Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme

Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme

The Challenge

The Pacific is one of the least banked region in the world. In some Pacific countries, fewer than ten percent of the population is estimated to have access to basic financial services. Challenging geography, poor infrastructure, persistent poverty and subsistence livelihoods have all contributed to a lack of financial inclusion in a region that spans a third of the earth’s surface and is home to roughly 6.5 million largely low-income people. Without easy access to formal financial services, Pacific Islanders can face huge costs – financial costs if they have to resort to informal money lenders or pay high commissions; transaction costs if they have to travel considerable distances to reach a physical bank; and opportunity costs if they have to forge potential new ventures because the necessary financial services are unavailable.

How We Are Helping?

UNCDF, together with UNDP, AusAID and the EU, has created the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP).

The PFIP strategy involves finding new ways of serving hard-to-reach populations, while fostering greater commitment and cooperation to build inclusive financial systems throughout the region. At the core of its efforts is building branchless banking platforms that can reach low income and rural households, the vast majority of which are unbanked. The programme aims to reach by 2012 500,000 clients of which 250,000 were previously unbanked.

The programme also supports a government-to-person payment project, in which social welfare recipients are able to receive their stipends electronically, rather than through a voucher and cash-based system.

In Detail

Additional Information

Reuben Summerlin
Regional Financial Inclusion Advisor
and PFIP Project Manager
reuben.summerlin@uncdf.org

Project

Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP)

Goal500,000 additional individuals and/or small and microenterprises in the PICs have access to one or more appropriate financial services by end of 2013.
How
  • Assist partners in conducting the necessary demand and client research, as well as  outreach campaigns to increase uptake of new services;
  • Work with branchless banking partners to pilot test and launch services that better suit low income, rural populations and women;
  • Improve overall all data collection by PFIP, its partners and central banks;
  • Enhance consumer education, awareness and protection efforts, delivered through partners;
  • Conduct impact and development results research and share broadly to inform stakeholders on how to improve financial inclusion and financial literacy efforts.
Period2008-2013
Active InFiji, Papua-New-Guinea, Samoa, Solomon-Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu.
PartnersUNCDF, UNDP, AusAID, EU.
Total project cost and UNCDF contributionUSD 15.7 million
USD 1.8 million

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