February 28, 2019
MoneyMinded, ANZ Bank’s financial literacy programme is set to be expanded to 10,000 i-Kiribati living in rural islands thanks to a new partnership announced today.
Through New Zealand Government funding and technical assistance from the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP), ANZ will be able to expand the reach of the program beyond the two locations where it currently offers the course.
MoneyMinded builds knowledge and confidence of individuals to make informed decisions about how to manage money. The program uses a mixture of online training tools for individuals to learn at their own pace and has a wide network of certified trainers throughout the Pacific.
The partnership will be undertaken in two phases; expansion of the MoneyMinded programme followed by the introduction of digital financial services.
According to 2016 World Bank data, only about 10% of the population (114,395) of Kiribati, have a bank account with ANZ. 46,000 i-Kiribati are mobile phone users. ANZ sees these figures as an opportunity to roll out internet banking and transactionsFinancial Literacy Programme to reach more i-Kiribati and new financial services in the pipeline on its mobile app goMoney. These financial services will help increase the use of electronic payment solutions which will be especially beneficial for the private sector and in particular civil servants. ANZ is currently also working with the Kiribati Government to transition its payroll system to electronic transfers on its Transactive service thus doing away with paying civil servants large sums of money in cash fortnightly.
ANZ Chief Executive Officer Finau Soqo for Kiribati said the partnership would not only increase financial literacy but would drastically improve financial access in the country.
“Digital Financial Services will be beneficial for our customers as they won’t have to travel to our two branches, queue in line to conduct their transactions. Rural customers can also use our existing network of merchants to access their accounts.
PFIP Deputy Programme Manager Krishnan Narasimhan said that financial competency is an important life skill that PFIP has been working towards improving throughout the Pacific. He said that financial literacy is an important component needed for financial service users to as it increases their ability to interact positively with the money economy in a way which prepares them to utilise digital finance solutions.
Narasimhan also added that in 2019 PFIP was expanding its work to reach more Pacific Island Countries and Kiribati was the first country outside of the usual six that it operates in. He said that this move was in accordance with an ongoing call from the Governments of Australia and New Zealand to improve financial access in the Pacific as the region remains the least banked in the world.