Welcome to this Public Awareness article, prepared by the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF). An inclusive financial system is one where everyone has the opportunity to access appropriate and affordable financial services and products. This is very important because it means the poor and low-income clients are also provided with affordable financial services tailored to their needs. Access to financial services is critical for both economic growth and human development. The Fiji Financial Services Sector Assessment 2010, indicated that approximately 35 – 40 percent of the population in Fiji, do not have access to basic financial services. This article introduces Mobile Money and how it contributes to a more inclusive financial system for all.
A few years back, the mobile phone was a luxury and only the rich could afford one. This has changed with time and right now everyone has a cell phone which can do more than just make a call or send a text message.
What is Mobile Money?
Mobile Money refers to the use of mobile phones to facilitate financial transactions such as making deposits and withdrawals, money transfers or making payments to companies’. In Fiji we are already witnessing the use of mobile phones as a means of sending money and making payments for example electricity and water bills, etc. Mobile money is an innovative and effective service that can generate and support economic activities not only in areas where financial services are easily accessible but more so in locations where there are limited financial services available. In Fiji, it is estimated that the local mobile phone network operators have more than 90 percent coverage of Fiji’s geographical location, with an estimated 700,000 people having access to mobile phones. This presents the opportunity to reach, communities living in remote locations and who do not have access to banking services.