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BSP Supports Rural Community Transform Livelihoods.

Friday, July 1, 2022

The BSP Financial Group (BSP) has supported the Mataqali Kuneabota Project with its recent Transforming Livelihoods Symposium held in Vanuabalavu, Lau over two days.

BSP’s Senior Manager Microfinance Mr Isikeli Taoi (pictured above with group) who spoke on the theme “Behaviour Change for Sustainable Growth” also commended this clan within the Yavusa Navusaqa for their determined focus on financial literacy and financial well-being of its people.  “We commend this forward-thinking community for their efforts and re-emphasise the significance of financial literacy. Now, more than ever, people must adapt to the modern modes of banking by embracing digital banking platforms such as Internet Banking, SMS Banking and EFTPoS services”, he said.  “Now we have introduced the BSP Internet Payment Gateway that enables customers, including rural based online shoppers to visit selected online stores, click “Pay with BSP” at the check-out section in order to pay or confirm their purchase using an EasyCard or any VISA badged card.  They can do all this from the comfort of their rural homes”.

In accordance with the Bank’s commitment to the National Financial Inclusion Agenda, BSP has a dedicated rural banking team primarily responsible for the delivery of rural banking services via Post Offices and advocating Financial Literacy across the country including remote, rural and maritime communities.

“Our involvement has been to support this initiative by the Mataqali Kuneabota Project in promoting their women’s entrepreneurial activities which includes learning the basics about banking, how to open accounts, manage their accounts and just being there to address any queries they had”, he added.  “I am proud of the commitment shown by this community to transform their livelihoods despite the huge challenges they face in comparison to their peers who are based in the urban centres”.

BSP currently has five rural Post Offices serving the province of Lau that deliver basic BSP banking services such as deposits, withdrawals, account balances, PIN resets, card issuance/replacements and resolving queries in collaboration with the BSP Rural Banking and Operations Centre teams based in Suva.

“Thanks to the tripartite partnership between the Government, Post Fiji and the Bank, Fijians living or working in rural/maritime regions are able to access these banking services which bridges the geographic divide and barriers to banking”, Mr Taoi mentioned.

The symposium included workshops for men, women, youths and the wider community of the Yavusa Navusaqa and neighbouring island of Tuvuca.  Discussions focused on changing attitudes after COVID-19, enhancing livelihoods through sustainable initiatives, participation of youths in the Green Economy and putting change into action.  Other stakeholders that supported the event included the GEF Small Grants Program, UNDP and the Hot Bread Kitchen.