BSP encourages rural banking

Momase, Normal

The National, Thursday June 20th, 2013

 BANK South Pacific has no plans to build a new branch in Madang but has encouraged customers to use other existing facilities to carry out transactions.

The bank’s training officer in Madang Samuel Ray said yesterday at Bawak village in the Australabe local level government in the Raicoast district that there were alternative and cheaper ways to do banking transactions.

He said mobile banking and using the BSP cash agencies took less time and charged less fees.

“Mobile banking is fast and cheap instead of standing in long queues for hours to perform transactions that will cost you more,” Ray said.

He said BSP received an international award in Dubai for introducing mobile banking in rural areas and had gained wider recognition for its services in the rural communities.

Ray said the bank had opened branches in other Pacific Islands and should also open one in Australia.

He said Madang had 10 automated teller machines (ATMs) and 800 Eftpos machines. 

A new one was installed last week at the FRG Clothing shop near the LBC facility.

He encouraged the Madang provincial government to establish BSP rural banking facilities or cash agencies at rural government stations so that people could make deposits and withdrawals at their villages and districts without having to spend money to go into town and stand in long queues.

“The Walium and Kinim government stations have cash agencies while Bogia and Saidor were closed down,” Ray said. 

“The provincial government needs to sort out the problems they have so that the cash agencies there can be reopened.”

He also encouraged the villagers to form groups and apply for BSP’s “savings secured loan”, a new service introduced by the bank to allow customers to use their savings as security to get loans. 

Customers can get twice as much as their savings in the bank at any one time under this new loan facility, he said.

Last year the bank’s Madang branch opened 11,000 new accounts, which was second only to Mt Hagen.