MI­CRO­FI­NANCE REACHES OUT TO NEW CUS­TOMERS

Business Advantage Papua New Guinea - - Financial Services -

With nearly 500,000 clients, Pa­pua New Guinea’s mi­cro fi­nance in­dus­try is ex­pand­ing its reach, its num­bers and its ser­vices. There are 12 li­censed fi­nance in­sti­tu­tions, in­clud­ing the Peo­ple’s Mi­cro Bank, Na­tion­wide Mi­crobank, PNG Mi­cro­fi­nance, Kina Fi­nance and the Women’s Mi­cro Bank, which was launched in Au­gust 2014. Each pro­vides loans, some pro­vide bank­ing ser­vices, and with the ad­vent of mo­bile phone tech­nol­ogy, each is ex­pand­ing across the coun­try. 'Mi­cro-credit is in­creas­ingly be­com­ing an im­por­tant means to bridg­ing the gap of pro­vid­ing ac­cess to for­mal bank­ing ser­vices for the marginalised and un­banked pop­u­la­tion of the coun­try,’ says An­thony Dela Cruz, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of the Peo­ple’s Mi­cro Bank. Mo­bile phone tech­nol­ogy is al­low­ing PNG’S largely ru­ral dwellers ac­cess to bank­ing ser­vices. Na­tion­wide’s Tony West­away says about half his ac­count hold­ers use mo­bile phone tech­nol­ogy. ‘In the very re­mote lo­ca­tions, 80% of our new ac­counts are with peo­ple who’ve never banked be­fore and they’re all bank­ing by mo­bile wal­let.’ Mean­while, Kina Fi­nance has part­nered with West­pac to use its mo­bile bank­ing plat­form for its Esiloan cus­tomers.

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