Covid-19 driving change: Official


THE Covid-19 pandemic acted as a catalyst of change in the way business houses operate by accelerating contactless digital payments, according to the Bank South Pacific.
Digital general manager Nuni Kulu said it drove existing digital banking solutions and alleviated geographical dependencies on service reach for the business sector.
“Enhanced digital experience for BSP customers will see new changes in banking and technology (and) will always play an increasing role in how we provide client banking, regardless of the gap between technology and human adaptability,” she said.
“Ultimately, humanity is shifting toward connection by devices for news, weather, food, clothes, music, and banking.
“BSP plays an integral role in influencing customers and businesses to adapt to the new normal by providing cost effective and streamlined digital solutions through domestic and global commerce that will help stimulate economic activity.
“With a digital customer base estimating at an average of 400,000-plus, BSP tries to increase the market appetite toward adoption of alternative payment methods.
“As depicted, within a five year trend, consumers are shifting towards non-card payments, preferring mobile banking.”
Kulu also highlighted that in the first quarter of 2020, BSP introduced mobile merchants’ services to the USSD mobile banking platform for education institutions to receive payments for school fees and in November, extended it other industries.
“The mobile merchant service is free to access, enabling SMEs an alternate platform that offers customers a cheaper option to use mobile banking for payments,” she said
Kulu said the BSP 2021 digital payment initiatives would enhance the payment landscape and provide the conducive environment to increase financial inclusion to regional markets and drive digital adoption.
“On the horizon for 2021, highlights the launch of the BSP IPG (internet payment gateway) domestic payments, a non-card based solution, which targets online merchants for business-to-customer (B2C) transactions, effectively increasing market reach for businesses within PNG,” she said.
“Digital technology and capability know-how is at our doorsteps, but the stark reality is 80 per cent of the market are yet to come onto our financial systems.
“And even when we have 20 per cent banked, we have to relentlessly expand financial literacy and continue to advocate financial inclusion in our product offering to enable the people of PNG to access financial services.”