March 6, 2016
BSP is teaching and encouraging thousands of Papua New Guineans how to manage money better by taking training into remote villages.BSP in partnership with Bank of Papua New Guinea’s Microfinance Expansion Project (MEP) is delivering training in savings, budgeting and mobile money. Since launching in 2014, thousands of Papua New Guineans have learnt the basics of banking and more importantly basic financial literacy.
The program is aimed at reviving the dying savings culture and engages financial institutions to bring the message to the people. So far BSP is the only commercial bank working with BPNG to roll out the program.
BSP has a committed Banking Education Team and 120 qualified trainers that conduct the Financial Literacy Program covering the following topics: Setting savings goals, Methods on how to increase your savings, coping with emergencies, Selecting the right savings options and Develop and utilise a savings plan.
Budgeting covers Setting financial goals and creating budgets, while there is also a component that focuses on mobile money, which helps recipients understand how to use mobile banking to their advantage. The trainers also offer guidance on which bank product best suites customer’s needs.
In 2015, BSP trained 20,950 people across PNG, and 49% of participants at these trainings were women. These participants were from 122 rural communities, 67 business houses, 35 schools and 29 church groups.
And the recipients have nothing but applause for BSP for taking such training, free of charge, to their doorsteps.
“It was an eye opener for us and it will definitely help Papua New Guineans to better manage their money,” says secondary school teacher, Sione Ongulo. Sione was among students at from Gumine Secondary who attended the training. Sione also said the techniques and methods used to deliver the training, was practical and simple which best suited the grassroots.
Paula Toman, a women leader at Bamne village in Chimbu concurs with Sione: “We enjoyed the sessions as it was informative, educational and motivational.”
From the Highlands to the Islands, the sentiments are the same. In Sasavoru Parish, Kandrian/Glouster District, a 5 hour drive from provincial capital Kimbe, West New Britain, over 200 mothers at a church convention, heaped praise for BSP.
BSP is also not only conducting financial literacy training, BSP is setting up Agents in many remote areas, so people can have access to basic banking services. The Agents are local trade store or business owners who are trained and equipped by BSP to conduct basic transactions like withdrawal and deposits. In PNG, BSP has 291 Agents. And in the districts BSP has 42 Sub Branches.
This eco-system created by BSP is a community service and saves locals time, money and effort, as they bank closer to home. BSP’s commitment to PNG is stronger than ever, and the outreach through financial literacy training and ensuring financial inclusion is testament to that.
Source: Papua New Guinea Today