Partner: Vodafone Fiji
Date: April 01, 2017 – September 30, 2018
PFIP Grant: USD $529,800
PFIP Direct Contract: USD $176,000
Target: 60,000 new active customers
Current reach: 11,237 (As at Dec 2017)
Fijians have been eager adopters of financial services, when they are accessible. Around 60% of the population has signed up for a bank account. Similarly, both Vodafone and Digicel signed up significant numbers of subscribers to their respective mobile money services when they launched in 2010. However, usage of all types of account services is limited in Fiji. A large number of accounts are inactive, or are used exclusively for withdrawing money paid by an employer or public sector payer.
Moreover, still 40% of adult Fijians do not have access to any formal financials services. The access to financial infrastructure is particularly limited outside of the two main islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, which account for more than 80% of the financial infrastructure. The challenge is to provide financial services that are accessible and serve a practical purpose that overcome key barriers such as distance and transaction costs.
The Vodafone mobile financial services Innovation Lab project will design and test financial services and delivery models to increase the user base and transaction activity on the Vodafone M-PAiSA mobile money platform to a level that is commercially scalable.
The project will deliver three core achievements.
The project will employ human-centred design techniques and experts to create services that inspire enthusiastic adoption and usage by Fijians, in particular women.
The ‘Innovation Lab’ will design, test and validate financial services over a period of 18 months that are delivered through the mobile money channel for low-income Fijians. The Lab team will start by creating an ecosystem of active agents and customers in select high activity zones. The team will mobilize over 60,000 Vodafone active users to the M-PAiSA platform and expand the active agent network from the existing 120 to 180 by September 2018. The team will start by creating an active customer base for two of its existing services: remittances, and utility payments. In the second phase, the Lab will design, prototype and test savings and credit products to create more use cases for varied household needs.
The Lab will also focus on creating financial solutions for priority segments, especially women. It will conduct tests to make the financial services and the agency channel ‘women-friendly’, addressing the challenges of security and economic marginalization.
The Innovation Lab will operate parallel to current Vodafone M-PAiSA operations. As the product tests are validated, the Vodafone M-PAiSA team will incorporate them into the larger Vodafone operations, expanding the scale of the impact to the national level. In addition, Vodafone aspires to spread all viable parts of its business model to its other markets in the South Pacific.
The Vodafone M-PAiSA Innovation Lab team will also use design tools and processes to build the components of a successful financial service delivery model. Project activities will focus on targeted customer research, user experience mapping, channel management, product development and rapid prototyping of solutions that improve the customer experience with the M-PAiSA agent channel. Successful solutions will be developed to the point that they can be scaled by Vodafone.
Vodafone is Fiji’s leading mobile network provider. It provides telecom services to the entire Fijian group of Islands and currently has over 700,000 registered customers, who are serviced through a network of about 2,200 airtime resellers.