2010

Haiti, September 23, 2010

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Trilogy International and Mercy Corps Partner to Maximize NGO Resources, Expand Access to Financial Services

The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) announced this morning that the Commitment to Action by Bellevue, Washington-based Trilogy International Partners and international relief and development agency Mercy Corps has been selected as a ‘Feature Commitment’ for its ability to “catalyze financial access and enable economic empowerment for the rural poor in Haiti through the introduction of mobile money services.” The first of its kind mobile money solution was launched on Tuesday. More on Trilogy and Mercy Corps’ mobile money announcement can be found here.

Jack Dorsey, chief executive officer of Square and co-founder and chairman of Twitter recognized John Stanton, Chairman of Trilogy International Partners and Nancy Lindborg, President of Mercy Corps for their Featured Commitment prior to the Mobile Revolution: Transforming Access, Markets and Development panel at CGI in which Trilogy chairman and wireless pioneer John Stanton was a participant. The panel discussed the explosive growth of mobile phones in developing countries and how new mobile applications can be harnessed to stimulate economic development and lift millions out of poverty. In addition to Stanton, other panel members included Cherie Blair, founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, Mohammad Kilany, co-founder of Souktel Mobile Phone Job Service, and Molly Melching, executive director of Tostan.

“Technology can play a unique role in the rebuilding of Haiti. Mobile Money is a great example of advanced wireless applications serving as a development tool,” said Trilogy Chairman John Stanton after the Mobile Revolution: Transforming Access, Markets, and Development panel discussion. “It’s very exciting to see that, through our partnership with Mercy Corps, mobile money is a reality for thousands of Haitian households today through our subsidiary, Voilá. We look forward to deploying a full commercial offering of mobile wallet services throughout Haiti.”

Trilogy and Mercy Corps’ joint program announced on Tuesday enables Mercy Corps to offer mobile money solutions for Haiti’s unbanked for the first time ever. After piloting and testing the program for the past eight months, cash-for-work, grant and voucher recipients now have the ability to securely ‘store value’ on their mobile phones, withdraw all or part of their money, transfer funds to family members in need directly from their phones, and use phones to pay for goods directly with affiliated merchants. Over the next nine months, approximately 100,000 Haitians will benefit from Mercy Corps’ cash programs.

"Mercy Corps is thrilled to partner with Trilogy International to bring mobile money to Haiti," said Nancy Lindborg, Mercy Corps president. "We know that the combination of mobile phones and financial services is a powerful one that can help people manage, save and strategically spend their money. For impoverished Haitians struggling to recover from January's earthquake, mobile money can open up a world of future financial opportunities. We are committed to helping them realize that future."

For relief and development organizations, wireless applications offer the opportunity to become more efficient and provide aid workers the ability to help build the foundation for economic growth that truly benefits Haiti’s most impoverished families.