In 2015, PFIP and the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (along with two other Pacific Island Countries) co-published a large scale demand-side survey, building a comprehensive picture of the country’s financially under-served segments, including women. The results were used as the main evidence base in developing the country’s second national financial inclusion strategic plan.
In 2016, PFIP supported the Central Bank of Solomon Islands in developing the country’s National Financial Inclusion Strategic Plan 2016-2020, based on clear global and regional mandates from Solomon Island’s Maya Declaration and MoneyPacific Goals commitments. By 2020, the plan’s key objectives are that 70% (300,000) of Solomon Islander adults (of whom at least half are women) will be active users of formal or semi-formal financial accounts, and that 90% of the population will have a financial service access point within one hour of their homes.
PFIP partnered with ANZ Bank to expand ANZ goMoney mobile banking to rural areas of the country through the coconut value chain in 2016. PFIP provided both grant support and direct technical assistance in the form of an Innovation Lab. The project hopes to inspire customers to use the mobile money channel for other financial services, including savings and utility payments. Through this project, PFIP has been able to also work on a school fees payments project, a previously expensive and time consuming task for rural dwelling Solomon Islanders. Schools have been added to ANZ goMoney payments options.
PFIP is working with the Solomon Islands National Provident Fund to pilot improved voluntary micro pension products targeted at economically active Solomon Islanders without pension schemes. The aim is to create appropriate, affordable and flexible micro pension product offerings which better meet the needs of the target group to provide adequate funds for their retirement. The project was scaled in 2018 and will be rolled out nationwide through the use of innovative technology like biometrics on a tablet based system.
PFIP worked with South Pacific Business Development to expand microfinance operations in rural Solomon Islands, as well as offering solar loans for household lighting kits from 2015 – 2017.
PFIP also supported World Vision Solomon Islands to pilot best practice savings group methodology developed by PFIP. Since June 2015, World Vision has established 49 savings groups, with over 1,000 members by 2016, of whom 55% are women. PFIP also supported a feasibility study on digitizing savings groups, this project has been taken over by World Vision.
In 2017, PFIP also supported the modernization of Solomon Islands Government’s Revenue Management System through a grant to Solomon Islands Inland Revenue Department. As a direct outcome of this modernization project, an estimated 123,800 wage and salary employees, 200 corporate taxpayers and 3,684 small businesses will be able to undertake tax-related transactions with the Solomon Islands Government in a timely and efficient manner. The project will result in end-to-end automation of the receipt, assessment, payment and reimbursement of all tax types involving both, corporate and individual clients of the IRD.