The absence of financial literacy can lead to making poor financial decisions that can have adverse effects on the financial health of an individual.
Take charge of your money, this was Bank South Pacific’s message to the Saroa villagers, in Rigo District, Central.
In rural areas where many depend on subsistence agriculture to earn an income, the need for a savings culture is important.
BSP Banking Education Manager, Cynthia Asi, says “the bank is teaching villagers basic financial knowledge through their Banking Education and Financial Literacy Program”.
It is a signed agreement between BSP and the Bank of Papua New Guinea. The Central Bank under its microfinance expansion project Center for Excellence in Financial Inclusion is funded by the ADB & AusAID.
Financial literacy is more than being able to balance a check book, compare prices or get a job. It includes skills like long term-term vision and planning, and will discipline villagers on how to use those skills daily.
Over 200 villagers signed up for mobile banking and a hundred opened new bank accounts. The gneral feeling is that going into Port Moresby is also an option not preferred by many villagers, as they consider it expensive and unsafe.