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    RESERVE BANK OF FIJI

     

    FIJI’S FINANCIAL INCLUSION INDICATORS

    A.    Background

    1. The financial inclusion indicators are an integral tool in tracking the progress of our financial inclusion initiatives. The indicators primarily focus on three dimensions: access, usage and quality[1].  The indicators are also used to develop policies and formulate strategies to promote financial inclusion in a country.
    2. Fiji’s financial inclusion indicators’ are adopted from AFI’s Core Set of Indicators and PIRI’s Core Plus Indicators.
    3. In 2013 the general framework for the financial inclusion indicators were approved by the Policy Committee[2].
    4. The Reserve Bank in the last three years has only been able to report on two dimensions: access and limited usage indicators. The main reason for not being able to report on all aspects is largely due to limited demand-side data.
    5. The conclusion and release of the Financial Services Demand-Side Survey[3] (DSS) in 2015 is a major accomplishment for Fiji as that now enables the reporting of all three dimensions of financial inclusion.

    B.    Objective

    6.  The objective of this paper is to provide an update of the complete set of financial inclusion indicators.

    C.    Access Indicators

    7.    The absolute numbers of different set of indicators are detailed in Annex 1.

    8.   Access indicators generally measure the ability to use products and services and are captured through         supply-side data. The access indicators for financial products and services are tabulated below.

    Table 1: Access Points Indicators per 10,000 adults

    Indicators 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
    Number of cash-in and cash-out access points per 10,000 adults at the national level 6.73 8.10 10.64 9.46 16.38 21.78
    Number of branches per 10,000 adults nationally 1.04 1.04 0.99 1.05 1.16 1.17
    Number of ATMs per 10,000 adults nationally 3.35 3.50 3.71 4.23 4.58 4.74
    Number of EFTPOS per 10,000 adults nationally 31.41 48.45 59.76 80.20 87.74 93.16
    Number of Bank Agents per 10,000 adults nationally n/a n/a 1.22 1.62 1.69 1.64
    Number of MFI access points per 10,000 adults nationally n/a n/a n/a n/a 6.40 6.38
    Number of Cooperative access points per 10,000 adults nationally n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 6.37
    Number of Credit Union access points per 10,000 adults nationally n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 0.36

    Source: Reserve Bank of Fiji

    1. The access indicators show that for every 10,000 adults in Fiji there are 21 cash in and cash out access points. These include, bank branches, bank and mobile money agents, credit unions, co-operatives, ATMs and microfinance branches.  The breakdown of these access points are also provided thereafter.
    2. In general, access indicators have been gradually increasing over the years as population increases except for bank agents and MFI access points. Bank agents saw a slight decrease in number of active agents in 2015 while MFI access points remained the same in 2015.  The slight decrease in the indicators is due to an increase in projected adult population for 2015.
    3. Regional Benchmarking[4]
     Access Indicators
      Fiji Samoa Solomon Is
    Number of service points per 10,000 adults Bank branches 1.17 1.92 0.46
    ATMs 4.64 3.51 1.27

    Source:  Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme, 2016

    At a regional level, Samoa have slightly better access to bank branches compared to Fiji, but do not have as many ATMs.  Solomon Islands on the other hand are challenged with low population density that is spread over islands covering a large span of the Pacific Ocean.

    1. Internationally, the published indicators for lower middle income countries in South East Asian countries like Philippines and Indonesia on average have an indicator of 1.57 branches for every 10,000 adults while upper middle income countries like Malaysia, Colombia and Thailand on average have an indicator of 1.86 branches for every 10,000 adults. The ATM indicator shows an average of 3.23 and 5.86 for every 10,000 adults respective of lower middle income countries and upper middle income countries in South East Asia.  The analysis shows that Fiji’s indicators are quite below that of similar upper middle income countries in the South East Asian region.  Fiji’s bank branch indicator is also lower compared to lower-middle income countries.
    2. The distribution of financial access points at administrative level is tabulated below. This is the first time this data is presented and replaces the landmass indicators[5].  Indicators are measured at the level of fourth administrative tier (urban and rural “tikina” or district).

    Table 2: Access Points per Administrative Units

    Indicators – Administrative Units 2015
    Number of cash-in cash-out Access Points per 10,000 adults in each administrative units 27.48
    Number of branches per 10,000 adults in each administrative units 3.02
    Number of ATMs per 10,000 adults in each administrative units 7.70
    Number of EFTPOS per 10,000 adults in each administrative units 109.78
    Number of Bank Agents  per 10,000 adults in each administrative units 2.65
    Number of MFIs per 10,000 adults in each administrative units 7.69
    Number of Co-operatives per 10,000 adults in each administrative units 7.04
    Number of Credit Unions per 10,000 adults in each administrative units 1.76
    Percentage of administrative units with at least one access point 90.91
    Percentage of urban administrative units with at least one access point 100
    Percentage of rural administrative units with at least one access point 88.37
    Percentage of total population living in administrative units with at least one access point 99.45
    Percentage of total population living in urban administrative units with at least one access point 100
    Percentage of total population living in rural administrative units with at least one access point 98.94

    Source: Reserve Bank of Fiji

    1. All urban administrative units have at least one financial access point, whereas only 88 percent of rural administrative units have an access point. Ten of the rural administrative units where population size a highest at around 600 and lowest of 70 do not have access points.  These are mainly in Rotuma (6 districts), Lau (2), Macuata (1) and Namosi (1).
    2. Only one percent of the total population are living in administrative units that do not have a financial access point.
    3. It is noted that Co-operatives are serving as the more common access point for the maritime and rural areas.
    4. The table below illustrates mobile financial services access points.

    Table 3: Mobile Financial Services Indicators

    Indicators – Mobile Financial Services 2015
    Number of mobile financial services  access points per 10,000 adults 5.86
    Percentage of adults who have a mobile phone subscription (active SIM card)  98.87[6]
    Percentage of banks offering mobile banking such as checking one’s balance from mobile phone 33.33
    Percentage of banks offering mobile financial services, including transfer of e-money 33.33
    Percentage of MNOs offering mobile financial services 100

    Source: Reserve Bank of Fiji

    1. The indicators show that there are five mobile financial access points available to every 10,000 adults.
    2. It has been noted that only two out of the six commercial banks offer mobile financial services.

    D.   Usage Indicators

    20.  The indicators below measure the usage of different financial products and are normally captured from         both demand-side and supply-side data. (*) represents data from Fiji’s DSS.

    Table 4: Usage Indicators

    Usage Indicators 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
    Percentage of adults with at least one type of regulated deposit accounts 103.41 109.98 108.01 118.30 130.07 137.02
    Percentage of adults with at least one type of regulated credit account 13.81 14.07 14.42 16.01 17.24 20.22
    Percentage of adults with at least one regulated financial product n/a n/a n/a n/a 64.00* n/a
    Percentage of adults with an active deposit account – have had any deposit or withdrawals in the last 12months n/a n/a n/a n/a 60.00* n/a
    Percentage of adults with at least one type of  insurance account 45.50 44.95 46.20 49.63 53.52 n/a

    (March 2016)

    Number of superannuation accounts per 10,000 adults 6,041.56 6,073.40 6,123.16 6,231.83 6,436.13 6,549.44
    Percentage of adults with at least a superannuation account 60.42 60.73 61.23 62.32 64.36 65.49
    USAGE GENDER
    Percentage of deposit accounts held by adult women n/a n/a n/a n/a 52.00* n/a

    Source: Reserve Bank of Fiji

    1. Multiple accounts and dormant accounts skew perception about overall access and usage. For instance, the percentage of regulated deposit accounts reported 137 percent in 2015 from the supply-side data. However the demand-side data reports that only 60 percent of the adult population has a regulated deposit account.  The same could be said for insurance indicator. Supply-side data reported that 53 percent of the adult populations are policy holders; however the demand-side data reported that only 12 percent have any form of insurance.
    2. As per supply-side data, only 65 percent of the adult populations are currently saving for retirement.
    3. Regional Benchmarking
     Gender Gap
      Fiji Samoa Solomon Is
    Percentage of bank account ownership Male 68 38 32
    Female 52 40 20

    Source: Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme, 2016

    At a regional level, Fiji and Solomon Islands gender gap well exceeds the average gender gap in developing countries at nine percentage points.  Fiji recording a significant 16 percentage points of women less likely to have a bank account and Solomon’s at 12 percentage points.

    1. The usage of mobile financial services is illustrated in table 5 below.

    Table 5: Usage Indicators – Mobile Money

    Usage Indicators 2014 2015
    Percentage of active mobile financial services/wallet accounts 2.16
    Percentage of adults who have sent money through mobile money in the last 12 months either for person to person transfer or to pay bills 0.32* n/a
    Percentage of adults who have received money through mobile money in the last 12 months 0.23* n/a

         Source: Reserve Bank of Fiji

    1. Usage of mobile financial services is very low at 2.2 percent during the last year. The DSS findings noted that only 0.32 percent of the adult population used mobile account to send money while a mere 0.23 used mobile to receive funds from friends and family.
    2. International Benchmarking
      Fiji World East Asia & Pacific Upper-Middle Income Countries
    Percentage of active mobile financial services/wallets in 2014 2.2 2.0 0.4 0.7

    Source: Global Findex, World Bank

    At an international standing, Fiji’s active mobile wallets are above average compared to East Asia and Pacific and with upper-middle income countries where Fiji would be categorized with.  Fiji is also above world average.  However, Fiji is below average when we compare with regional leaders in mobile money like the Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia at 11.5 and 2.6 percent respectively.

    E.   Quality Indicators

        27.  The quality indicators focus on affordability, convenience, financial education, consumer protection,                     choice, fair treatment and indebtedness

        28. Quality indicators are usually more complex to measure and are captured through demand-side surveys,         mystery shopping and supply-side data.

    Table 6: Quality Indicators

    Indicators 2014  2015 
    Average minimum balance for clients to open a basic deposit account at banks in the country n/a 16.67
    Percentage of adults  within 5 kilometers of an access point 53.72*
    Average cost of traveling to the nearest access point (public transit fee or gas costs)  $4.20* n/a
    Average time of traveling to the nearest access point in minutes 46.2mins* n/a
    Average time waiting to be served when opening  a deposit account in minutes 50mins* n/a
    Average number of identification documents required to open a basic bank account n/a 2.50
    Percentage of adults reporting that they do not have all identification documents required to open a basic account 6.85* n/a
    Financial education is integrated into the national school curriculum Yes Yes
    Percentage of primary and secondary school students receiving financial education in school annually 100 100
    Percentage of consumers who contacted protection authority to solve a problem regarding financial services within the last 6 months and problem solved within 2 months n/a 75.56
    Existence of a Credit Bureau Yes Yes
    Percentage of banks in the country reporting to the Credit Bureau 100
    Percentage of adults with a bad record at the credit bureau n/a      3.06
    Existence of a central bank regulatory framework on consumer protection n/a 100
    Percentage of administrative units with branches of at least 3 different formal financial institutions, among administrative units with more than 10,000 inhabitants n/a 100
    Percentage of users who felt mistreated by staff of financial institutions  0.009  0.003

    Source: Reserve Bank of Fiji

    1. On average, the cost of opening a basic bank deposit account is $16.00 and two main identification documents are required.
    2. The findings from the DSS noted that those that live very far from an access point skew the mean value recording an average of 46 minutes to the nearest access point. However, the distance and cost are considerably much higher in the Solomon Islands[7].  The geographical challenges and population density makes access to formal financial services more difficult.
    3. It has been noted that customers with a bad record have increased by 465 percent since 2011.

    F.   Data Gaps and Responsive Measurement

    32.   Despite efforts to improve the quality of data, sources of financial inclusion data remain limited. Some data         challenges and responsive measures that the RBF will continue to work on are noted below:

    Data Gaps Responsive Measurement
    Regularity and data availability – Some data are not available to measure certain indicators and some can only be collected through a demand-side survey. –      Continue to engage stakeholders through the Statistics Working Group to collect data that is currently unavailable.

    –      Include appropriate questions in demand-side surveys normally carried out by Fiji Bureau of Statistics to obtain relevant data.

    Some data are only available in sub-optimal type, such as the number of accounts rather than the number of individuals with accounts –      Use the demand-side data to estimate the indicators

    –      Engage stakeholders to continue to collect data in the desired type

    Data is currently not available at disaggregated level such as number of accounts by gender and age –       Engage stakeholders to collect data at a more granular level.

    –      Revise current returns/templates to capture data at disaggregated level (gender and age).

     

    G.  Conclusion

     

    33.    The indicators reported above allow us to gauge the impact of the policies that have been issued and                   strategies undertaken to drive financial inclusion in Fiji.

    34.   However it must be noted that to accurately track and analyze the progress of our financial inclusion                    initiatives, data gaps mentioned above  need to be mended.

    35.  The DSS initiative conducted in late 2014 and early 2015 in the region (Fiji, Samoa and Solomon Islands) is          an important first step in providing baseline data for access and usage at a granular level. These data                 also provided a basis for benchmarking our financial inclusion indicators across the region[8].

     Annexes 

    1. Key information used for the calculation of the financial inclusion indicators for Fiji
    Key Information 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
    Adult Population in the Country 603,680 606,227 608,887 611,864 614,105 615,802
    Total Number of administrative units 110 110 110 110 110 110
    Total Number of urban administrative units 24 24 24 24 24 24
    Total Number of rural administrative units 86 86 86 86 86 86
    Number of Banks in Country 5 4 5 5 6 6
    Number of Bank Branches in the Country 63 63 60 64 71 72
    Number of Cash Out only ATMs in the Country 202 212 226 259 281 286
    Number of EFTPOS Outlets in the Country 1,896 2,937 3,639 4,907 5,388 5,632
    Number of Cash In and Cash Out Bank Agents in the Country n/a n/a 74 99 104 110
    Number of MNO agents in country offering mobile financial services cash in and cash out 343 428 514 416 438 361
    Number of banks offering mobile banking n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a  2
    Number of banks offering mobile financial services n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a  2
    Number of mobile network operators (MNOs) in the country 2 2 2 2 2 2
    Number of MNOs offering mobile financial services (MGS) 2 2 2 2 2 2
    Number of mobile financial services active accounts in country n/a n/a n/a 9,477 13,368  13,296
    Number of Cooperatives cash in and cash out points n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 392
    Number of Credit Union cash in and cash out points n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 22
    Number of Microfinance Institution (MFI) cash-in, cash-out points n/a n/a n/a n/a 393 393
    Number of regulated deposit accounts 624,266 666,728 657,659 723,835 798,782 843,744
    Number of regulated credit accounts 83,368 85,296 87,802 97,959 105,867 124,527
    Number of administrative units with at least one access point n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 100
    Number of urban administrative units with at least one access point n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 24
    Number of rural administrative units with at least one access point n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 76
    Number of policy accounts    274,683    272,518    281,323    303,642    328,649
    Number of FNPF membership accounts 364,717 368,186 372,831 381,303 395,246  403,316

    Source: Reserve Bank of Fiji and Fiji Bureau of Statistics

     

    1. Benchmarking Financial Inclusion in the Region: Demand-Side Survey Findings
    PIRI CORE PLUS INDICATORS
      Fiji Samoa Solomon Islands
     
    Country Data Adult Population 615,802 115,900* 306,586*
    Land Size 18,270 2,830 27,539
       
    Financial Inclusion Strands Banked 60% 39% 26%
    Other Formal 4% 12% 8%
    Informal 9% 15% 35%
    Excluded 27% 34% 31%
       
    Access Indicators
    Number of service points per 10,000 adults Bank branches 1.17 1.92 0.46
    ATMs 4.64 3.51 1.27
    3.4 % of adults with a mobile phone subscription 74.9% 70.7% 61.68%
    Quality Indicators
    4.3. Average cost of traveling to the nearest access point (public transit fee or gas costs), converted to USD Bank branch $3.33 USD (FJD6.8) $2.2 USD
    (WST 5.0)
    $19.08 USD

    (SBD 147.5)

    ATM $2.06

    (FJD 4.2)

    $2.9

    (WST 6.5)

    $13.15 USD

    (SBD 103.02)

    Bank agent

     

    $2.25

    (FJD 4.6)

    $2.1

    (WST 4.8)

    $15.03 USD

    (SBD 116.16)

    Post office $1.52

    (FJD 3.1)

    $2.5

    (WST 5.7)

    $13.34 USD

    (SBD 103.11)

    4.4. Average time of traveling to the nearest access point in minutes Bank branch 46.2 min 44.8 min 291.6 min
    ATM 22.8 min 23.7 min 237.7 min
    Bank agent

     

    21.9 min 14 min 91.1 min
    Post office 23.8 min 24.6 min 159.6 min
    4.5. Average time waiting to be served when opening  a deposit account 54 min 156 min 242 min
    4.7.  Percentage of adults reporting that they do not have all identification documents required to open a basic account 0.5% 5% 13.7%
    Usage Indicators
         
    5.3. Percent of adults with at least one type of regulated deposit accounts 60.2% 39% 27.26%
    5.4. Percent of adults with at least one type of regulated credit account 9.4% 13.4% 3.87%
    5.5. Percent of Adults with at least one regulated financial product  64.2% 39% 27.26%
    5.6. Percent of people with an  active deposit account– have had any deposit or withdrawal in the last 90 days 51.9% 34.9% 20.46%
    5.7.  Percentage of adults earning below US $2 per day who have a deposit account 39% 25.6% 11.66%
    6.1. Percentage  of adults with at least one active mobile financial services product 3.66%
    6.2. Percentage of adults who have sent money through mobile financial services in the last 12 months for person to person transfers and bill pay 1.4% 0.7% 4.32%
    6.3. Percent  of adults who have received money (including e-money) through mobile money in the last 12 months 2.1% 2.71% 3.25%
    7.1. Percent of adult women with an active deposit account OR percent of deposit accounts held by women 43.7% 35.1% 16.6%

    Source: Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme, 2016

    [1] More information on access, usage and quality are noted on: Measuring Financial Inclusion Indicators – Core Set

    [2] Financial Inclusion Indicators for Fiji.

    [3] Financial Services Demand-Side Survey for Fiji

    [4] Data is sourced from Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme, 2016 PIRI Cross Country Report – Benchmarking financial inclusion in Fiji, Samoa and Solomon Islands: Finding from the first demand-side survey.

    [5] It has been noted that landmass indicators are not good proxies for measuring the geographic and demographic distribution of financial access points.

    [6] Absolute numbers may include those less than 15years of age and have an active sim card.

    [7] Noted in Annex 2: Benchmarking Financial Inclusion in the Region: Demand-Side Survey Findings

    [8] Annex 2 provides the findings of DSS in the three countries.