Locals line up to open accounts


WESTPAC is reaching out into the rural communities under its Choice Wantok programme where it is encouraging villagers to open bank accounts.
The bank is giving the opportunity to the people to use its services at trade stores in the villages.
Last Friday, Westpac Mt Hagen staff launched the service at the Tri Kona Service Station for the people of Kondopina in Dei, Western Highlands.
Hundreds opened accounts with the bank and received cards to use at the Eftpos machine installed at the service station.
This will also benefit the people from Jiwaka.
Service station owner Manga Bengi said the service was safe for people in the village, adding that it was protecting people who travelled long distances carrying cash to deposit in banks.
“Many people do not own accounts because of the banks’ strict policies. But I commended Westpac for giving this opportunity to the villagers,” he said.
Westpac manager Innovative Hub Ghandi Katao said about 75 per cent of the total population or 5.5 million people in the country did not have a bank account and that it was unfortunate because people did not know about the culture of saving.