Fiji software firm earns US$50k for fintech devt

PHOTO: UNDP Fiji Office

Fiji software services provider IT Galax was one of five winning fintech companies in a competition to improve fintech infrastructure in the Pacific Islands, in Singapore last week. 

The Pacific Islands Fintech Innovation Challenge 2022 was organised by the United Nations Capital Development Fund, in partnership with Australia’s Market Development Facility and the Asian Development Bank. It is aimed at making digital payments and other fintech products accessible to Pacific Islanders in Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga and Samoa. 

“With the current banking situation in the Pacific Islands, we can’t sit back and do nothing. We hope that all the brains participating in this challenge can come up with innovative solutions that can help communities in the Pacific Islands,” said Henry Puna, secretary-general of the Pacific Islands Forum, at the opening ceremony on July 27 at Prudential Tower in Singapore. 

Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, who was the guest of honour at the opening event, said: “The Pacific Islands have always been known for their robust, entrepreneurial people. We believe fintech solutions will help to uplift the prospects for micro-business owners across the Pacific region.” 

The four other winners were fintech company Global Psytech from Malaysia, data tech firm Yabx from India, and MIHTS and Windcave from Australia. 

There were 11 finalists from a field of 51 challengers. 

The winning firms will get up to US$50,000 in grants. They will be putting their ideas into practice with partners in the Pacific Islands in the coming months.