At a meeting of South Pacific Central Bank Governors on 20 June 2022, the Governors reconfirmed their commitment to supporting the region's access to cost effective remittances, retention of bank services and improving financial inclusion.

The Reserve Bank of Fiji's Governor Ariff Ali said maintaining access to financial services and keeping financial corridors open play a key role in supporting Pacific Island countries' economic prosperity and our people's wellbeing.

"Remittances are a key source of income for Pacific Island countries and for many families in our communities. Cost effective remittances and the retention of banking services are vital to the region's economic resilience, and improve our ability to manage challenges such as climate change, rising costs, and the economic impacts of COVID-19."

Governors reviewed work done by central banks and international agencies on the challenges and opportunities for remittances, and the potential to develop a regional electronic ‘Know Your Customer’ (eKYC) facility for the South Pacific region.

Governors decided to prioritise countries developing strategies for delivering their own eKYC capability. This work is part of their respective national digitalisation, digital identity, and AML/CFT compliance work programs. The development of a regional eKYC facility may be considered as a possible extension of the national eKYC capabilities in the future.

The group of nine central banks will continue to support each other on development of eKYC capabilities, and other opportunities to improve the region's access to financial services and cost effective remittances.

The Governors also thanked the Pacific Island country government agencies that have made contributions to date, and International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, the UN Capital Development Fund, Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs.

Source: Press Release