PFIP uses the financial innovation workstream to support the development of digital financial channels and services for underbanked mass market customers in the Pacific Island countries.  Over the past seven years, PFIP has funded over 20 service providers whose implementations have reached over 1.6 million Pacific Islanders with improved access to formal financial services in the region. These results represent the first generation of financial service providers who have developed digital channels and cash merchant networks and launched robust customer acquisition campaigns.
 
These new digital platforms have also enabled product innovation with financial services, including micro-insurance using mobile top-up, pay-as-you-go schemes for solar energy, low-cost domestic and international remittances, and low-cost transaction accounts with improved access in remote areas. These first generation efforts have launched a significant number of underbanked Pacific Islanders on a customer journey towards financial inclusion. PFIP’s demand side research documents stories of villagers in remote provinces using banking services for the first time, households saving significant amounts on international remittances, rural households acquiring solar power systems, and low-income customers purchasing the hospital and life insurance through digital payments.  Importantly, over half the customers are women.  However, most customers are still in the first step of experimenting with formal financial services. Adoption is early stage, and this is reflected in the business case of the providers, who have yet to achieve a level of customer adoption that is commercially scalable.
 
PFIP’s strategy has evolved as the markets have rolled out these first generation implementations. Moving forward, PFIP is focused on accelerating the innovation that will improve the customer experience and, ultimately, adoption of financial services.  The Innovation Labs are PFIP’s core instrument for resourcing structured and focused design and innovation initiatives that leverage the digital platforms.
 
The goal of PFIP engagement with providers is to develop a service or product that inspires low income customers to use digital financial service channels.  We believe that success will come from solutions that remove a pain point or substantially improve some aspect of the daily financial life of mass market customers.  These customers will weigh any new solution against traditional cash-based practices they know.  The solution will likely be low fidelity.  It will be very inexpensive for the customer. It will be at the frontier of the digital world and the analog world that mass market customers live in.

Projects

Fiji Care – Bundled Micro Insurance

Pilot and test a pioneering combined (bundled) insurance cover that is primarily targeted at the low- income Fijians households.

RESPAC – Insurance based solutions

Research, test, design & prototype insurance products, to help the business community address climate and disaster risks across the region.

Inland Revenue Division

Modernization of Government’s Revenue Management System, vastly transforming the tax and payment landscape in the Solomon Islands.

Westpac – Choice Wantok (PNG)

Test and validate a financial service delivery model for the low-income Highland population - Westpac’s Instore platform

Vodafone Mpaisa

Design and test financial services and delivery models to increase the user base and transaction activity on the Vodafone M-PAiSA

FNPF – Voluntary micropension research & pilot

Research & pilot voluntary pension products targeted at informal sector employed Fijians without pension & test digital contributions.

SINPF – Voluntary Micropension Research & Pilot

Research and piloting of new pension products targeted at informal sector employed Solomon Islanders without pension schemes.

BIMA – Pacific Expansion

Affordable microinsurance products offered to low-income, financially underserved in Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa and Nauru.

BIMA – PNG

Affordable mobile microinsurance products offered to low-income, rural, financially underserved Papua New Guineans.

SPBD – Solar Energy Loans

Affordable solar energy solution for household lighting financed through specialised microloans for Solomon Islander women.

SPBD – Microfinance Expansion

Expansion of microfinance operations to reach women microentrepreneurs in rural communities in the Solomon Islands.

ANZ – Expansion of goMoney

Expansion of ANZ’s goMoney™ network into rural areas of the Solomon Islands, with a focus on agricultural value chains.

World Vision – Savings Groups

An enhanced savings club methodology was rolled out in a rural area of the Solomon Islands to reach a nearly 100% unbanked population.

HFC – Agency Banking

Mobile money deployment targeting Fiji's rural and maritime population using Vodafone's MPAISA platform and agent network.

MiBank Pay-as-you-go Solar Platform

Pilot project to enable digital solar loan PAYG payments via MiCash platform, providing off-grid PNG households affordable power.

BSP – Mobile Banking Rollout

Expansion of BSP’s branchless banking product to rural areas of the Solomon Islands, targeted at low-income customers.

Digicel Tonga & Samoa

Expansion of Digicel mobile money services and agent network to Tonga and Samoa, enabling affordable transfer, payment and savings services.

Digicel Fiji & Vanuatu

Launch of Digicel mobile money services and agent network in Fiji and Vanuatu, enabling affordable transfer, payment and savings services.

KlickEx Remittances

Low-cost, fast and secure international remittance service for Fiji, Samoa & Tonga, delivered in partnership with Digicel Mobile Money.

Westpac – Digitising Welfare Payments

Digitising social welfare payments in Fiji, the first successful digitization of government cash transfer in the Pacific.