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First mobile wallet launched in East Timor

Banco Nacional Ultramarino (BNU) has launched East Timor’s first mobile wallet product, called BNU Mobile, in partnership with Timor Telecom, and with support from the United Nations’ Inclusive Finance for the Under-Served Economy (INFUSE) Programme and MicroSave, an international financial inclusion consulting firm.

Nearly 60 percent of Timor-Leste’s population have no bank accounts and only have limited options for safely saving money.

According to a press statement, BNU’s mobile wallet can be used by people with or without a bank account.

BNU Mobile customers will be able to make payments, transfer money, withdraw cash and buy goods using their mobile wallet card.

Customers can use up to US$300 in a single transaction per day, with a daily accumulated transfer limit of US$400. The maximum balance that can be held on the card is US$1,000.

“The mobile wallet pilot programme aims to increase financial inclusion in Timor-Leste. After three months of planning, we are now ready to start the pilot and will be cooperating with a substantial network of agents and other stakeholders,” said the chief executive of BNU Timor, Fernando Torrão Alves.

“This is a very exciting project which will kick off a serious move into branchless banking.”