ANZ today announced 100,000 Cambodians are now using its WING mobile payment service allowing people who previously had little or no access to financial services to use their mobile phones to make person-to-person payments, transfers and purchases.
The milestone was achieved in just one year following WING’s commercial launch in January 2009 and coincides with the release today of the WING Social Impact Report by ANZ Chief Executive Officer Mike Smith and Her Excellency Margaret Adamson, Australian Ambassador to Cambodia.
WING is a financial initiative designed to bring safe, fair and affordable services to previously unbanked communities in Cambodia and allows ANZ to develop the emerging market of mobile payments.
Last week, WING was recognised with the Product Innovation Award by IDC Financial Insights, a financial services research organisation, at the Asia Pacific Financial Insights Innovation Awards (FIIA) 2010.
WING was selected out of 135 entrants and was the only product innovation to receive this Award this year.
Key achievements of the WING program outlined in the report released today include:
Responsible practices - WING’s mission is to ‘make money fair’ by providing money transfer and storage services at a price accessible to all Cambodians. Cambodia has a population of more than 14 million people. Only 5% of these people have a bank account.
Education and employment opportunities - WING trains and employs more than 1,800 sales agents known as ‘WING Pilots’ providing income and training which improves the ability for WING Pilots to enter the formal job market at a later date.
Helping bridge urban and rural social and economic divides – WING’s baseline research conducted in 2009 shows 56% of WING customers were previously unbanked, a figure which is significantly higher in rural areas.
Financial capability - WING collaborated with Equal Access, a non-profit communications organisation in Cambodia, to deliver radio programs and training on the basics of money management.
Speaking at the launch of the Social Impact Report in Phnom Penh today, Mr Smith said: “The WING program delivers on a commitment to providing financial access to Cambodians who don’t have access to banking or payment services.
We think our long term success in Cambodia depends on meeting our business objectives while providing social and economic benefits that assist growth and development. “WING brings safe and affordable services to previously unbanked communities in Cambodia.
As well as making secure transactions by using a personal PIN on any mobile phone, WING customers can make or receive cash payments through the 500 Cash Xpress outlets across all of Cambodia’s 24 provinces. “By delivering these benefits, we have also been able to explore the emerging market of mobile payments, the ‘next wave’ of banking innovation in Asia,” Mr Smith said.
WING’s expansion has been significantly assisted by the Australian Government’s AusAID Enterprise Challenge Fund which provided a grant of A$1.5 million over three years to accelerate the rollout of WING to rural areas in Cambodia.
WING Managing Director Brad Jones said the report highlighted how WING was delivering on the program’s aim to ‘make money fair’. “WING helps create sustainable communities, from enabling people in urban centres to send money back to their families in rural areas, to supporting businesses to grow by being able to make reliable transactions.
“We also try to educate people about managing their money. For example, our product materials are written in Khmer and explain how to make safe transactions. In 2010 we will train more WING Pilots, reaching further into rural Cambodia, and continue to develop new financial literacy programs,” Mr Jones said.
The WING Social Impact Report is available at www.anz.com.