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Expanding Access to Financial Services :  Vanuatu :Go to Project Summary

Expanding Access to Financial Services :  Vanuatu

Timetable  |  Financing Plan and TA Utilization

TA Name Expanding Access to Financial Services
Country Vanuatu
TA Number 7023
Project Number 40148- 01
Thematic Classification Governance
Economic growth
Private Sector Development
Description This TA will assist in expanding the delivery of sustainable financial services to a broader range of rural people, thereby facilitating their participation in income generating activities and contribution to overall economic growth. Specifically, the TA will support National Bank of Vanuatu (NBV) with the introduction of a new business model involving appointment a network of bank agents in rural communities beyond the reach of present NBV branches. Equipped with appropriate technology and communications equipment, these agents will enable much of the presently un-banked rural population to establish and conveniently operate savings accounts and utilize account transaction facilities. This wider access to savings facilities is expected, in turn, to facilitate further expansion of the rural micro-lending activities of NBV that have been successfully introduced with the support of previous ADB TA.
Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy This assistance is consistent with the Government's Priorities and Action Agenda, which encourages economic growth, addresses low private sector investment, and reduces unemployment. It is also consistent with ADB's Pacific Strategy 20052009, and is included in the country strategy and program update 20062009. The Government concurs with the TA's objectives, scope, implementation arrangements, cost, financing arrangements and terms of reference.
Outcome Progress Toward Outcome
The TA will increase the availability and utilization of sustainable financial services to the rural population in order to boost its participation in income-generating activities that contribute to economic growth. Implementation ongoing
Outputs and Timeframe Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities and Issues)
Phase I: Business development. Over 3 months, a detailed investigation and analysis of the business case will be undertaken.
Phase II: Technology implementation. This 3-month period will result in the delivery and integration of head office hardware and software, delivery of pilot field equipment such as eftPOS devices and cards, and completion of testing and validation of all field and head office equipment and systems.
Phase III: Pilot program. A 24-month pilot program will result in a target 12 agents in operation.
A contract for consulting service was awarded in July 2008 and consultants were fielded in August 2008. The telecommunications environment has improved with new entrant Digicel Pacific recently receiving a license. The expansion of the telecom network through Digicel and recent technological advances have increased the variety of technological options available to provide access to financial services in rural areas including the use of mobile phones to deliver financial services, the equipping of mobile NBV officers with wireless hand held point of sale (POS) units for electronic transactions and bringing NBV branches in rural areas permanently online. These options will also be explored during this project with the timing of the TA being closely coordinated with NBV's acquisition of a new core banking system (CBS). While outside of the TA scope, this new CBS is closely linked to the electronic POS technology solution supported by the TA. In late 2009, a change in scope was processed to shift some TA budget towards the procurement of technology so as to equip rural branches with technology to fully automate teller activities and other activities. The development of the agent banking model was shifted back in the TA timeline slightly to allow for putting a total of 13 of NBV's branches "online". NBV is now looking to link with a mobile telephone payments provider with an existing agent network rather than building its own agent network. Based on NBV's diligence along with initial approval of the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu, the NBV is entered into a MOU with of the telecommunication providers to move forward with the partnership. By creating a strategic partnership with a telecom provider, NBV has taken a tactical change in project direction to more effectively, affordably and sustainably achieve project impact and results. Given the above circumstances and to allow sufficient time for effective implementation of such an agent network partnership between NBV and Digicel, NBV has informed ADB that most of the remaining consulting inputs are not required and have requested that we make the following variation: (i) the extension of the TA closure to 31 December 2011, (ii)increase of the TA budget for equipment procurement of satellite power supply units and ancillary equipment to support improved communications between NBVs branches; (iii) decrease of consulting inputs to the level sufficient to undertake the evaluation of the pilot program performance of the TA. Based on these developments, the major change in scope and implementation arrangements of the TA was approved in late 2010.

Overall the progress of the TA is satisfactory.
Geographical Location Various locations in rural Vanuatu
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects None
Responsible ADB Officer Elvira Rustamova
Responsible ADB Department Pacific Department
Responsible ADB Division Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office
Concept Clearance 16 Jul 2007
Fact-finding 16 Jul 2007 to 24 Jul 2007
Approval 12 Dec 2007
Financing Plan / TA Utilization Top TA Amount
ADB Others Gov Total Approved Amount Revised Amount
$600,000.00 $0.00 $150,000.00 $750,000.00 $600,000.00 $0.00
 Total Commitment Uncommited Balance Total Disbursement Undisbursed Balance
$540,301.36 $59,698.64 $540,301.36 $59,698.64
2008 Asian Development Bank

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