Country: Fiji, Vanuatu
Partner: Digicel Pacific
Date: February 2011— December, 2013
Grant: USD $225,000
Target: 75,000 active clients
Reach: 49,929 unique clients (as of 31st December 2016)
Formal savings for low income families remains a major challenge in Fiji. Changing or developing new behaviors around savings requires innovative approaches combined with the right products. In the past, savings has been limited to bank accounts with minimum balance fees, or automatic deductions from paychecks for credit unions.
In 2011, an estimated 450,000 people in Fiji—half of the population—owned mobile phones. Mobile network operators (MNOs) in Fiji experienced considerable early success in registering their clients as mobile money users with nearly 200,000 registered users participating in either Vodafone MPAISA or Digicel’s Mobile Money (DMM). However usage remains fairly modest.
The challenge for MNOs is to develop targeted use of mobile money that draws clients into the system and encourage transactions.
Topping up mobile phone credit is an activity that the majority of the population engages in on a weekly basis. Tying savings to this habitual activity could allow MNO subscribers to save incrementally over a fixed period of time.
To increase mobile wallet usage, MNOs developed targeted uses of mobile money that draw clients into the system and encourage transactions. This project extended piloting a planned and restricted microsavings option that was linked to clients’ mobile wallets.
Digicel had expressed interest in offering a microsavings product as part of its customer services outreach and recognizes the benefits of linking such savings to top up.
Following on from previous support to Digicel’s predecessor, FlexPacific to develop the business case for rolling out Digicel mobile money in the Pacific, PFIP supported Digicel with the launch of the Digicel Mobile Money product in Fiji, and pilot in Vanuatu. PFIP’s grant enabled Digicel to expand its rural agent network, a crucial element of a successful mobile money strategy in the region.
About Digicel Pacific, Ltd
Digicel Group is a leading global communications provider with operations in 33 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific. After 13 years of operation, total investment to date stands at over US$5 billion worldwide. The company is renowned for delivering best value, best service and best network.
Digicel also runs a host of community-based initiatives across its markets and has set up Digicel Foundations in Haiti, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea and Trinidad and Tobago which focus on educational, cultural and social development programmes.