Hopes to address low mobile money services usage through expert assistance
Despite the high number of people who have signed up for mobile money services in Fiji, the actual usage is still quite low. Reserve Bank of Fiji Governor, Barry Whiteside, said a large number of people have signed up with both mobile operators however, only three per cent of those registered are using the services. Therefore, Mr Whiteside said they hope to find out from experts how to increase this number during the Global Policy Forum which begins today on Denarau Island.
“We want to find out from the experts who have done this many times how they have done this,” he said. “How they have got people who have signed up to use the phone to make transfers etc. That is just one example.”
He added it is huge to get all these people from across the world to share their success and learn about their challenges.
Alliance for Financial Inclusion executive director, Alfred Hannig, said digital and technological evolution was an increasing issue for AFI. “Digital technology has had a big impact on financial inclusion but those of us who think we have reached the end of the learning curve will be disappointed,” he said. “We are just starting.” Mr Hannig pointed out eight years ago, when they started, they were looking at countries like Kenya and Philippines to be the big leaders in terms of driving financial inclusion through the mobile phones. “At that time we were using our mobile phones to make small transactions and transfers. Now we are talking about smartphone apps and more people get access, even people living in poverty,” he said. Now, Mr Hannig added they have smartphones which are much cheaper and more people were getting access to it. “On the other end the question is how do regulators respond to this and make financial transactions safe and sound in way that we ensure integrity and stability of the system,” he said.
“This is what the alliance is going to discuss – how do we deal with the technological innovations that allow us to drive financial inclusion but at the same time keep the risks in check.
“This is so financial inclusion can be done in a way that regulators and financial supervisors can monitor what is going on.”
Tanzania Bank Officials Nangi Massawe and Bernad Jadi at the annual meeting of Alliance for Financial Inclusion at the Sheraton Fiji Resort on Denarau Island yesterday.