by Serah Aupong – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Innovative banking that suits the needs of the community, that’s the objective of Westpac Bank as it rolls out its In Store Banking facilities.
This morning, an urban village near the nation’s capital was the latest community to welcome this facility.
Vabukori village is located just outside of Port Moresby city. Like many urban villages around Papua New Guinea, this Motu Koitabu village is now home to more than the traditional inhabitants.
While some of them have formal employment, others are involved in small to medium business or just small trading activities as a form of income.
Ludy is one of them, originally from Karkar Island she is married to a Kerema man and lives here in Vabukori. She is happy about the fact that there is a banking facility now in their village.
“Em kam sot katim lek blo mipla – instead of mipla go sanap longpla lain yah maski,” she said. (They made it easier for us, instead of going to the bank and standing in a long line.)
The idea of in store banking is to make banking services accessible to people like Ludy and to encourage and promote the culture of savings.
The facility enables them to do basic banking transactions.
Raphael Waiyalaka, team leader of Everywhere Banking which looks after this program, says they can do “deposits, withdrawals, transfer to another person’s account and even bill payments, you can check your balance and get your mini statements.”
According to Waiyalaka, there are over 100 of these facilities all over the country.
Westpac partners with small time businesses such as Nade Trading in Vabukori who facilitate the transactions between the bank and the community.
Ben Aiga, owner of Nade trading says they have big plans for this family business and sees this partnership as a good move for his business and for Vabukori as well.
“We’ve done some deposits and withdrawals already so it’s been good, Westpac has some commission in there so it’s good for the business as well,” Aiga said at the opening of the facility at his trade store.