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Coronavirus creates business for online payment firm

The coronavirus (COVID-19) state of emergency lockdown has provided a platform for a New Zealand-based online payment company to sign up more customers in Samoa.

Auckland-registered Pacific 40 Limited was established in 2018 and launched its Talofa Voucher payment system in August last year in partnership with Ah Liki Limited.

The company was formed for Pacific Island communities in New Zealand and abroad to support their families in the Pacific through remittances services. 

The plan was to fully launch Talofa Vouchers in March this year, however, when the COVID-19 global pandemic accelerated the growth and awareness of the company, leading to an early launch date.

Pacific 40 Ltd Director and Operations Manager, Falute Vaauli-Lene, said the onset of the pandemic launched their business. 

"We were developing our business from May last year and we planned to launch in March this year. After signing up agreements with over 40 shops in Samoa to partner in the Talofa Voucher program, COVID-19 happened," Falute said.

"COVID-19 basically launched our business as people were looking for ways to support their families in Samoa." 

The online platform was an ideal solution for people during the lockdown, as the vouchers were delivered instantly to mobile phones of families in Samoa, and that shopping would be done from shops closer to them. 

The company operates in Manukau, Auckland with over 50 partner stores that deal directly with customers in Samoa. They offer cash power payment using the Talofa Voucher payment system as well as vouchers for petrol in Upolu and Savaii. Fast food outlets and cake shops are the latest additions to the Talofa Voucher program, as these are some of the services that customers continue to ask for every day and whether they can pay for their families in Samoa using that online payment system.

According to Falute, they managed to serve all of their customers during New Zealand’s COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown and they hope to stay that way during Level 3 in New Zealand. 

With lockdown in New Zealand, Falute says that multitasking is best during these times. 

"Multi-tasking is the way to do it during the lockdown. Everyone doing customer service, technical support, and other operational tasks help a lot and it upskills everyone involved in the business," she added. 

Falute believes that Samoan people around the world will always support their families back home and that they are providing a convenient way for them to do that. 

A Pacific 40 Limited customer, who did not identify himself, said the online payment platform is consistent and convenient for him and his family. 

His family uses the platform to pay for cash power and gas as well as shopping with the processing time fast and efficiently done.

Their services can be accessed through their website www.pacific40.com or their Facebook page as they are currently working towards a business app.

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