To help address the challenge of financial inclusion in Pacific Island Countries (PICs), the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) is launching the Pacific Islands FinTech Innovation Challenge.

The challenge aims to attract local and global FinTechs with market-ready solutions to address identified problem statements which represent the challenges faced by Pacific Islands Countries in developing the digital payments ecosystem.

Funded by the UNCDF, Market Development Facility (MDF) , and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the challenge will strengthen cross-sector collaboration by bringing together the financial ecosystem in PICs to support innovation and financial inclusion.

UNCDF invites eligible applicants to submit a proposal for live solutions that addresses one or more of the following challenges. You can also find more information on implementing partners and access some FAQs here:

Frequently Asked Questions

Information on Implementing Partners

Implementing partners for the Challenge include: Home Finance Company Limited (Fiji), National Bank of Samoa, Solomon Islands National Provident Fund, Tonga Development Bank, Vodafone Fiji and the Fiji Development Bank

Challenge 1: Improving access to financial products and services

Geographic Focus: Tonga and Samoa

The Tonga Development Bank (TDB) and National Bank of Samoa (NBS) are seeking the design of a digital finance solution that can address challenges around financial product access and usage.

Challenge 2: Digitizing customer service

Geographic Focus: Fiji

The Fiji Development Bank (FDB) is seeking a solution that can address challenges around servicing customers of the implementing partner by streamlining and automating customer service inquiries.

Challenge 3: Increasing usage of financial products and services

Geographic Focus: Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands National Provident Fund (SINPF) is seeking a FinTech to create a solution that encourages savings using formal financial channels.

Challenge 4: Streamlining foreign exchange

Geographic Focus: Fiji

Vodafone Fiji is seeking a platform to enable foreign exchange across the Pacific Island countries leveraging the network of the region’s mobile network operators (MNOs) and money transfer operators (MTOs).

Challenge 5: Enabling E-Commerce and in-person POS merchant payment services

Geographic Focus: Fiji, Samoa

Home Finance Company (HFC) and National Bank of Samoa (NBS) are seeking a merchant payments solution that enables both online e-commerce payments and in-person POS transactions for merchants, settled in an account with our local partner banks.

Entity registration

  • The applicant/lead applicant must be a registered entity in any country with at least 2 years of operations as a FinTech company.
  • The applicant/lead applicant must have audited financial statements for at least one operating year; if audited financial statements are not available at the time of application, the applicant must provide the latest management accounts.


Relevant operation licenses (when applicable)

  • The lead applicant must be legally able to operate as a technology provider and have appropriate regulatory licenses in its home country. If the applicant plans to provide a financial product and/or service directly in the target geography, the applicant should either have licensing or a reasonable plan to partner with a licensed provider in the target country.


Country of operation

  • The applicant can be registered and conducting operations anywhere globally.


Consortiums (when applicable)

  • Applicants can apply only once under this RFA, whether independently or in a consortium.
  • Joint applications between market players in the target country or countries are encouraged if the solution proposed will expand delivery networks and promote rural and/or other last-mile access to market and financial services.
  • Applications from consortiums should be attached with the signed consortium agreement.
  • The lead applicant and their partners in the consortium must be registered entities with at least two years of operations and must have statutory accounts and audited financial statements for at least one operating year. If audited financial statements are not available at the time of application, the applicant must provide the latest management accounts and provide UNCDF with audited financial statements during the partnership


Solutions to be supported

  • Must have a live solution with an active customer and/or user base and should not be in development or testing phase. Active customer/user defined as having transacted with the start-up/solution at least once in the last 90 days.

Winning FinTechs will receive:

FinTechs are to submit their application, along with the required documents, through our dedicated online UNCDF Plug-and-Play e-investment platform.

Inquiries to applications may be submitted by email to:
ajay.jagannath@uncdf.org cc uncdf.rfa@uncdf.org.
For any email enquiries, please include in your subject line: “The Pacific Islands FinTech Innovation Challenge”

The UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 46 least developed countries.

Pacific Digital Economy Programme

The Pacific Digital Economy Programme (PDEP) is one of the successor programmes of the UNCDF Pacific flagship Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP). PDEP supports the development of inclusive digital economies in the Pacific by applying digital solutions that meet the needs of vulnerable islanders, narrowing the digital divide.

The initiative is implemented in Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands.

PDEP is jointly administered by UNCDF, UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and is funded by the Australian government.

Sponsoring Partners:

Supporting Partners:

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Knowledge Partner:

Donors:

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