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Digital payments

Monika Singh
Thursday, December 07, 2017

A PILOT initiative launched yesterday will give low income earners and people employed in the informal sector a chance to make voluntary contributions to the Fiji National Provident Fund.

The new mobile phone-based digital payments platform will be through the Vodafone M-PAiSA platform and will allow voluntary members to make contributions to their retirement savings through digital channels.

Launched yesterday, the service offers a convenient payment option for labourers, market vendors and those who may be self-employed such as those in the agriculture sector, to register and start saving for their old age through an FNPF account.

Registered M-PAiSA users can dial *567# to access the service on their Vodafone and Inkk mobile.

A joint statement from FNPF and the United Nations Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme said they would test the new innovative mobile payments solution that would allow low-income earners in the informal sector to make small contributions conveniently any time, anywhere using their Vodafone MPAiSA account.

FNPF's chief finance officer Pravinesh Singh said they were excited to test the digital collection platform which was aimed at helping workers in the informal sector to save.

"This product makes it possible for them to save money towards their retirement. The amount saved becomes their income once they are too old to work or if they become unfit due to old age, illness or injury, or can be used to support their families after the death of the family member," said Mr Singh.

PFIP deputy program manager Krishnan Narasimhan said they were excited to partner FNPF on this venture as they continued to empower more people to save for their retirement.

"Often people in the informal sector are financially excluded and therefore vulnerable and subject to neglect if family members are unable to care for them," said Mr Narasimhan.

Vodafone Fiji head of e-commerce and corporate affairs, Shailendra Prasad said mobile based payment systems were helping achieve greater financial inclusion, particularly for the vulnerable and women in unprecedented ways.

"We are delighted to offer a highly accessible and convenient mobile payment channel to make voluntary FNPF contributions a reality.

"Mobile phone-based payment systems are helping achieve greater financial inclusion around the world particularly for the vulnerable and women in unprecedented ways."

According to the statement, FNPF will test this initiative and will monitor users over the next six to nine months and gauge whether they will continue to save at regular intervals and will study and analyse their behaviours, attitudes and motivation to do so.

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