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September 11, 2021

FijiCoin

Our mission is to defy the traditional barriers of remittances with DeFi. Our purpose is to empower everyday people across the South Pacific by providing greater access to send and receive remittances where transactions are faster, the cost is cheaper and the entire process is easier. We're not looking to change the world. We're simply hoping to help create a more equitable world for South Pacific Islanders that is balanced, accessible and transparent and one that will help improve the lives and livelihoods of those who are most vulnerable.

SUMMARY

Global remittance flows to low-to-middle-income countries have surpassed expectations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Remittance flows are expected to increase to $565 billion in 2022. Remittances can no longer be considered small change.
NGO's focus on fighting poverty with greater financial inclusion and technology now makes it easier for remittances to flow.
But the world always forgets about the tiny archipelago nations in the South Pacifc.
Starting with Fiji, we want to tokenize their FIAT (the Fijian Dollar - FJD) and develop a stablecoin on Stellar. The FijiCoin (working title).
Working with the Reserve Bank of Fiji, this will be the first institutional use of a stablecoin in the South Pacific.
Remittances will be sent/ received via a mobile wallet.
Transactions will be quicker, easier, cheaper, more transparent and secure.

Our mission is to defy the traditional barriers of remittances with DeFi. To reimagine remittances in the South Pacific and to empower everyday people.


We're not looking to change the world. We're simply hoping to help create a more equitable world for South Pacific Islanders.
A world that is balanced, accessible and transparent and one that will help improve the lives and livelihoods of those who are most vulnerable.

^ to view all: hover over text and scroll down  ^

SUMMARY

Global remittance flows to low-to-middle-income countries have surpassed expectations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Remittance flows are expected to increase to $565 billion in 2022. Remittances can no longer be considered small change.
NGO's focus on fighting poverty with greater financial inclusion and technology now makes it easier for remittances to flow.
But the world always forgets about the tiny archipelago nations in the South Pacifc.
Starting with Fiji, we want to tokenize their FIAT (the Fijian Dollar - FJD) and develop a stablecoin on Stellar. The FijiCoin (working title).
Working with the Reserve Bank of Fiji, this will be the first institutional use of a stablecoin in the South Pacific.
Remittances will be sent/ received via a mobile wallet.
Transactions will be quicker, easier, cheaper, more transparent and secure.

Our mission is to defy the traditional barriers of remittances with DeFi. To reimagine remittances in the South Pacific and to empower everyday people.


We're not looking to change the world. We're simply hoping to help create a more equitable world for South Pacific Islanders.
A world that is balanced, accessible and transparent and one that will help improve the lives and livelihoods of those who are most vulnerable.

GOAL

STEPS

 BUDGET REQUEST

GOAL

Two core goals for this initial phase of the project:
1.  to tokenize the Fijian FIAT on Stellar, to develop a stablecoin.
2. to develop an MVP mobile wallet to support cross-border transactions of the stablecoin.

Measures of success will be the successful development of the Fijian FIAT stablecoin and an MVP wallet to support payments. A bulk of this project will be self-funded, but the SCF will help support with any development costs on Stellar. Timelines for a stablecoin and MVP wallet are ambitions and we are working towards December 2021 for products to be ready for testing. Working with the Reserve Bank of Fiji (Central Bank), we hope to have our solution in their sandbox regulartory testing environment before the end of the year (2021)."

STEPS

Following feedback from the wider community during the discussion phase of SCF#8, we are slightly updating the phases within our delivery roadmap.
Thank you to those who have been kind enough to spend time giving us feedback.
We are super grateful and really appreciate your help in strengthening our submission.

  • Phase 1 (Complete): Submit an application to the Reserve Bank of Fiji to gain access to their FinTech regulatory sandbox.
  • This step has been completed and the RBF are reviewing our submission to tokenize the FJD FIAT into a stablecoin.
  • At some stage we may need the help of the minds from the SDF to hold further discussions with the Fijian Government.
  • Phase 2 : Issue an asset onto the Stellar network
  • This remains one of our top priorities. While discussions continue with the Fiji Government, we'd like to start by issuing an asset on the Stellar Network.
  • Rather than waiting for the Stablecoin to be confirmed, valued and circulated, we can gain momentum by confirming our proof-points with a token.
  • This will act as an interim-anchor on the Stellar network to begin validating transactions and testing with beta audiences.
  • Phase 3: Develop an MVP wallet
  • In parallel to issuing an asset, we'll build an MVP wallet.
  • The community has given us feedback on which networks we can leverage to support this.
  • An example is using Wyre API to begin testing between US, EU, AUD, NZD currencies and our token, in exchange for XLM (to start with).
  • We see this as a critical step, allowing us to begin our beta testing with a small group of early adopters we will be speaking to.
  • Phase 4: Audience validation/ feedback and behavioural insights
  • Phase 5: Develop Marketing & Comms material
  • Phase 6: Begin beta testing
  • With the interim-anchor, while discussions continue with Fiji Government stakeholders.
  • Phase 7: Test, Learn, Iterate, Improve
  • We want to focus on UX/ UI here, but also network infrastructure, for future scaling.
  • Phase 8: Go-to-market
  • Launch with our interim-anchor and continue to push for stablecoin recognition with the Fiji Government.
  • At this point, I'd love to strengthen our relationship with members of the SDF, to assist with any necessary regulatory discussions with the Government.

Timelines: in retrospect, our initial timelines were ambitious. From feedback received, we've updated our timelines, to reflect realistic delivery timelines.

  • Sept - Dec: phases 1-to-7
  • Jan onwards: phases 4-to-8

 BUDGET REQUEST:

$50,000

worth of XLM

GOAL

 BUDGET REQUEST

Two core goals for this initial phase of the project:
1.  to tokenize the Fijian FIAT on Stellar, to develop a stablecoin.
2. to develop an MVP mobile wallet to support cross-border transactions of the stablecoin.

Measures of success will be the successful development of the Fijian FIAT stablecoin and an MVP wallet to support payments. A bulk of this project will be self-funded, but the SCF will help support with any development costs on Stellar. Timelines for a stablecoin and MVP wallet are ambitions and we are working towards December 2021 for products to be ready for testing. Working with the Reserve Bank of Fiji (Central Bank), we hope to have our solution in their sandbox regulartory testing environment before the end of the year (2021)."

$50,000

worth of XLM

OUR REQUEST

We've adjusted our timelines and as a result, have also adjusted the allocation of our funding.

What remains: 0% will go towards marketing, communications and/ or salaries and wages.
What's changed: 100% of funds will be allocated to the issuing of an asset on the Stellar network and developing an MVP wallet.


This will be a first for Fiji and hopefully with this application, the first of many conversations with the team at Stellar.

The SCF will be used to fund any development required on Stellar and we will fund the remaining activity (websites, creative, research, marketing, communications etc.). And to be clear, we will not use any of the funding to pay ourselves.

Issue an asset on Stellar towards tokenizing the Fijian FIAT
Project scoping, development and delivery of developing the stablecoin on Stellar.
(estimated upto 50% of total funding received, if full requested amount is granted)


Develop MVP wallet
Build new, or leverage existing mobile wallet to support transactions. MVP to begin with.
(estimated upto 40% of total funding received, if full requested amount is granted)


Test, learn and validate, iterate and improve and discuss any necessary regulatory legislation changes with the RBF
Technical support/ change requests during deployment and testing.
(estimated upto 5% of total funding received, if full requested amount is granted)


Deploy Token/ FIAT into circulation and begin testing in Beta or via RBF regulatory sandbox
Technical support/ change request during deployment and testing.

(estimated upto 5% of total funding received, if full requested amount is granted)

Audience validation/ feedback and behavioural insights
Primary, secondary and third-party research to confirm product differentiators, value proposition and marketing messaging and creative.
(0% of SCF will go towards this)

Develop Marketing & Comms material
Develop marcomms material and channel mix to generate awareness and acquisition
(0% of SCF will go towards this)

Discuss regulatory sandbox trials with Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) and finalise timelines for testing
Ongoing discussions with RBF to participate in their FinTech sandbox testing environment. Discussions have already begun and are ongoing.
(0% of SCF will go towards this)

Go-to-market
Activate marketing activity, user acquisition and community growth.
(0% of SCF will go towards this)

PROBLEM & SOLUTION

INTRODUCTION
“As COVID-19 still devastates families around the world, remittances continue to provide a critical lifeline for the poor and vulnerable.” - Michal Rutkowski, Global Director of the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice at the World Bank.

Defying predictions, the World Bank reports that global remittance flows have proved to be resilient during the COVID-19 crisis. In 2020, officially recorded remittance flows to low-and-middle-income countries reached $540 billion, only 1.6 percent below the $548 billion seen in 2019.

Remittances have become an important consumption smoothing mechanism for the recipient households and, as such, they form an increasingly important (private) element of global social protection systems. With an increased desire for migrants to support their families back home and the economic conditions in host countries proving favourable (e.g: stimulus packages), paired with shifts in flows from informal to formal channels (from hand-carry cash to digital remittances),  the flow of global remittances to low-and-middle-income countries is expected to reach $565 billion by 2022.

THE PROBLEM IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC
As countries across the globe focus on the health and safety of their citizens and economic recovery, and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO's) strive to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the tiny archeplago nations in the South Pacific are often overlooked or deprioritized when it comes to expediting tangible, achievable solutions, to real-world, and sometimes life-threatening problems.

As we enter an age of rapid acceleration and transformation, Fijians and Pacific Islanders who are the most vulnerable to the impacts of adverse macro and micro economic conditions are left behind. But the situation remains, that Pacific Island countries and territories (PICT) share a strong reliance on the remittances sent by the Pacific diaspora community.

In 2018, Fiji, Tonga and Vanuatu recorded a combined remittance intake of more than USD$500 million. In Tonga, remittances represent a value equivalent to 42% of GDP - the highest propotion in the world. In Fiji, with the Tourism Industry (and the foreign tax earnings if brings, at a halt), remittances now play an even more critical role in the economy's foreign tax earnings, equating to roughly 7% of GDP.

However, the South Pacific is far from the SDG of less than 3% transaction costs. For instance, the average cost for sending NZD$200 from New Zealand to Tonga was almost 10% in the second quarter of 2020. Likewise, the average cost of sending AUD$200 from Australia to the Solomon Islands was 12%. Using traditional banks is even costlier with the transaction cost fee and FX margins reaching up to 18%.

STRUCTURAL BARRIERS
Many of the traditional Remittance Service Providers (RSP), owned by global chains who had branches in Fiji have now closed and the wider South Pacific region is at a distinct disadvantage in making remittances more affordable and accessible.

There are limited transaction channels in non-urban areas and the limited knowledge of how to use digital financial channels encourages people to follow their peers to the remaining RSP cash branches, who maintain abhorrent FX rates and transaction fees, alongside traditional banks.

The overall remittance volume in PICTs is low (less than 0.20% of global volume) and there is little incentive for low-cost international service providers to service these markets.

The digital payment infrastructure of these countries is still in it's infancy and offers limited options to both senders and receivers. However, recently several private sector fintech solutions have emerged that offer faster and cheaper remittance services. Vodafone's MPAISA and Digicel's MyCash in Fiji, M-Vatu/ M-Tala in Vanuatu/ Samoa respectively, TBD's Ave Pa'anga Pau in Tonga, KickEx Pacific in Samoa and Digicel mobile money in Tonga. These companies use digital technologies to offer low-cost services where money can be received using mobile phones.

With limited options and capability, the end-user is left with a poor selection of remaining (and expensive) RSP's, TelCo's and banks to choose from.

SIGNS OF OPTIMISM OR A FUNDAMENTAL NECESSITY?
Despite these barriers, the fundamental need for remittances remains. Fiji registered the highest monthly inflow in a decade, receiving USD$24 million in July 2020. This trend continued with another record of almost USD$33 million in October 2020.

THE SOLUTION
Built on the Stellar network, we would like to develop a new pathway for remittances into the South Pacific. A pathway that removes the need for traditional intermediaries and one that gives frictionless access to global financial systems to those who are often forgotten. We call it, FijiCoin (working title).

FijiCoin will be a FIAT-collateralized stablecoin, pegged against the Fijian Dollar. An anchor for a remittance pathway built on the stellar network.

We hope to develop a remittance pathway that allows users to send/ receive money into Fiji and the South Pacific from account-to-wallet, wallet-to-wallet and wallet-to-account that is faster, cheaper, easier and more secure, using Stellar.

We are in discussions with the Reserve Bank of Fiji (Central Bank) and are eligible to submit an application to their FinTech Regulartory Sandbox. They will be a key stakeholder in allowing us to tokenize the Fijian FIAT (discussions ongoing).

By removing the traditional barriers of sending and receiving remittances to loved ones, our aim is to help fight poverty through enhanced financial inclusion and to improve lives and livelihoods of Fijians and South Pacific Islanders.

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

FijiCoin (Product)
A FIAT-collateralized stablecoin, pegged against the Fijian Dollar. An anchor for a remittance pathway (cross-border payments) built on the stellar network.

Mobile Wallet (Product)
A digital wallet that enables users to send/ receive remittances via the Stellar network.

Sync with existing wallets (Service)
Allow existing, established wallets to access the FijiCoin for transations.

Financial Literacy (Service)
To help empower everyday people, we will continue to build capabilities and understanding of basic financial management, safety and security.

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^ to view all: hover over images and scroll down  ^

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

FijiCoin (Product)
A FIAT-collateralized stablecoin, pegged against the Fijian Dollar. An anchor for a remittance pathway (cross-border payments) built on the stellar network.

Mobile Wallet (Product)
A digital wallet that enables users to send/ receive remittances via the Stellar network.

Sync with existing wallets (Service)
Allow existing, established wallets to access the FijiCoin for transations.

Financial Literacy (Service)
To help empower everyday people, we will continue to build capabilities and understanding of basic financial management, safety and security.

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

FijiCoin (Product)
A FIAT-collateralized stablecoin, pegged against the Fijian Dollar. An anchor for a remittance pathway (cross-border payments) built on the stellar network.

Mobile Wallet (Product)
A digital wallet that enables users to send/ receive remittances via the Stellar network.

Sync with existing wallets (Service)
Allow existing, established wallets to access the FijiCoin for transations.

Financial Literacy (Service)
To help empower everyday people, we will continue to build capabilities and understanding of basic financial management, safety and security.

No items found.

^ to view all: hover over above images and scroll down  ^

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

FijiCoin (Product)
A FIAT-collateralized stablecoin, pegged against the Fijian Dollar. An anchor for a remittance pathway (cross-border payments) built on the stellar network.

Mobile Wallet (Product)
A digital wallet that enables users to send/ receive remittances via the Stellar network.

Sync with existing wallets (Service)
Allow existing, established wallets to access the FijiCoin for transations.

Financial Literacy (Service)
To help empower everyday people, we will continue to build capabilities and understanding of basic financial management, safety and security.

TARGET MARKET

Receivers: Starting with Fiji and extending to other Pacific Island countries and territoies (PICT).
Senders: the Pasifika diaspora across the globe. Mainly residing in Australia, New Zealand, United States and United Kingdom.

More information on audience and remittance behaviour here (Pages 2 & 5): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1EwqJCoTsyjAA5hcKFfUP68Td7bGO1PJ3/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=114300064913039155313&rtpof=true&sd=true

Pacific culture, norms and behaviours are integral to remittance decisions. Attitudes towars remitting are greatly influenced by social norms and cultural and familiam expectations.

Remitting is personal, not transactional. We are also aware that not all Pacific remitters are the same and that there are different drivers and barriers for workers and diaspora communities (senders).

We will need to consider how best to interact with disapora populations vs seasonal and migrant workers. Each group will have different incentive levels of digital and financial literacty and will set different remitting goals based on their intention to return.

As second and third generations of Pacific Islanders grow up in these host countries, there is evidence to suggest that links to kin in their native countries are declining. These are barriers we will need to consider in our long-tail approach to growth.

It is critical that we partner with relevant stakeholders in host and home nations to ensure marketing activity and services are deeply rooted in Pacific cultural and social norms.

REVENUE MODEL

Our main source of revenue will be generated via a processing fee, charged with each transaction. To begin with, we will consider a penetration pricing strategy as this will support marketing and communications activity. We will fund the marketing and communications activity ourselves and may consider a zero-fee or flat-fee entry-point, to incentivise user acquisition.

Ongoing, we will need to determine baseline fixed fee that is perceived valuable to our audiences. Aligning with SDG's, we are considering a flat-fee of upto 3% on all transactions. Given this is a cross-border payment mechanism, we have no control over the rate of FIAT. FX rates will be dynamic, but we will not include dynamic pricing in our fee structure.

MARKET RESEARCH

Market and audience insights have been addressed in earliers sections of this submission.

- Problem/ Solution/ Challenges
More information can also be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1EwqJCoTsyjAA5hcKFfUP68Td7bGO1PJ3/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=114300064913039155313&rtpof=true&sd=true

THREATS & OPPORTUNITIES

SWOT has been addressed in earlier sections of this submission.
- Problem/ Solution/ Challenges
- Target Market

COMPETITION

Direct Competitors:
- Traditional Banks in Fiji:
- ANZ
- BSP
- Westpac

Traditional Remittance Service Providers
- Western Union

Telco Digital Payment Gateways
- Vodafone MPAISA
- Digicel MyCash

Indirect:
- M-Vatu/ M-Tala in Vanuatu/ Samoa respectively
- TBD's Ave Pa'anga Pau in Tonga
- KickEx Pacific in Samoa
- Digicel mobile money in Tonga.
- Onlne FX traders, not yet supporting FJD
- Stripe
- Paypal

MARKETING & SALES

We will self-fund a bulk of the marketing and communications activity ourselves.

Pacific culture, norms and behaviours are integral to remittance decisions. Attitudes towars remitting are greatly influenced by social norms and cultural and familiam expectations.

Remitting is personal, not transactional. We are also aware that not all Pacific remitters are the same and that there are different drivers and barriers for workers and diaspora communities (senders).

We will need to consider how best to interact with disapora populations vs seasonal and migrant workers. Each group will have different incentive levels of digital and financial literacty and will set different remitting goals based on their intention to return.

As second and third generations of Pacific Islanders grow up in these host countries, there is evidence to suggest that links to kin in their native countries are declining. These are barriers we will need to consider in our long-tail approach to growth.

It is critical that we partner with relevant stakeholders in host and home nations to ensure marketing activity and services are deeply rooted in Pacific cultural and social norms.

Two core audiences will be targeted: senders/ receivers.
Senders: Majority of remittances into Fiji arrive from UK, US, NZ, AU and FR. We will target the Fiji diaspora in these locations.
Receivers: Audiences located in Fiji, who are currently using remittance services will be targeted.

A combination of print and online will be used in the marketing channel mix. Print for local communities and online for senders. Paid and organic, Search and Social, lookalike audiences and email marketing will be used for prospecting and remarketing as this is where are audiences are. Earned media will also be leveraged to further strengthen our messaging. We are skilled, experienced and connected in advertising and marketing and will complete above-the-line activity ourselves.

RESOURCES & RELATIONSHIPS

We are currently in discussions with the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF), to particpate in their FinTech Regulatory Sandbox testing environment. This is a new initiative developed by the central bank of Fiji, to help diversity the local economy.

The RBF will play a critical role in assisting us with tokenizing the Fijian FIAT and with a proof-of-concept and (hopefully) the SCF, we can deploy the South Pacific's first institutionally-recognised stablecoin.

Additional images

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About you

Rush Pathak: Co-Founder, Director

Zoe Baines: Co-Founder, Managing Director

Canopy Marketing, Technology & Communications, Fiji

We are a small team of creative marketing, technology and communications specialists who believe the most powerful thing to do with knowledge, is to share it. Based in the Fiji Islands, in the heart of the South Pacific, we hope to help improve the lives and livlihoods of all Fijians and South Pacific Islanders by using our knowledge to help solve real socio-economic problems faced by the people living in these small island, developing nations.

COMMUNITY DISCUSSION