by Theckla Gunga – EM TV News, Port Moresby
The Bank of Papua New Guinea is exploring digital options to provide financial services to average Papua New Guineans.
In a recent meeting with financial educators from other countries, Central Bank Governor Loi Bakani, said providing digital financial services to rural areas will minimise the high cost of establishing banks in smaller towns.
BPNG, through its Centre for Excellence in Financial Education or CEFI is looking at increasing access for people in rural areas to do banking digitally.
Bhavana Srivastava is the Associate Director for Microsave, from the research her team put together, over 16 million people in the world who have access to mobile phones remains unbanked on a global scale.
According to an evaluation provided by Microsave on the provision and accessibility of digital financial service in the Asia and Pacific region, there are three stages of accessing financial digital service.
These stages include, having an increase in penetration of mobile networks, customers paying payments through digital channels from rural areas and customers having broad access to all financial products.
According to the evaluation, PNG is at a transition point from stage one to stage three.
The evaluation reveals that average Papua New Guineans have access to mobile phones in rural areas but do not use mobile banking.
BPNG’s way forward is to target this unbanked areas and introduce the digital financial services.