The UNCDF Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme has had significant success extending access to formal financial services in the Pacific. However, some of the high-profile projects focused on the distribution of digital financial services it has supported have had difficulty maintaining scale and many have ceased operations altogether. Therefore, it is important to understand the lessons from these experiences, especially when designing an array of new projects by UNCDF in the Pacific in the years ahead.
This report presents the findings from interviews and datasets on the key constraints to scaling of Digital Financial Services (DFS) especially mobile money platforms in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands. Twenty experts in mobile money and agent banking were interviewed to gather hypotheses on the drivers of these difficulties in the Pacific region. These hypotheses were analyzed against global datasets on financial inclusion in the developing world to determine if these challenges were unique to the Pacific and if there was precedence for overcoming them.