Mastercard is a global payment and technology company that connects consumers, financial institutions, and merchants, as well as governments and businesses around the world.
Fintech Pacific is a next Generation Financial Technology provider, driving digital transformation to help Fiji
ygap is an international development organisation advancing global equity through locally-led, inclusive entrepreneurship, reducing structural barriers to access and inclusion within the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
A partnership to develop and deliver an innovative payments solution for women-led micro and small businesses in Fiji. Accessible to all, the technology empowers women market vendors to help lead Fiji’s digital transformation through a sustainable fintech product that in turn will drive down the cost of doing business.
Most market vendors in Fiji are women. Market stalls are typically informal businesses, reliant on daily sales for income and only able to accept cash payments. Fiji is moving online – in January 2020, internet penetration stood at 66% and the Government is now actively migrating to the digitisation of national services. Progress has been made by Mastercard and Fiji-based financial instituitions to drive the adoption of cashless payments and digital financial services, such as chip and contactless technology, savings accounts and by the Government to improve the enabling environment for this to occur. International travelers also prefer to engage and transact using digital payment options, avoiding withdrawing cash or exchanging foreign currency. These trends have the potential to leave informal market women market vendors in Fiji behind. Being unable to accept digital payments impedes these vendors from attracting, serving, and upselling these consumers. Traditional banks in Fiji are not offering solutions for this segment, which also limits women’s ability to save money.
About the initiative
The partnership will develop and pilot an accessible, tailored digital mobile phone payment acceptance and saving capability for 400 women-led micro and small businesses in Fiji, along with conducting the associated training required for adoption. The solution will be developed based on research into customer experience and needs through a human-centred design process. Women market vendors will have access to a fast and accessible digital wallet as well as a safe and convenient way to accept card payments from international and domestic consumers. The online payment platform will help to increase women’s incomes by reaching customers, all whilst strengthening their financial and digital literacy. This will allow women micro traders to increase their incomes as the economy recovers from COVID-19 by capturing more of the domestic market wanting to support local businesses, as well as being ready to accept payments from tourists when borders reopen. After the initial pilot, the solution will look to expand to offer services to more women-led businesses in Fiji.
Supporting women to grow their business and control their assets
The initiative will place control of women’s income and assets in the hands of women. The payment platform will help women to save and grow their operations. The initiative supports 400 women with financial literacy training and access to the platform. Long term, the initiative has the potential to create a wider systemic impact for informal market vendors in Fiji, with increased financial literacy and opportunities to grow their business, assets and status. The partners will use human-centred design processes to further understand and address the barriers for women to engage with formal financial institutions.
Key contributions from partners
Fintech Pacific is responsible for the design and development of the core product application of financial services as well as ongoing customer support and application updates.
Mastercard links the secure payment platform to their global payment network.
ygap will engage Fiji’s women entrepreneurs by leading contextualised, community-led business and financial training, supporting human-centred design, and advocating for their adoption of the platform.
Australian Government is providing catalytic funding, gender expertise to strengthen social and commercial impacts, connection to an extensive network, support to capture and report social impact, safeguards standards and practices, national and global recognition.
Hear from the partners
Collectively, we have the tools, technology and capabilities to think big and deliver. Mastercard is committed to financial inclusion and ensuring people around the world have access to financial services, delivering a digital economy that works for all. Together with our partners at the BPP, ygap and Fintech Pacific who share this vision, we’re excited to show how we can harness technology to give people more control, better experiences, new opportunities and wider choices,” Richard Wormald, Division President, Australasia at Mastercard.
Photo by ygap
“This locally-led, holistic and innovative partnership champions inclusion for women vendors who traditionally face more barriers in business. By addressing the issue at both a micro and macro level, from small businesses into the market, women are empowered to grow their income, increase their financial security, support their families and help their communities. Fiji will now be better equipped to recover from COVID-19’s devastating economic impact,” Audrey Jean-Baptiste, Director of Strategy and Operations at ygap.