The growing availability of digital financial services (DFS) and emerging digital platforms in Samoa can provide unique capital-building tools and resources for accelerating financial inclusion and inclusive growth for the last mile. To realize this potential, strengthening digital and financial literacy (DFL) of all population segments, especially the marginalized and low-income groups is essential.
Improved financial and digital literacy can contribute to strengthened consumer protection and resilience to major financial shocks. The Government of Samoa recognizes the urgency of equipping the citizens with relevant digital and financial management and decision-making skills so they can harness DFS to the benefit of their financial health and well-being.
So, the Samoa National Financial Inclusion Strategy (2022/23-2025/26) adopted ‘Vibrant DFS Ecosystem’ and ‘Consumer Protection and Financial Capability’ as key strategic pillars, complemented with efforts to strengthen digital and financial literacy across all population segments.
In this context, it is essential to assess the status of financial and digital literacy in Samoa to design and implement evidence backed interventions. To date however, efforts to improve digital and financial literacy and implement targeted interventions have been significantly challenged by a lack of updated DFL data in Samoa on which to base these efforts and track the progress. To address this gap, UNCDF conducted the Digital and Financial Literacy Survey in Samoa and six other Pacific Island countries (Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga and Timor-Leste) to assess the current state of digital and financial literacy within each country. The research explores experiences with traditional and digital financial services to-date, in addition to assessing basic competencies in the areas of digitization and finance.
The survey findings will be used to develop and implement targeted interventions for improving digital financial competencies among women, MSMEs, youth, migrant workers, and rural communities. The survey results are intended to serve as a baseline from which future changes in competencies, access, and usage can be measured by the regulators and development partners.