In the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, BSP plans to expand the Buka branch by the year end 2011, open a new branch in Arawa and set up two new ATMs in Kokopau.
In regards to cash handling BSP charges 2 percent on cash handling. This is for every over the counter withdrawal at a branch. It should be noted that the costs of operating a branch are extremely high considering BSP has to transport money to remote locations, additional security costs from lawlessness, the need for better systems and so forth.
To get cash to centres such as Buka, the aircraft charter cost alone is approx K40, 000 ex POM and a charter is required monthly. Then there are other associated costs such as security that goes with cash movements (Armored vehicle etc).
To ensure that businessmen, such as commodity buyers get the cash to pay growers, there is a lot of costs and resources involved and BSP covers these costs through cash handling fees.
Cash shortages are extremely unfortunate but are sometimes caused by commodity buyers who place pressure on the branch with unscheduled withdraws. To avoid such instances, it is normal protocol for commodity buyers to ensure sufficient notice is given to branches.
BSP encourages our retail customers to use the SMS banking, ATMs and Eftpos for banking which is far more convenient, safe and accessible.
By using Automated Telling Machines (ATMs) and EFTPOS machines in shops and using SMS banking, BSP customers can actually reduce their annual banking fees if the customer manages their banking needs correctly.
The SMS banking initiative allows customers to do banking 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Through SMS banking, customers can transfer funds to nominated accounts, check the last three transactions, top up their Digicel mobile phones and change their PIN numbers.
BSP is the only bank that has an extended outreach through rural areas around PNG. Foreign banks only focus their banking services on the more profitable corporate customer services, they get the profit and BSP gets the costs.
BSP has also launched the BSP Rural initiative with new Rural Agencies already opened in 6 centres. The centres are Kwikila, Lufa, Henganofi, Banz, Minj and Kerowagi.
BSP expects to open 100 Rural Agencies in the next 18 months. BSP Rural will operate as an agency performing similar banking functions to a normal bank, however with slightly different features.
This new initiative will not be highly profitable, however BSP believes in making banking more accessible, easier, convenient and safer for the people of PNG, because we understand the needs of PNG, like no other bank.
BSP Rural account holders will have a BSP Rural Kundu Card that can be used at any of BSP's 200 ATMs and 2,900 EFTPOS terminals nationwide. The BSP Rural Kundu Card can be used to:
- Purchase goods at stores and get cash-out with your purchases
- Make ATM withdrawals
- By airtime top-ups
- Print Mini statements