Central Bank of Seychelles and ProgressSoft Launch Countrywide Mobile Payment Project during Mobile Money Global 2012

Dubai, November 20, 2012

The Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) and ProgressSoft Corporation announced today the project launch of the total countrywide mobile payment solution in the Republic of Seychelles. The announcement took place during Mobile Money Global 2012 - the world's largest independent mobile money transfer conference and expo, which is held at Atlantis Hotel, The Palm, Dubai on the 20th and 21st of Nov 2012.

Shortly following the media announcement, an overview of the project was presented to the attendees of the event's conference through a panel discussion that featured H.E. Ms. Abel, the Governor of the Central Bank of Seychelles, and Mr. Michael Wakileh, CEO of ProgressSoft Corporation. The panelists tackled the efforts made towards providing a countrywide mobile payment service in the Seychelles and conveyed the value of this unparalleled experience to the mobile money decision makers attending the conference.

During the first week of November, ProgressSoft's pioneering mobile payment solution, PS-mPay has been presented to and endorsed by The President of the Republic of Seychelles, H.E. Mr. James Michel, along with all members of the Government of Seychelles Cabinet and the Governor of the Central Bank of Seychelles.

The main stakeholders of the project include the Central Bank, the Government, all commercial banks and Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in Seychelles, along with ProgressSoft - as the Solution Provider.

PS-mPay will provide all citizens, expatriates and tourists in Seychelles with Person-to-Person (P2P), Person-to-Business (P2B) and Person-to-Government (P2G) real-time mobile payments. The solution will also avail Direct Credits, Near Field Communication (NFC) based Point-of-Sale (POS) Payments, International Remittances and Bill Payments – all to be conducted via the mobile phone.

ProgressSoft will soon engage in the research and development phase of the project with the assistance of the Central Bank and the Government of Seychelles to achieve the implementation of the new system by mid-2013.

Mr. Wakileh affirmed that this is yet another milestone in ProgressSoft's partnership with the Central Bank of Seychelles; "while we provide such real-time and state-of-the-art payment services, we hope to add one more reason of pride to the Seychelles beautiful islands".

From her side, H.E. Ms. Caroline Abel, Governor of the Central Bank of Seychelles expressed that "the mobile payment initiative is a major milestone for Seychelles and the concept will have huge benefits to the nation as a whole, putting Seychelles at the forefront of technological advancements globally". She noted that the Central Bank has been developing the National Payment's System, and that mobile payments are the next step towards advancement of such. "The benefits to the economy of real-time payment services shall be widespread and the use of mobile payments should result in greater financial inclusion and economic growth", Her Excellency affirmed.

It is worth mentioning that ProgressSoft has been taking part in this technology-driven elevation of Seychelles National Payment System since 2011, as it has provided the Central Bank with the nationwide Electronic Check Clearing Solution that is currently running live across all banks in the country, actualizing a same-day clearing cycle and truncation of paper checks.

With the new solution, Seychelles economy will primarily retain and save all monies going out of the country; money laundering should be reduced as monitoring of micro payments and auditing of all cash transactions are made possible. While all payments become real-time, the overall economic cycle is expected to get vastly accelerated and hence the GDP of the country will increase.

With respect to the benefits for the banking sector, the Central Bank of Seychelles will have more control over all payments, which reflect in reduction of unnecessary overheads of printing and re-printing money notes. Meanwhile, PS-mPay will allow for the financial inclusion of the unbanked people in the country, which will furnish a new customer base for banks in Seychelles without requiring any extra operational cost or front-end employment. As mobile payment and transfer become the norm, dealing with cash shall decrease. This will have a positive impact on banks as they realize reduction in costs relating to cash handling as well as ATM machines investment and maintenance.

Businesses will be able to achieve better returns than the ones they are getting with the current card payments. People will entertain extreme convenience of conducting on-time, precise payment transactions anytime, anywhere.

"It is an honor for ProgressSoft to implement this whole countrywide project; we commit to deliver a world-class service that is up to the expectations of the leadership of Seychelles, the Central Bank of Seychelles, the banking bodies, businesses, citizens, expatriates and tourists", expressed Mr. Michael Wakileh. "On behalf of ProgressSoft, we are very grateful for the presidential support towards Country-wide Mobile Payments in Seychelles. We pledge to work closely with Seychelles in churning more Payment and Technology Innovations relevant to country's payment needs".

Alongside the launch of this vital project, Seychelles Payment Services Co. (SPS) has been established to provide the mobile payment service across the country. The company is made up of a consortium of banks, MNOs, utility companies in Seychelles and ProgressSoft.