BSP keeps investing in technology

BSP chief executive officer ROBIN FLEMING states that the company continues to invest in new technology to improve its customer services

BANK South Pacific continues to invest in new technology in an effort to improve customers’ access to its services, chief executive officer Robin Fleming says.
Fleming made these remarks when announcing the group’s half year financial results to the media and its investors in Port Moresby on Tuesday.
He said mobile banking was their leading channel, with branches representing seven per cent of total transactions in the second quarter of this year, given continued focus to reduce customers’ cash dependency in line with their digital strategy, ongoing investment in electronic funds transfer at point of sale (Eftpos), internet and mobile banking.
“We’re investing in new technology which is given for any bank, participated in a retail electronic payment system with couple of other banks and smaller financial institutions,” he said.
“We can get people to use our mobile banking services, a change in our switch to the electronic payment system.”

From left: BSP group chief finance officer Eddie Ruha, strategic analyst Michelle Ani, chief executive officer Robin Fleming and BSP capital’s general manager Gheno Minia during the announcement of the group’s half year financial results in Port Moresby on Tuesday.

Fleming said it was important that the products were the same across the countries they operated in.
“It is important that we have the same payment switch used in the offshore branches as well as in PNG,” he said.
“We are introducing lower risk products to our customers which is our Eropay, Master and Visa (EMV) chip card which have been in PNG for over 12 months now.
“We are introducing them across the Pacific and have undergone a significant changes in our technology in the Pacific.”
Fleming said they were in the process of upgrading their branches and sub-branches in the country as well as the countries they operated in.
“Tonga was upgraded over the weekend,” he said.
“The only country now which is not on our switch platform is Vanuatu and that will be done before the end of the year.”
Fleming also said the bank was set to begin a major rollout to replace the existing Eftpos machines across the country.
He said the rollout was to keep up with the trends in banking technology and security which have deemed the previous machine reaching their end of life usage in the bank’s network.
“We have got the software upgrade which is required so you have got end of life terminal, and what we wanted to do is some significant upgrades to the terminals.”
Fleming said the first 850 Move5000 machines would arrive in the country next week and the roll out would be done over the next two to three years.
“We do have 8,500 Eftpos terminals in PNG and we are going through the process now of upgrading our fleet of Eftpos terminals to add additional functionality and additional capability,” he said.
“Obviously being ‘touch and go’ capable and ‘tap and go’ capable (products), introducing our deposit acceptance card capacity with our Eftpos terminals so that our agents can use Eftpos terminals for withdrawals and deposits.”

BSP group chief executive officer Robin Fleming.

Fleming said they were also looking closely at introducing other products to ensure that customers had access to mobile banking once they opened an account with BSP.
He said this would also help to reduce the number of people queuing up at the branches and opt to the digital and electronic platforms of banking.
“We have a lot of responsibility in maintaining banking services,” he said.
“We provide some alternatives with our unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) like the Air Niugini ticketing for example.
“Activity is increasing and we’re trying to get some more transaction.”
Fleming said with the smartphone applications, the younger generation would be more reliant on digital banking rather than traditional banking.