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Summary

Tigo Money has launched in nine markets to allow customers to send and receive money, buy airtime credit, and pay for goods and services using a mobile phone. Tigo Money is highly relevant to Tigo customers because in most of parent company Millicom’s markets a large portion of the population is still unbanked.Since launch, Tigo Money continues to grow and find success in Latin America.

Tigo Money, an e-wallet for the unbanked

Tigo launched mobile financial services in 2011 under the name Tigo Money in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Bolivia and under the name Giros Tigo in Paraguay. Tigo Money allows an individual to securely manage money through their mobile phone, using it to send/receive money, pay for services, and make international remittances.

Millicom states that among its 9.6 million customers (as of 1Q15) worldwide, more than 19% are using Tigo Money for services including international remittances and money transfers, interest-earning mobile money accounts, micro-credit, payments, and billing. Tigo Honduras and Tigo El Salvador recently announced that Tigo Money users are nearing 1 million in each country, making them the best-performing countries in Central America. Millicom says that half of its DTH satellite TV bills in El Salvador are paid from Tigo Money, many via mobile devices, and in Guatemala the mobile financial services team is working with international humanitarian organization Oxfam to send financial help to families who are in need in the most remote areas.

Millicom has paid a lot of attention to its Latin American markets and set a benchmark in providing mobile financial solutions in the region. Tigo El Salvador won an M2Payments Award for Best Mobile Service for Financial Inclusion 2015, Tigo Paraguay won InterAmerican Bank's Digital Finance Award 2014, and Tigo Bolivia won a FUNDETIC award for driving economic and social inclusion through tech innovation.

According to Millicom, more than 80% of the population is unbanked in most of its markets, so the operator’s aim to provide a medium to transfer money and pay for services is important. With similar operations starting in other markets (in Africa as well as in Latin America), Millicom is helping to transform economies through its mobile financial platform.

Appendix

Further reading

“Millicom’s investments in El Salvador are transforming the company,” TE0001-000974 (July 2015)

Millicom Group Update, November 2014, TE0015-000219 (December 2014)

Author

Amit Kumar Rai, Analyst, North and South America

amitkumar.rai@ovum.com

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