The UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) is partnering with Fiji-based startup, Cyber Food, to assist the online food delivery company revamp its website and offer a new digital payment solution for its growing customer base.
Since 2018 Cyber Food has provided customers with a convenient, safe and secure way to order food from the comfort of their homes. It’s one of two such companies in the Pacific nation.
The Cyber Food website hosts a range of local restaurants and food providers, including micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from Fiji’s important informal sector, whose menus customers have direct access to.
Customers are currently able to pay for orders through mobile money, internet bank transfer, electronic funds transfer at point of sale (EFTPOS) or cash on delivery.
Through financial and technical assistance from UNCDF’s Pacific Digital Economy Programme (PDEP) and the Women MSME FinTech Innovation Fund, the company has been able to facilitate online debit and credit card digital payments with the integration to the payment gateway of Westpac Banking Corporation.
PDEP is a flagship UNCDF regional initiative funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade(DFAT), and jointly administered with the UN Development Programme and UN Conference on Trade and Development.
The Women MSME FinTech Innovation Fund is a project funded by the Government of Canada and implemented by the UN Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in partnership with the UNCDF. Funding support is also provided by the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank (FMO) and Visa Inc. The Innovation Fund is hosted by UNCDF’s SHIFT in ASEAN programme, supported by the Australian Government.
CEO-Founder of Cyber Food, Majid Shahzad, said: “The partnership with UNCDF is helping us to accelerate our growth plans which would have otherwise taken much longer in this current climate. Through the financial and technical assistance being provided by them, we are able to revamp our online ordering platform with wider payment options for users and also launch the mobile application which will be launched in the near future to enable much better customer experience going forward. This partnership is importantly focusing on capacity building of vendors and awareness building of the public which is a critical factor for greater uptake of e-commerce.”
The support will enable Cyberfood to introduce new features like digitalised order confirmation and tracking, and create capacity to onboard more food providers with a target of 50 percent women-led MSMEs particularly in the informal sector.
While MSMEs contribute over 18% to GDP and employ 60% of the county’s labour force, a Fiji Government survey found that 74% have either closed temporarily, permanently or are operating on reduced hours due to COVID-19.
Food vendors in Fiji have been severely impacted by necessary COVID-related restrictions on movement and public gatherings over the last two years.
The disruption has had a damaging impact on the local economy and UNCDF is working closely with government and private sector partners, including MSMEs, to support economic recovery.
“The partnership with Cyberfood epitomises UNCDF’s ability to quickly unlock and mobilise resources to support MSMEs find solutions in the midst of crises,” said UNCDF Pacific Regional Manager, Bram Peters.
“These solutions, importantly, are led by the businesses themselves who take full ownership of the recovery process, ensuring continuity and sustainability. We will continue supporting our national and regional business partners not only ride out this unprecedented COVID storm but flourish beyond it,” said Peters.