Banking at your fingertips

A lack of access to basic financial services makes it difficult for low income earners to take control of their economic lives.

Speaking during the recent opening of the Mama Bank Access Points (MAPs), UN Regional Coordinator, Gianluca Rampolla said he was proud to witness an important day for the future of financial inclusion in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific region.

“A region that is still one of the least banked in the world. A new innovative solution is about to be piloted here that will make it easier for rural dwellers to access and use financial services, and especially for women.

“The UN firmly believes that innovative solutions are critical to create solutions that add value for Papua New Guineans that are most affected by development challenges.

“When people are included in the financial system, they are better able to climb out of poverty by investing in business or education.”

Over the past few months, WMBL and PFIP have developed a biometric enabled system that makes financial services more accessible for rural communities, especially for women who are WMBL’s main customers.

The MAPs are kiosk-type structures established at safe locations in market places, manned by two WMBL staff. Each MAP is equipped with tablet-based biometric technology that allows customers to transact with WMBL by just using their fingerprint.

This makes it much easier for customers as very often bank cards get lost or stolen and many people tend to forget their PIN. For the pilot, the MAPs will be initially set up in Port Moresby, Kerema (Gulf Province), Madang (Madang Province), Maprik (East Sepik) and Goroka (Eastern Highlands Province). 

When opening a new account at the MAP, customers will have to complete the necessary identification requirements (KYC) set forth by the Bank of PNG and will have their fingerprint impressions taken on a biometric reader. Once this is done, the customer will be able to perform basic transactions, such as savings, deposits, withdrawals and checking their balance conveniently, literally at the touch of their fingertips. 

(PFIP launching the new biometric banking technology with UN Resident Coordinator to PNG - Gianluca Rampolla, EU Delegation in PNG Representative Rene Mally and WMBL General Manager Gunanidhi Das)

Press release