Wabag in Enga Province is deemed the least populous provincial capital in the country. It is situated on the Lai River and the Highlands Highway passes through the town between Mount Hagen and Porgera. Nestled in this town, is one of Bank South Pacific Financial Limited (BSP) top mobile merchants Esrae Trading, an active advocate for cashless ecosystems and a frontline financial inclusion touch point, educating its consumers on the convenience and economic benefits to pay using mobile payments. This SME retailer continues to influence the payment landscape by driving cashless payments through Mobile Payments, they burst on the scene early this year generating the 2nd highest transaction volumes across Papua New Guinea. Consumers within Enga province are embracing the paradigm shift fro to mobile banking, a far more secure way to transact.
Elsie Sumnan, shop owner stated, “My customers are educating each other on how to pay using mobile payments. When a customer makes a purchase successfully on their phone, word gets out as part of the awareness and more and more people are starting to pay with their phone”. I continue to teach my customers on mobile payments and how it is cheaper for them to pay, I tell them, mobile banking is convenient as you just use your one bang phone (feature phone), you don’t need credit just dial *131#, and I make sure they know it’s cheaper than EFTPoS and card, the bank fees 10 toea tasol.” Elsie added, “My customers know they have a cheaper option to get cash back using mobile banking as opposed to using their cards to get cash out. I can help provide this banking service to the customer and for me as a merchant, there is no fee”.
The Payment Landscape continues to evolve at a growing pace with consumer needs and/or demands pushing for advanced convenience and cheaper options to purchase goods and services, household items, and utility payments.
BSP understands that Digital adoption will encounter geographical dependencies considering the service availability and reach, specifically within rural PNG. This financial gap provides opportunity to resolve payment constraints through the enhancement of existing digital solutions, focusing mainly on the mobile banking platform.
BSP is considered a digital enabler for the masses, we assess channel adoption by the large masses, and we recognize the significance of our mobile banking USSD Platform, it is a critical rail that allows BSP to reach into the most rural areas of PNG and influence financial inclusion.