Solution Snapshot

Together with Fintech Pacific, Mastercard® and the Australian Government, ygap is part of a consortium of partners supported by the Business Partnerships Platform that are working to champion better inclusion for women business owners in Fiji. The approach is holistic – fusing next generation technology, market access, small business acceleration and ecosystem disruption. Locally-led in design, development and delivery, this solution is specifically tailored to the needs and context of Fiji’s women entrepreneurs.

Vendors will be able to sell, scale, shop and save from their smartphone, accepting card and digital payments from locals and international visitors. What were informal, cash-based traders at risk of being left behind will now be at the forefront of Fiji’s digital transformation.

Equipped with the tools of financial inclusion, women business owners are empowered to ‌grow‌ ‌their‌ ‌income,‌ ‌increase‌ ‌their‌ ‌financial‌ ‌security,‌ ‌support‌ ‌their ‌families‌ ‌and‌ ‌help‌ ‌their‌ ‌communities.‌ With women-led businesses playing an integral role in Fiji’s economy, the country will be better equipped to‌ ‌recover‌ from ‌COVID-19’s‌ devastating economic impact.


Most market vendors in Fiji are women. Market stalls are typically informal businesses, reliant on daily sales for income and only able to accept cash payments. Fiji is moving online – in January 2020, internet penetration stood at 66% and the Government is now actively migrating to the digitisation of national services.

Progress has been made by Mastercard and Fiji-based financial institutions to drive the adoption of cashless payments and digital financial services, such as chip and contactless technology, savings accounts and by the Government to improve the enabling environment for this to occur. International travelers also prefer to engage and transact using digital payment options, avoiding withdrawing cash or exchanging foreign currency.

These trends have the potential to leave informal market women market vendors in Fiji behind. Being unable to accept digital payments impedes these vendors from attracting, serving, and upselling these consumers. Traditional banks in Fiji are not offering solutions for this segment, which also limits women’s ability to save money.


The partnership will develop and pilot an accessible, tailored digital mobile phone payment acceptance and saving capability for 400 women-led micro and small businesses in Fiji, along with conducting the associated training required for adoption. The solution will be developed based on research into customer experience and needs through a human-centred design process.

Women market vendors will have access to a fast and accessible digital wallet as well as a safe and convenient way to accept card payments from international and domestic consumers. The online payment platform will help to increase women’s incomes by reaching customers, all whilst strengthening their financial and digital literacy. This will allow women micro traders to increase their incomes as the economy recovers from COVID-19 by capturing more of the domestic market wanting to support local businesses, as well as being ready to accept payments from tourists when borders reopen. After the initial pilot, the solution will look to expand to offer services to more women-led businesses in Fiji.

The initiative will place control of women’s income and assets in the hands of women. The payment platform will help women to save and grow their operations. The initiative supports 400 women with financial literacy training and access to the platform. Long term, the initiative has the potential to create a wider systemic impact for informal market vendors in Fiji, with increased financial literacy and opportunities to grow their business, assets and status.  The partners will use human-centred design processes to further understand and address the barriers for women to engage with formal financial institutions.


Our local Fiji team will engage women entrepreneurs, leading contextualised, community-led business and financial training, supporting human-centred design, and advocating for their adoption of the platform.

Fintech Pacific is a next generation financial technology provider driving digital transformation to help Fiji. Fintech Pacific is responsible for the design and development of the core product application of financial services as well as ongoing customer support and application updates.

Mastercard is a global payment and technology company that connects consumers, financial institutions, and merchants, as well as governments and businesses around the world. Mastercard links the secure payment platform to their global payment network.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade provides catalytic funding, gender expertise to strengthen social and commercial impacts, connection to an extensive network, support to capture report social impact, safeguards standards and practices, national and global recognition.