The National, Wednesday October 23rd, 2013
By SHIRLEY MAULUDU
MOBILE banking in PNG is gaining momentum in providing financial services, a conference revealed last week.
PNG Institute of Banking and Business Management Inc (IBBM) executive director Sweta Sud told The National yesterday more than 200 participants attended the one-day conference last Friday in Port Moresby.
The conference took up the mobile money scheme where participants from the banks and financial institutions, telecommunication and insurance companies, retailers, donor agencies and others gave comments.
“The message from the participants was the learning achieved by looking at other successful international models of mobile money like M-Pesa in Kenya, Pakistan, the Philippines, Bangladesh and India.
“The participants agreed that mobile money was the way to go in overcoming challenges in financial inclusion for the 80% of PNG’s rural population.
Sud said some essential learning about implementing mobile money solutions in PNG were achieved during the conference.
“Bank-led models for all four major banks (ANZ, BSP, Nationwide and Westpac) were discussed and compared.
“Also mobile network-operated models were compared (Digicel’s “cellmoni” and Post PNG’s SMK).
The key findings about the next steps on mobile money were:
n For financial Inclusion, simple cell phone handsets would work, thus doing away with expensive smartphone handsets;
n All banks and operators dedicatedly working towards extending their networks and agents for mobile money users throughout the country to bring the maximum reach to the PNG’s non-urban populations; and
n Mobile money turned out to be the winning answer and solution to many of PNG’s challenges of financial inclusion and upgrading the informal sector to a formal sector economy
Sud said the next financial inclusion expo would be organised by Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI) and Bank of PNG on Dec 6 in Port Moresby.
Meanwhile, she said IBBM continues to bring PNG banking seminar once each year on the most current topic of the year.