This was revealed during the launching of the Second National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) 2016 -2020 in Port Moresby yesterday.
According to the Bank of PNG and the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI) unprecedented growth in financial inclusion has been accomplished since the adoption of the first NFIS 2014 – 2015 which was launched in 2013.
The achievements and milestones include:
- 1, 187, 024 new bank accounts opened with 35 per cent (462, 939) opened by women.
- 124, 375 people reached with financial inclusion with 47 per cent being women
- A total of 12, 599 service outlets. They include 67 new branches, 73 ATM’s, 4, 959 EFTPOS, and 23 new agents added onto the financial service network.
- 696, 792 policy holders have taken out micro-insurance products
- 315, 993 people now linked their deposit accounts with mobile network (Mobile Phone Banking)
In his keynote address, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill commended the Bank of PNG and CEFI for the success of the first NFIS.
He urged them to build on the success to drive the financial inclusion program to other untapped regions in the country and committed the government support to the effort.
“This second financial inclusion strategy is very important. We must not just be complacent with the success that we have had.
“We must continue to encourage access to this services by a large majority of our population,” said O’Neill.
Bank of PNG Governor said the first financial inclusion exercise was an eye opener and said the effort would not be possible without support from development partners and stakeholders.
He said with more people receiving access to financial services there was now a need for financial literacy
This one of the focus areas highlighted in the second strategy.
The new financial inclusion strategy provides the strategic framework for coordinating, advocating, and sustaining efforts in partnership with all stakeholders to achieve the common vision of creating an inclusive and sustainable Papua New Guinea.