Challenge 1: Platform for e-commerce (Vodafone Fiji)

Partner: Vodafone Fiji

Country: Fiji

Website: www.vodafone.com.fj

 

 

 

Vodafone Fiji is the market leading mobile network provider in Fiji. It provides telecom services in Fiji and has sister partnerships in other Pacific countries through its holding company Amalgamated Telecom Holding (ATH), acquiring mobile network providers in Kiribati, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Samoa, American Samoa and Cook Islands.

PFIP has partnered with Vodafone and its subsidiaries in a number of different projects and has provided support to set up an innovation lab, out of which various new services for its M-PAiSA mobile money platform have been launched in recent years.

 

Challenge

During the last ten years, telecommunications in Fiji and in the Pacific has improved significantly. Economic deregulation and the roll out of a mobile network across various island nations connected many Pacific Islanders to the internet, mainly through smartphones. Significant additional investments are being made in the underlying telecom infrastructure, e.g. fibre-optic cables and roll out of 4G networks to keep up with the rapidly increasing market demand for more bandwidth as digital service offerings increase. Additionally, with support from PFIP and other development partners, investments have been made in the digital payments infrastructure.

On the back of these investments in telecom and payments, more and more Pacific-based companies are exploring the possibility of selling goods and services online. However, compared to other parts of the world and especially South East Asia, e-commerce in the Pacific can still be considered at its infancy. Only a few of the Pacific-based companies, such as hotels and airlines have made some strides into this space.

International trends in e-commerce have shown that a rising penetration of smartphones and most people connecting with the internet through social media platforms are critical elements for an e-commerce eco-system. Additionally, at the heart of any e-commerce eco-system lies a robust system of payments and other financial services that can offer a variety of payment services, both international as well as domestic, and also provide other complementary financial services, such as merchant credit facilities and instant credit at check-out. This means that integration with a wide range of systems and platforms from various stakeholders in this ecosystem must be made much easier than it is nowadays.

Vodafone Fiji with its M-PAiSA platform and networking capacity has the ambition to be positioned as the leading service provider and to play the role of a facilitator of e-commerce in the Pacific, and to connect and integrate the various e-commerce stakeholders, with a focus on merchants, content providers and financial service providers.

 

 

Vodafone Challenge representation

Vodafone Fiji is looking at an integrated or specialized solution to enable its entry into the e-commerce domain. Vodafone Fiji is open to looking at specialized or specific e-commerce content such as education, entertainment, skill/certifications etc. or the sale of specialized goods/services such as medicine, appointments, travel, ride-shares etc. Vodafone Fiji will be the facilitator with its communication, IT expertise and its multi-modal payments platform of M-PAiSA with the service provider enabling the pathway for entry into a specific or wide arena of the e-commerce ecosystem. Vodafone Fiji is keen to also have a platform which enables onboarding of 3rd parties and Vodafone aspires to play the role of a marketplace administrator.

Therefore, Vodafone Fiji is looking for FinTech solutions that can support it to position itself as a facilitator and provider of an e-commerce platform which can then be leveraged for multiple merchant categories and across multiple Pacific Island Countries.

 

The value proposition for the FinTech

  • Work with the market leader that holds 80% of the telecom market in Fiji with an extensive agency network.
  • Opportunity to enter other Pacific markets beyond Fiji through ATH shareholding in multiple Pacific MNOs
  • Opportunity to leverage existing connections and partnerships with financial service providers, such as banks and Money Transfer Operators.
  • Leverage existence of the robust M-PAiSA payments platform (processing payments upwards of FJ$ 200 million/year)  and similar mobile money offerings across other PIC’s
  • Strong innovation culture through its in-house Innovation Lab

 

The value proposition for the FinTech

  • Work with the market leader that holds 80% of the telecom market in Fiji with an extensive agency network.
  • Opportunity to enter other Pacific markets beyond Fiji through ATH shareholding in multiple Pacific MNOs
  • Opportunity to leverage existing connections and partnerships with financial service providers, such as banks and Money Transfer Operators.
  • Leverage existence of the robust M-PAiSA payments platform (processing payments upwards of FJ$ 200 million/year)  and similar mobile money offerings across other PIC’s
  • The flexibility to get into an all-encompassing or even a niche/specialized e-commerce domain
  • Strong innovation culture through its in-house Innovation Lab

 

Other Relevant Information

  1. Know about the Vodafone Fiji M-PAiSA platform (click here)
  2. Fiji National Financial Inclusion Strategic Plan (click here)
  3. Study on the financial competency of Fijian (click here)
  4. Financial services demand side survey findings for Fiji (click here)
  5. Financial services sector assessment for Fiji (click here)
  6. Document on the cost of business, property rights, and the legal framework in Fiji (click here)
  7. The government of Fiji’s official website for information on doing business and investment policies (click here). Also, check the section on ICT sector profile and incentives (here).
  8. Reserve Bank of Fiji Governor’s presentation on Digital Commerce in Fiji, slightly outdated but relevant (click here)
  9. Doing business and economy profile of Fiji 2019 (click here)
  10. Fiji Commerce Commissions draft guidelines on e-commerce business in Fiji (click here)