The Pacific Financial Inclusion Program, a Fiji-based initiative of the UN that works to extend financial services to unbanked Pacific Islanders, recently granted USD 450,000 to the Solomon Islands’ Inland Revenue Division (IRD) with the goal of increasing the availability of electronic payment channels for taxes paid by “123,800 wage and salary employees, 200 corporate taxpayers and 3,684 small businesses.”
The move is part of the government’s commitment to the Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA), in association with which it has set the goal of using digital channels for 80 percent of its transactions by 2020 in order to improve financial inclusion. BTCA was founded in 2012 by the following organizations: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Citigroup, the Ford Foundation, the Omidyar Network, the UN Cooperative Development Fund, the US Agency for International Development and Visa. As of 2017, it has 27 member states and approximately 40 other partners. Financial information on BTCA is not available.
Established in 2008, PFIP seeks to increase the number of Pacific Islanders who have ongoing access to affordable financial services and relevant education. As of June 2017, PFIP has reached 1.6 million people in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tonga and Vanuatu.
By Jacob O’Driscoll, Research Associate
Sources and Additional Information
Modernized Taxation System to Transform Solomon Island’s Tax and Payment Landscape
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