Suva, Fiji 28 October 2022 – Hundreds of Fijian women-led micro and small businesses will be able to accept digital payments easily and securely on mobile devices, with a new digital payment platform launched today by Mastercard, ygap, an international development organisation, and Fintech Pacific, in partnership with the Australian Government’s Business Partnerships Platform (BPP).
With many visitors to Fiji now preferring to pay by smart phone, or credit and debit card, small businesses that cannot accept digital payments have been missing out on sales. The new app, named ‘Dua,’ is designed to meet the needs of women-led small businesses in Fiji. It offers business owners an easily accessible, convenient, simple and secure way to accept these payments.
A pilot is now live, with several women-led businesses onboarded as part of the initial phase, and 400 expected to participate in the program over the next two years. This new initiative is expected to provide a further boost to Fiji’s economic recovery post-COVID-19.
Australian Chargé d’Affaires to Fiji, John Williams, said Australia was committed to supporting sustainable and inclusive economic growth in Fiji through engagement with the private sector.
“The Australian Government is proud to support innovative private sector-led initiatives such as this platform, which will help women entrepreneurs in Fiji attract new customers and grow their businesses. I am excited to see the pilot now live and look forward to watching the technology become widespread throughout Fiji,” he said.
Ruth Riviere, Country Manager, New Zealand and Pacific Islands, Mastercard emphasised how the technology will impact the financial empowerment of women, traders and small businesses, by improving their access to digital financial services.
“The new payment solution addresses socio-economic and cultural barriers, creates more opportunity, and increases financial inclusion, sustainability and independence. This initiative would not have been possible without Australia’s Business Partnerships Platform, which created the opportunity for Mastercard, ygap and Fintech Pacific to combine their unique skills and capabilities to create an enduring solution for a problem, that in the past, seemed very difficult to solve. The project shows the benefits of collaboration between government, industry, and the NGO sector to bring about sustainable and impactful change,” concluded Riviere.
Businesses participating in the pilot will receive training to facilitate easy use of the new technology, including a step-by-step guide on accepting digital payments.
Westpac Fiji is supporting Fintech Pacific during the pilot, providing the infrastructure that facilitates the clearing and settlement of funds through merchant services.