Prime Minister Charlot Salwai and Director of Governance for Growth programme under the Australian High Commission, Clinton Pobke, officially launched innovative financial products and services at the Warwick Le Lagon yesterday.

The launching took place after four products and services were announced.

The first product announced was the Parametric Index Insurance Initiative by the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP) and the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII) under the Pacific Regional Climate Risk Adaptation and Insurance (PRCRAI). Both institutions are designing an insurance solution that will cover both governments and individuals in their payouts, called the ‘Macro to Micro’ approach.

This insurance cover can be purchased by individuals, small businesses, large businesses, communities, associations, cooperatives or Government.

The PRCRAI programme, to be developed specifically for each country’s need, is expected to start with five pilot countries that includes Vanuatu.

Krishnan Narasimhan, Deputy Programme Manager for PFIP says this product will be available in the market around September to October this year.

He acknowledged the funding partner which are the governments of Australia and New Zealand and the European Union.

The second product is the TVL Mobile Money presented yesterday by Telecom Vanuatu Limited’s (TVL) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Barlen Lutchmoodoo.

This is a mobile money platform that will allow registered users to use their mobile phone like a bank account or debit card.

TVL CEO Lutchmoodoo said the product is the company’s goal of bridging the gap of availability of financial services across all islands of Vanuatu.

He says with the mobile money a number of transactions can be made such as transaction from one island to another, payment of bills and international money transfers from Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States of America and almost all Pacific island countries.

He says the cost of transfer will be very cheap compared to current existing fees for such financial transactions.

Mr Lutchmoodooo said the registration for this service will be free. Even the mothers at the market can use this product in transactions of their products and parents can use it to pay for school fees.

The first test in Vanuatu will be in June and the launch of the product is July this year.

Vanuatu will not be the first country to use this as Fiji and Kiribati are already using it as well as countries in East Africa.

The third product is the IsiMobile App of the National Bank of Vanuatu (NBV) announced by Geoffrey Toone, Managing Director of NBV.

This product will allow customers to manager their NBV accounts from their android mobile phones to access their account balance, look at their account history for up to three months, loan account and term deposits.

Mr Toone said NBV is very close to launch as the bank wants to ensure the product works smoothly for all clients across the country.

He says it will be very easy to use and affordable.

The fourth product is VanCare’s bundled microinsurance product.

This microinsurance will offer term life (death by any cause inside or outside Vanuatu), funeral expenses, property and personal accident (excludes injury obtained from training for professional sport of any kind and eligibility age up to 65) coverage at standardized low and affordable premiums.

The insurance product will be sold primarily via the private sector boosting resilience of employees and ability to cope with a range of events that can cause financial shocks.

Mr Peter McPherson, Country Director, made the presentation for VanCare’s insurance product.

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