BSP – Branchless banking
Country: Solomon Islands
Partner: Bank of the South Pacific
Date: Sept 2013 – Dec 2014
Grant: USD $464,880
Target: 52,362 by 2016
Current reach: 65,468 (as of 31st December 2016)
The Solomon Islands remains one of the most unbanked countries in the Pacific region. Rural areas in the country continue to lack adequate and appropriate access to financial services and the proportion of people in rural areas who are unbanked is still very high. Low literacy, innumeracy, travel costs and mobile network coverage are major inhibiting factors for people gaining access to financial services, making it difficult to save for the future, access credit and recover from financial shocks.
BSP’s simple savings ‘Kundu Standard Account’ was designed to suit rural and low-income customers, including newly banked customers, who typically perform few transactions per month. As such there are no account opening or monthly fees and no minimum account balance to allow rural and low income earners to easily open accounts, with customers only paying for transactions they make.
Crucially, it provides branchless banking access through an extensive agent network, to provide easy access to banking services, and additionally relaxes the identification paperwork needed to open normal bank accounts.
The primary access method is the Kundu Card (debit card) and to a lesser extent Mobile Banking.
BSP Mobile Banking approach is based on the concept of payment ecosystems. Within such ecosystem, multiple stakeholders collaborate to change cash payments into electronic payments through the use of bank accounts, bank cards, EFTPOS and mobile banking.
Targeted clients include agricultural commodity growers and farmers, palm oil plantation workers, fishermen, market sellers and sole trader merchants. PFIP’s support enabled BSP to expand and equip its agent network to reach the target segments, particularly in rural areas of Solomon Islands.
Bank of the South Pacific (BSP) is recognised for its strong commitment to the Pacific region and its Melanesian uniqueness.
BSP has the largest branch network in Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Samoa and Tonga with branches and sub branches in cities and towns in these countries and also in remote rural locations. Their branch network is complemented by electronic banking networks that can meet the banking needs of customers wherever they operate.