The National, Thursday 23rd August, 2012
COMMODITY buyers in West New Britain province have lauded BSP Rural for providing an immediate and secure payment scheme to commodity growers through the bank’s mobile banking service.
BSP Rural launched the service in Kimbe last Friday following a successful rollout in neighbouring East New Britain. .
The bank’s mobile banking payment services will now allow buyers in the province to make payments directly to growers’ bank accounts through cell phones and tablet computers.
This means commodity buyers do not need to carry huge sums of cash or raise cheques, which greatly reduces the risk and costs involved.
For commodity growers, they will now have instant access to their money and no longer have to travel far to do their banking in town.
Kimbe Bay Shipping Agency (KBSA) and NGIP-Agmark agree that the service would ultimately eliminate the need to write cheques and to provide security for them and their growers.
KBSA’s Peter Peterson said they wrote about 200 cheques per day and the new service was excellent.
“We will support BSP 101%,” he said.
NGIP-Agmark’s Kops Warike said BSP’s mobile banking initiative has reduced the risk of carrying cash and costs in travelling to town to cash cheques.
“NGIP-Agmark supports this initiative and we plan to roll out this service to all branches,” he said.
“We appreciate the effort of BSP, which will greatly reduce our cash handling.”
Local businessman and commodity grower Victor Narare was very impressed with the initiative as it promotes sustainable livelihoods.
“In West New Britain, the saving culture is not here,” he said.
“Every day, we spend a lot of money.
“This initiative promotes sustainable livelihoods because more of our people are saving, as we have BSP Rural in our communities.”
West New Britain provincial administration expressed similar sentiments and has vowed to work in partnership with BSP and support the rollout.
Provincial administrator Raphael Steven said there was a great desire by both provincial government and administration to empower our people.
“We stand ready to support BSP roll out this service,” he said.
According to Steven, there is a huge disposable income of up to K10 million that is paid out monthly to palm oil growers alone.
He said most growers used their income instantly without saving for the future.
“In West New Britain, we consume a lot, and we must encourage a saving culture,” Steven said.
“That huge disposable income can be reduced.”