Online banking catching on in PNG
David James speaks with Westpac Pacific general manager Greg Pawson about the advent of electronic banking in PNG.
The advent of electronic banking in Papua New Guinea has the potential to significantly modernise and expand the country’s financial system, says Greg Pawson, the general manager of Westpac Pacific.
Pawson says that technology advances, which have resulted in greater use of internet platforms and mobile phones, have made it possible for PNG to catch up quickly.
“From a banking perspective, we’re probably 20 years behind more developed markets like Australia and New Zealand with respect to the use of electronic transactional banking,” he says.
“So, clearly, there is a mandate for us to get customers in the Pacific seeing the value and convenience of these electronic platforms and (have them) actively use them.
“That will give people back the time they spend visiting branches or managing their financial affairs. It will also help to take the pressure off the volume, the sheer volume, in cash and cheques that are in the banking systems in both (the PNG and Fiji) markets today.”
Pawson identifies a number of trends at the regional, corporate, mid-level and micro-level. Regionally, many Australian corporations that operate in PNG are relocating their headquarters from Australia to Singapore in an effort to integrate more into the Asian region.
“If you look at the upper end of the market, we are making sure that we’re connecting our PNG and Fiji corporate and