On­line bank­ing catch­ing on in PNG

David James speaks with West­pac Pa­cific gen­eral man­ager Greg Paw­son about the ad­vent of elec­tronic bank­ing in PNG.

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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

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