Implementation of airtime top-up services to pay for micro-insurance and micro-pension

Context:
In 2017, The Solomon Islands National Provident Fund (SINPF), with support from PFIP, piloted a retirement savings product for the informal sector known as youSave. One of the pilot recommendations was to utilise cost-effective digital delivery channels to allow for direct remittance of savings into SINPF. Because of the inefficiencies and a lack of reach into the rural areas by existing digital payment channels, the option to use airtime was recommended. The staggering cost of Airtime distribution in the Solomon Islands seemed to be an insurmountable challenge in order to achieve a sustainable business case for payment collections PHB was previously engaged to conduct a feasibility assessment and based upon that positive outcome this project was initiated to implement the youSave  Lo Mobile service –  and launch the world’s first-ever airtime scheme for provident fund payments.

Objectives:
The objective of this project was to implement the youSave Lo Mobile service in a seamless and ubiquitous manner. Specifically to assure the same user interface across all MNOs and to maintain clear reporting back to the SINPF, CBSI, and Tax Authority as required.

Deliverables:

  • Bring together all stakeholders (MNOs, SINPF, Central Bank and the Tax authority)  to agree upon all business terms,  settlement and reconciliation of accounts,  and all reporting to each other as agreed. Specifically, to identify ways to share the cost of distribution through tax alleviation.
  • Establish consensus on marketing to assure consistency of messaging and communications across both MNOs and the SINPF; this included getting a commensurate level of contribution from each MNO to promote the service
  • Establish IT and technology links to allow a seamless service to operate and deliver a consistent service to the customer. This included making sure that the USSD menu and SMS messaging were similar.
  • Work directly with SINPF to develop a mobile application for the onboarding of new youSave customers,  this included coordinating with internal and external IT resources and developing appropriate compensation schemes.

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