The Pacific Island countries, with small and scarce populations, limited natural resources, and poor financial literacy, have limited uptake of new technologies despite efforts to develop payments infrastructure. Further, ecological considerations, lack of interoperability amongst current platforms, and non-uniform regulations have added to the challenge. The emergence of fintech and other nonbank financial services providers could be an opportunity for the Pacific Island countries to increase financial inclusion and support overall economic growth. In many other regions and jurisdictions worldwide, digital payments have helped bring individuals into the formal financial ecosystem and find new sources of economic growth.
This report looks at the existing barriers to the development of new payments infrastructure in the Pacific Island countries, and presents paths to overcome these barriers, focusing on three main areas: infrastructure challenges, regulatory hurdles, and increasing consumer adoption of digital payments.