Vanatau belongs to the poorest countries of the pacific areas. Many people are out of reach of modern and secure banking services in the rural areas of Vanuatu. Some people that are employed by the government must make long trips to the nearest branch of the National Bank of Vanuatu (NBV) to deposit their salary in the bank. Some farmers are even hiding their money by burying it in the ground rather than going the long way to the bank and collect their money. Only 13% of the people in the rural areas have bank account and access to financial services. It is estimated that about 92,000 people need financial services.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is now supporting the development of banking services that will make it able for the people to use electronic banking and smartcard technology. The new electronic banking system will provide local access to secure and convenient banking services. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will manage $600,000 in technical assistance, provided by the Japan Special Fund. The National Bank of Vanuatu will support with $150,000 more to complete the funding.
With this new technical support they can provide i wide range of modern banking services which will satisfy the clients financial needs. If it comes out good it can be a model to develop the financial services throughout the Pacific. When everything is up and running the National Bank of Vanuatu can start with microfinance products such as microcredit for example.
Local stores and bank agents will be supplied with the technology and equipment and the clients can open saving accounts with modern facilities, this is how the business model will work.