2018 FEMM: Improving Financial Inclusion In The Region

FORUM ECONOMIC MINISTERS MEETING

AND

FORUM ECONOMIC OFFICIALS MEETING

25-27 April 2018

Koror, Palau

 

 

STANDING AGENDA ITEM:

IMPROVING FINANCIAL INCLUSION IN THE REGION

 

Summary of Issue
This paper was prepared by the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme and provides an overview of regional efforts to support financial inclusion and awareness in the Pacific region, and an update on the progress made towards the achievement of the 2020 Money Pacific Goals.

For Members’ information.

  1. Background

 

The 2020 Money Pacific goals were adopted by FEMM and the regional Central Bank Governors, in 2009. This reflected the high priority placed by Forum Leaders on the need to build financial literacy and financial inclusion. Therefore, this paper seeks to briefly highlights areas where action is being taken to accelerate progress in the following countries – Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu. These countries have a Central Bank, and these institutions have been at the forefront of action and coordination across the Pacific region.

 

Money Pacific Goals

In each Pacific Island nation by 2020, through the combined actions of public and private sectors, our goals are:

  • All school children to receive financial education through core curricula.
  • All adults to have access to financial education.
  • Simple and transparent consumer protection to be in place.
  • To halve the number of households without access to basic financial services.

 

 

Following the takeover of Telecom Kiribati by ATH (Vodafone Fiji) the mobile money service (M-Paisa) has been launched in Kiribati as well. This is a big step for financial inclusion in the country as the mobile money service offers a robust payment and remittance platform. Vodafone is working on improving the service by enhancing local technical capacities and also investing in upgrading the hardware to reduce latency and time lags.

 

Similar mobile money services are also planned in Cook Islands, Samoa and American Samoa where Vodafone Fiji has acquired controlling stake in local telecom service providers.

 

  1. Progress

 

Goal 1: All schoolchildren to receive financial education through core curricula

  1. At its essence Financial Education (FinEd) in schools, is the teaching and learning of personal money management and investment within the school curriculum at targeted levels. FinEd specifically focuses on bringing about positive behavioral change, and has focused on ensuring sustained levels of learning, particularly at the primary school level. Across the region, the Central Banks and their Governors, have been at the forefront of championing financial literacy as a national priority and financial education in schools through core curricula.  Following on from this, Ministries and Departments for Education are more actively taking the lead on progress with FinEd in schools.

 

    1. Fiji: Fiji has successfully integrated FinEd in the school core curriculum from Years 1 to 12 and has firmly embedded FinEd into the overarching National Curriculum Framework as a curriculum perspective. FinEd learning remains deeply embedded within core subjects of English, Mathematics, Social Studies and Commercial Studies and non-core subjects of Accounting and Economics.  As of April 2013, FinEd was rolled out across the country and is now offered in Fiji’s 907 primary and secondary schools every year as part of national curriculum.  The FinEd teacher and student materials are also available online at nfitfiji.com. In 2017, the Ministry of Education and Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme finalised national assessment tools, which will be applied across targeted year levels nationwide from 2018.  These assessment tools will enable the collection of data and consolidation of the impact of Financial Education on students’ skills and knowledge.  Subsequently in August, the FinEd Fiji Project was officially handed over to the Fiji Ministry of Education by the Australian Government’s DFAT and PFIP.  This year, it is envisaged that a total of 205,000 students nationwide as part of their FinEd learning, developed skills and knowledge relating to personal money management and investment.

 

  1. The presentation of the inaugural National Financial Education Innovation Awards was held in September 2017 at the Primary School Head Teachers Conference where 4 primary schools and 3 teachers were recognised in front of 600 of their peers, for implementing innovative projects at the school level. These innovative projects would supplement the classroom teaching and are designed to transfer learning from the classroom into practice.  PFIP and the Reserve Bank have jointly agreed to take forward the National Financial Education Innovation Awards into 2018.

 

  1. Papua New Guinea: In Papua New Guinea, FinEd is being piloted within educational institutions at the technical vocational level.  The first pilot activity being led by PFIP is being undertaken in Kamaliki TVET Institute in the Eastern Highlands Province.  After a series of teacher familiarisation workshops held this year, teaching and learning materials have been developed.  A 6-month in-classroom pilot, is expected to commence in 2018.  It is envisaged that teaching and learning materials under development this year will also be rolled out to selected TVET institutions in the Western Highlands Province during 2018 and onwards.

 

  1. The Bank of Papua New Guinea and the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion have rolled out the National Young Minds Savings Campaign to inculcate a savings habit in students in school. Over the year, 150 primary and secondary schools were visited in collaboration with commercial banks, savings and loans societies and micro-banks covering 130,000 students.  Since this programme began in 2014, 200,000 students have opened new bank accounts.

 

  1. Samoa: In Samoa, efforts are underway to integrate FinEd into the core curricula at both primary and secondary school. Deliberations are ongoing with regards to the report from the 2016 FinEd scoping mission identifying opportunities for introduction of Financial Education in the curriculum at primary, junior secondary and senior secondary schools. The scoping activity was undertaken by PFIP in partnership with the Central Bank of Samoa and the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture.

 

  1. In 2018, the Central Bank of Samoa participated in Global Money Week, which is coordinated and promoted internationally by the Child & Youth Finance International network. This involved the organisation of financial literacy workshops and artwork competitions for children and youth, enabling these groups to learn about, share and demonstrate their financial knowledge.

 

  1. Solomon Islands: The Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development has accepted the key recommendations of a PFIP-funded activity to develop the national FinEd curriculum framework and to place specific FinEd learning outcomes within the primary and secondary school curriculum together with proposed units of work for the rural training centers. The FinEd curriculum is now completed for primary, junior secondary and senior secondary and the related subjects of integration confirmed at a senior management meeting of the Ministry in March 2017.  In addition, a suite of high level learning outcomes has been developed for the technical vocational education and training level and accepted also by the Ministry of Education.  This year, the Ministry of Education has begun work to review and Finalise the wider school curriculum.  It is envisaged that as part of this work, Financial Education will be formalised within the primary and secondary curriculum.

 

  1. A partnership between the Anglican Church of Melanesia and the PFIP has seen the commencement of a project to pilot FinEd within the teaching and learning programmes of 3 rural training centres in Malaita, Isabel and Makira provinces. It is envisaged that resource development and a six-month pilot will occur in 2018.

 

  1. Tonga: As part of discussions during the initial stakeholder consultations towards the inputs for a draft Financial Inclusion Strategy, discussions were held with the Ministry of Education relating to the introduction of Financial Education in the curriculum building on financial literacy concepts that are currently taught in schools.

 

  1. Vanuatu: The Ministry of Education has incorporated FinEd into the curriculum and student learning materials for Year levels 1-3 within existing subjects after a Reserve Bank of Vanuatu and PFIP sponsored FinEd study tour to Fiji in 2013. FinEd is currently being taught across the 3 levels within core curriculum.  The Ministry is currently reviewing the curriculum and student materials for Year levels 4-10 and as part of the review, the intention is to also build in Financial Education at these year levels.

 

Goal 2: All adults to have access to financial education

 

  1. Across the Pacific, central banks and key stakeholders have prioritised financial literacy within National Financial Inclusion Strategies. A number of financial service providers and financial literacy training providers have developed and are conducting financial literacy training and awareness programs for the wider community, either as part of a new product/service rollout or a larger community engagement.  Across the region, central banks continue to play an effective role as financial literacy and financial inclusion champions.

 

  1. Fiji: There are a number of initiatives that have been identified under the National Financial Literacy Strategy 2016-2020 that was developed by the National Financial Inclusion Task Force (NFIT) and endorsed by Cabinet. Currently, a variety of financial literacy training providers from both the public, private and civil society sectors hold in-person financial literacy training workshops and sessions. An additional 7,190 adults, of whom 50.2% were female, received financial literacy training during the reporting period. This brings the total number of adults to have received financial literacy training on personal money management, budgeting, basic business plans and keeping financial records from 2010 to September 2017 to 113,440, accounting for nearly 22.7% of the adult population[1] in the country.

 

  1. In April, the Reserve Bank in collaboration with the Fiji Broadcasting Commission launched the first vernacular financial literacy television show in the country. After a successful first season, Season 2 of the show titled ‘Noda iLavo’ is under production for broadcast in January 2018.

 

  1. An insurance media campaign launched in 2016, was re-run from May-June. The campaign led by the Reserve Bank of Fiji, PFIP and insurance service providers was an industry effort to raise public awareness and understanding of the concept of insurance.  An independent study by Tebbutt Research found the campaign effective in reinforcing risk mitigation messaging and in raising general awareness of insurance and the different types of cover possible.  The campaign that involved the various insurance companies has been recognised and accepted by the industry as a very useful PFIP-led intervention, which they propose to continue to support financially going forward.

 

  1. Papua New Guinea: The Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion together with the Microfinance Expansion Project has developed 6 adult training modules and entered into agreements with a wide range of stakeholders to hold community-based training around the country.  Since 2014 till date, 188,138 individuals have received training through this initiative, of which 47% are women.  Furthermore, financial service providers continue to provide financial literacy training for prospective clients on an ongoing basis.

 

  1. Samoa: The Central Bank of Samoa-developed sets of financial literacy brochures around the themes of saving, spending, borrowing, and managing money, which continue to be widely available. The Central Bank leverages social media and its own website to promote financial literacy.

 

  1. Solomon Islands: The National Financial Inclusion Taskforce led by the Governor of the Central Bank of Solomon Islands advocates adult financial literacy through its’ Consumer Empowerment Working Group, established in July.

 

  1. This year, the Central Bank in partnership with Soltuna Credit Union and Tuna Trust Credit Unions held a one-week financial literacy programme in March with children and youths in separate locations in the Western province. This was followed by a brief programme for children, youths and young adults to share their financial literacy learning and understanding. The Central Bank additionally conducted financial literacy training during festivals such as during the World Tuna Day in Noro.

 

  1. Furthermore, the Central Bank’s existing Money Matters radio programme, regular Sunday newspaper columns and the 2017 Money Smart Day newsletter have been complemented by financial literacy programmes run by commercial banks, microfinance institutions, savings clubs and private and public-sector partners such as Kokonut Pacific and the Ministry for Women, Youth, Children & Family Affairs.

 

  1. Tonga: Financial literacy training is offered through a number of stakeholders, including banks, Tonga Business Enterprises Centre, microfinance institutions and non-profit organisations. Typically, training covers budgeting, financial statements and analysis and decision-making.  Training is targeted at micro, small and medium enterprises as well as at individuals. An increasing focus has been related to financial literacy training for women and youth.

 

  1. ANZ completed a Money Minded Evaluation Survey, which saw up to 88 percent of persons receiving Money Minded training being able to demonstrate regular saving, 92 percent now being able to pay bills on time and 68 percent now saving to buy big ticket items rather than making impulsive purchases.

 

  1. Financial literacy is expected to be a cornerstone of the inaugural National Financial Inclusion Strategy to be developed in 2018.

 

  1. Vanuatu: Financial service providers such as commercial banks and microfinance institutions continue to undertake financial literacy awareness in rural communities. This is complemented by the work of the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu through awareness programmes held in conjunction with the Pacific Microfinance Week in October and radio programmes run through the microfinance sector.

 

  1. The country is developing a National Financial Inclusion Strategy for the next five years, within which financial literacy is a key component.

 

Goal 3: Simple and transparent consumer protection to be in place

 

  1. Regional Central Banks that are members of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion Pacific Islands Regional Initiative (AFI/PIRI) have agreed to work together to develop a framework for consumer protection. The next steps on tailoring and implementing the AFI-prepared model consumer protection guidelines are being undertaken by individual countries. Many central banks in the region have prioritised consumer protection and empowerment as an important element of financial inclusion.

 

  1. Fiji: In 2017, the Ministry of Industry, Trade & Tourism in conjunction with PFIP, undertook a review of the Consumer Credit Act (1999).  The Act provides the legislative framework for the provision of consumer credit by credit providers.  Enactment of the subsequent legislation is expected in early 2018.

 

  1. In the interim, the Reserve Bank enforces a complaints management policy for customers of regulated financial services. The Bank also requires licensed financial institutions to disclose interest rates, fees and charges and make available financial performance information in a specific format for comparison purposes.

 

  1. Papua New Guinea: The Bank of Papua New Guinea has a customer complaint handling and redress mechanism within regulated financial institutions, whereby these are required to provide updates to the Bank on a quarterly basis. During on-site examinations, the Bank checks to ensure that these are implemented and that complaints registers are maintained by the various regulated institutions.  A comprehensive Consumer Protection Strategy is currently under development.

 

  1. In 2017, the IFC is undertaking work, which will set out a high-level road map for establishing a Consumer Protection framework at the national level. This work is expected to culminate in a report to be submitted to the Bank of Papua New Guinea in 2018.

 

  1. Samoa: The Competition and Consumer Act 2016 governing amongst others, financial consumer protection, came into effect in July and is administered through the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour.

 

  1. Solomon Islands: The Central Bank of the Solomon Islands added to existing consumer protection policies relating to Disclosure of Interest Rates, Fees and Charges together with Complaints Management, with Practice Guidance 1 on ‘Use of Cash Agents in Solomon Islands’ developed in partnership with the ADB.  Guidance 1 is effective from August and requires quarterly reporting.

 

  1. In partnership with PFIP, in November, the Central Bank conducted a 2-day workshop for savings groups on consumer protection. Out of this workshop, the ‘Solomon Islands Savings Groups Members Rights’ were developed and subsequently endorsed by the National Financial Inclusion Taskforce.

 

  1. In addition, to work done with the Central Bank, the ADB is also working with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration on a competition and consumer policy. Public consultation on the policy document is currently underway.  A bill is expected to be submitted to Government for approval in 2018.

 

  1. Tonga: The National Reserve Bank of Tonga (NRBT) Act was amended in 2014 to enable the NRBT to regulate new areas of business including the protection of financial consumers. In addition to this, the Consumer Protection Act 2000 and Consumer Protection Regulation 2006 are currently being administered through the Ministry of Commerce and Labour and a consumer complaints mechanism offered through the Consumer Affairs Unit remains available to the public. In addition, over the year, work began on the draft Consumer Bill, draft Consumer Protection Regulations, draft Price Control Bill and a Price Control Regulation.  In 2017, the NRBT began work on a draft Financial Consumer Protection Policy.

 

  1. Within the country, consumer awareness and education programmes have gained momentum and has resulted in the publication of awareness via multiple media and communication channels.

 

  1. Vanuatu: The Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry has finalised its draft Consumer Protection and Competition Policy during the year and is expected to implement the same in 2018.

 

  1. In addition, the Reserve Bank and the Telecom Regulator are reviewing a Memorandum of Understanding that will formalise their working relationship on consumer protection relating to digital finance.

 

  1. Furthermore, the draft National Financial Inclusion Strategy for the next five years, to be finalised in early 2018, identifies consumer protection as a priority work area.

 

Goal 4: To halve the number of households without access to basic financial services

 

  1. All Central Banks have committed to increasing both access and usage of financial services of low income individuals across a broad range of financial services. The central banks continue to monitor their country commitments to the Maya Declaration[2], Money Pacific Goals 2020 and in the case of Fiji, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands the Better Than Cash Alliance.  At the regional and national level, the central banks actively champion and lead financial inclusion initiatives.

 

  1. Fiji: Against a national target of reaching 130,000 unbanked adults of which 50% are women, as of July, 51,927 new accounts were opened with commercial banks.  Work is in progress to provide gender disaggregated data.  At the same time, the Reserve Bank continues to regularly monitor, measure and map the number of financial access points, which may impact the attainment of the national target.

 

  1. In the area of microinsurance, the country launched its very first bundled insurance product in July. This was piloted with the members of the Sugar Cane Growers association and supplements other inclusive insurance products currently offered in the market.

 

  1. In January, the Fiji Government endorsed the Better Than Cash Alliance[3]. This was followed in November by a joint PFIP and BTCA national stakeholders workshop for key Government Ministries and departments, which was convened by the Ministry of Economy.  The workshop related to exploring opportunities for transformation of government payments and receipts to and from individuals to electronic channels paving the way for a digital ecosystem by leveraging information and communications technology.

 

  1. Papua New Guinea: The Bank of Papua New Guinea and the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI) has pursued a National Financial Inclusion Policy in relation to the country’s second Financial Inclusion Strategy (2016-2020).  The Strategy, is aimed at providing financial access and empowerment to an additional 2 million previously unserved and underserved individuals by December 2020.  Of this target, 50% will be women and 75% of the total adult population will have an account with a formal financial institution.  Progress against this target has seen 600,000 unbanked individuals reached through financial services and products.

 

  1. In November, the Better Than Cash Alliance held its inaugural country visit to PNG. It is expected that a national stakeholders workshop will subsequently follow in 2018.

 

  1. Samoa: The National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2017-2020, targets an additional 40,000 adults with improved financial services, of which a minimum of 50% must be women and 50% must be from rural communities. During the period, a revamped credit facility including a life insurance component for women and youth was introduced by the Samoa Development Bank.

 

  1. Solomon Islands: As part of its National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2016-2020, the country adopted a national target of the provision of access to formal financial services to an additional 300,000 Solomon Islanders by 2020, of which half of these active users, must be women. By the end of September 2017, 257,800 new deposit and mobile banking accounts were opened.  Apart from monitoring, the Central Bank of the Solomon Islands is working towards streamlining data that would provide unique number of customers and help monitor active users of financial services.

 

  1. The number of financial services access points continues to grow, in line with increased branchless and mobile banking services. Each province now has at least one financial service access point, with the central bank together with NFIT, exploring how to expand access points in rural areas.

 

  1. In May’17, the Solomon Islands became the third Pacific Island Government to endorse the Better Than Cash Alliance. In Octobe’17, two senior representatives from the Solomon Islands Ministry of Finance and Inland Revenue Department travelled to Rwanda as part of a Better Than Cash Alliance study tour relating to national implementation of digitised payments and receipts systems.  This was followed in November by an inaugural country visit to Solomon Islands by BTCA to meet with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury.  A joint PFIP and BTCA national stakeholders workshop for key Government stakeholders followed.  The workshop related to the transformation of government payments and receipts to and from individuals and built on a PFIP workshop to raise awareness around electronic payment channels held the previous year.

 

  1. Tonga: In August’17, the NRBT in partnership with PFIP and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, launched the National Demand Side Survey. The Demand Side Survey reported that 41% of the total adult population is banked with 10,797 adults having access to a deposit account held with a regulated financial service provider.  This year, NRBT data shows that for every 10,000 adults, there are now 89 access points, being an increase of 13 access points as reported in the Survey.  The proposed National Financial Inclusion Strategy to be developed and finalised in 2018, will include targets and a plan of action for moving ahead with financially including those currently excluded, which are inclusive of micro, small and medium enterprises.

 

  1. Vanuatu: The National Demand Side Survey report was launched by the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu and the PFIP during the year.  Developed in conjunction with the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, the survey found that 37% of the total adult population is banked, with 7,826 deposit accounts per 10,000 adults. Based on the survey, a draft Financial Inclusion Strategy to be launched in early 2018 has established specific targets for both individuals and businesses.

 

  1. Other Financial Inclusion Initiatives

 

  1. The six Pacific countries – Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu – with their respective Central Banks driving the national financial inclusion initiatives have prioritised the achievement of the 2020 Money Pacific goals. Countries with NFITs and NFIS have several ongoing activities and are actively involving key stakeholders in effective implementation of their national priorities. Digital financial services (DFS) has been deeply embedded as the way forward for financial inclusion, given the geography, physical infrastructure, cost of operations and population density of the various countries coupled with technological innovations that are taking place around the world and proliferating in the Pacific as well. It is an area that is expected to see significant advancements in the immediate future, not just for customers but also for government payments and receipts to and from individuals.

 

  1. Transforming government to persons (G2P) and persons to government (P2G) payments to electronic channels is being actively considered in Fiji and the Solomon Islands with national stakeholder workshops also held by PFIP in partnership with the central banks in Vanuatu and Samoa. This fits well with the national development goals of these countries where e-governance and enabling a digital economy are desired objectives. The BTCA commitments by Fiji, PNG and Solomon Islands also have measurable targets that require them to move most bulk G2P and P2G payments to electronic payment channels.
  2. The Central Bank of the Solomon Islands has progressed this further with the establishment of a Digital Financial Services Working Group established early this year. A key project being monitored by the Working Group is the PFIP grant and technical support project with the Inland Revenue Department (Ministry of Finance and Treasury, Solomon Islands Government) to modernise the country’s taxation system by 2018.  As a direct outcome of the modernisation project, an estimated 123,800 wage and salary employers and 3,684 small business will be able to undertake tax-related transactions in a timely and efficient manner and interact with the banking system to make tax payments and receive tax reimbursements, where eligible. Phase 1 of the project relating to corporate taxpayers and tax agents went live on 1 December 2017, with the remaining Phase 2 covering individual taxpayers envisaged to be implemented by July 2018.

 

  1. Micro-pensions is an area of work that has seen significant growth during the year. There are two of these types of products in the Pacific, the You Save product launched during the year by the Solomon Islands National Provident Fund (SINPF) and the Voluntary member product being used by the Fiji National Provident Fund.  Lessons learnt from both pilots are expected to be shared via a variety of knowledge products in 2018. A national stakeholder workshop convened jointly by SINPF and PFIP on 30th November 2017 discussed the findings from the pilot validation trials and there was consensus to prepare for a nationwide scale up of the informal sector micro-pensions deployment during 2018.

 

  1. PFIP during the year also worked closely with financial service providers like ANZ Bank (Solomon Islands), Vodafone Fiji, Westpac Bank PNG to set up Innovation Labs that are testing new mass market financial services using Human Centered Design techniques with a view to increase adoption and usage. The initial results are indicative of robust potential for further testing of specific use cases and building viable scalable business models.

 

  1. Inclusive insurance is also gaining the attention of all Pacific Governments and other stakeholders given the impact of disasters and climate-related risk exposures in the region. PFIP has been engaging insurance service providers in the region to develop innovative micro-insurance solutions targeted at the low-income Pacific households and small businesses to provide some form of risk mitigation.  A first of its kind bundled micro-insurance product has been successfully launched by FijiCare Insurance Company in partnership with PFIP.  Initially providing cover to 12,500 Fijian sugarcane farmers, this product will soon be extended to rice and dairy farmers in Fiji.  Efforts are underway to replicate the bundled micro-insurance initiative in other Pacific countries where there is keen demand and supply-side interest.
  2. The Bank of Papua New Guinea co-hosted the Financial Inclusion Innovation Summit (previously the biennial Pacific Microfinance Week) together with the Foundation for Development Cooperation (FDC) in Port Moresby in August. PFIP provided grant assistance to FDC besides leading technical sessions. The event was formally inaugurated by Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary-General of Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and was attended by over 150 policymakers, regulators and stakeholders from both the public and private sectors.

 

  1. The National Reserve Bank of Tonga hosted the 32nd annual meeting of the Central Bank Governors in December this year. As part of the agenda of this meeting, the Governors deliberated on matters pertaining to promoting financial inclusion together with the impacts of de-risking on remittances.  Financial inclusion remains a priority area for central banks and policymakers at the regional and national level.

 

  1. Conclusion

 

  1. Progress continues to be made by individual countries towards the 2020 Money Pacific goals. Countries like Fiji, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, who are early adopters of financial inclusion strategies have Phase 2 National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2016-2020, Samoa is implementing its first strategy 2016-2020 while Vanuatu is currently working towards rewriting its strategy, to be launched early 2018.  On the other hand, Tonga is currently working towards developing the country’s first National-level strategy.

 

  1. The regular interactions and dynamic collaboration amongst members of the Pacific Access to Finance Donor Group has optimised funding and technical assistance in support of inclusive finance. The Alliance for Financial Inclusion’s Pacific Island Regional Initiative continues to lead regional initiatives at the regulatory level and meets twice a year to agree on a set of priorities for collective action. Their work has been supported by the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, PFIP and other development partners, with the understanding that these partners’ involvement over the long-term is necessary for the advancements in financial inclusion.

 

  1. The involvement of national stakeholders has been catalytic, with a growing interest amongst both public, private and CSO sectors to participate and contribute to financial inclusion. Planned activities in all countries, are focused on mainstreaming financial inclusion into Government priorities, national development plans and budgets and work is underway in member countries to deepen engagement with governments at national and sub-national levels.  The priority also remains to engage with financial service providers who are looking to use innovative methods to supply sustainable and targeted products, services and solutions.

 

Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme, Suva

3 April 2018

[1] Using Fiji Bureau of Statistics data for population 15 years and above as per 1996 census.

[2] The Maya Declaration is a commitment to unlock the economic and social potential of the world’s 2 billion unbanked population through greater financial inclusion.  Launched in 2011, the Maya Declaration involves the establishment, tracking and sharing of concrete financial inclusion targets within a framework, which involves implementing and driving in-country policy changes.  All Central Banks have made or renewed Maya Declaration commitments.

[3] The Better Than Cash Alliance is a partnership of governments, companies, and international organisations that accelerates the transition from cash to digital payments in order to reduce poverty and drive inclusive growth.  Based at the UN, the BTCA firstly, advocates for the transition from cash to digital payments in a way that advances financial inclusion and promotes responsible digital finance.  Secondly, it provides a platform for research and sharing of member experiences.  Thirdly, the BTCA, catalyses the development of inclusive digital payments ecosystems in member countries to reduce costs, increase transparency, advance financial inclusion and drive inclusive growth. https://www.betterthancash.org/