The National, Thursday June 20th, 2013
By PISAI GUMAR
WESTPAC has revived the origin of in-store banking concept at Salamaua in Huon Gulf, reaching almost 300 Busama villagers who opened new accounts – a first in rural Morobe districts.
Banking team leader Raphael Waiyalaka along with four staff had set up three Eftpos machines – two at Busama and one at Lagui village.
Councillor and president candidate Philemon Tomala launched one Eftpos machine at REM Investment Ltd, while Linny Mark and Bruce Awateng launched one each at Busama and Lagui yesterday, respectively.
Waiyalaka said it was the second in the country after Veifa in Central for Westpac to reach out to ensure remote people were linked to banking services.
“It was to encourage and change human mindset to cope with savings culture as per instructions from the Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG) … this is to ensure that banking institutions and agencies are reaching out to the unbanked majority in the rural areas,” he said.
“Westpac is also in the process to develop a product for children aged from five to 16 for school fees and to encourage them realise the importance of savings,” Waiyalaka said.
LLG manager Joe Paru thanked the coming of the banking service which he said complemented the Salamaua fish-buying project, a business arm of the council to be launched on June 25.
He said Salamaua was fortunate to be the first among 33 Morobe LLGs to have a rural banking facility.
Paru said with Eftpos being introduced in the area, it would be possible to revive the old Westpac bank at Salamaua.