Demand Side Survey

Released on 16 August 2017 | Download the complete report| pdfIcon 1.8 MB


This report describes the level of financial access in Tonga — the fourth Pacific Islands Regional Initiative (PIRI )1 country to move forward with a financial inclusion demand side survey (DSS) effort. DSS surveys were previously completed in Samoa, Fiji and the Solomon Islands. The survey was conducted in the first quarter of 2016 and includes indicators from the 2014 World Bank Global Findex surveys as well as the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) indicators.

A long process led to the completion of the DSS in the Pacific region: In 2013 the members of PIRI jointly undertook a review of available data and measurement exercises with which they could design and evaluate their national financial inclusion strategies and their Maya Declaration commitments under the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI). As part of this exercise, PIRI members agreed to adopt not only the core set of AFI financial inclusion indicators but to expand that set, as well. The members further committed to carrying out a DSS to capture those indicators.

In general, the Tonga DSS, like the surveys in the other PIRI countries, was designed to capture financial inclusion indicators that would be comparable across the region and globally. Importantly, these were the first such surveys in each country.

The National Reserve Bank of Tonga (NR BT) and its PIRI partners understand that “financial inclusion” incorporates not only individuals’ access to and usage of formal financial services, but also how those services fit into individuals’ lives — the quality that those services deliver. More attention and research needs to be devoted to this quality dimension in Tonga and the other PIRI partners — more than could be achieved in this first round of surveys. Still, this report presents valuable evidence of how Tongans use financial services, alone and in combination. This is information that is impossible to learn from supply-side sources alone.

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