I realiSe that banking services in PNG remains very poor despite the massive rate of efficiencies that the industry has experienced at the back of globalisation, technological advancements and better business management practices.
The banking services rate has been a nightmare for many people in this country let alone the concepts of financial inclusion, rural banking, and mobile banking and so on.
One of the most important banking services that customers need is cash withdrawal from an Automated Telling Machine (ATM) because most of the day-to-day transactions like paying for medical bills, giving children lunch money, purchasing vegetables for dinner, bus fare, and grabbing a newspaper requires cash (i.e. notes and coins).
Recently a friend who resides at Morata in the nation’s capital was sick and on his way to the Gerehu St John Hospital.
He needed cash for bus fare, to pay the medical bill and prescriptions so he decided to withdraw a K20 from his bank account at the BSP ATM at Stop N Shop, Waigani.
When he swiped his debit card, the ATM showed a low or zero cash message so he went to the next BSP ATM at Rainbow.
The ATM at Renbo was also out of service so he went all the way to Gerehu.
He then used the nearest Westpac ATM with withdraw and was charged the K2.50 fee.
The ATM didn’t give out the K20 and his card was held back.
My sick friend returned
home with his fever getting worse because he couldn’t afford to pay for his medical bill as well as purchase the prescription at the pharmacy.
Worse still, his K20 was debited from his BSP account, and where it went to and how he could recoup it he didn’t know.