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Realities from the ground; Designing financial services around the ‘Wantok’ culture in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea    

Up until 2017, only 10% of the population in the Highlands were using formal financial services. Westpac believes that understanding people, their culture, values, and the way things work for communities and linking those insights to the design of financial services can greatly improve the uptake and usage of those services. The ‘Choice Wantok’ savings account that Misa uses is a re-engineered bank account from Westpac to test new financial services that are tailored to the needs of lower income Highlanders.

Little things that people often take for granted, can for some, make a world of difference. This rings true of a banking service that Westpac Bank launched in March, 2017, by Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, during the 32nd Australia/PNG Business Forum and Trade Exposition held in Port Moresby. Called...

Remarks by Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells at the Westpac Pacific Dinner

Thank you very, very much Greg. Can I start by acknowledging you and all your team at Westpac, to our High Commissioner Bruce Davis, to David Toua, the many distinguished guests who are here this evening, ladies and gentlemen. It is my very great pleasure to be here this evening at the opening of the...

People in the Highlands region now have the option of saving, protecting and using their money. The first-of-its-kind program has been announced by Westpac, the Pacic Financial Inclusion Program (PFIP) and the Australian Government. Choice Wantok is a new low-cost banking option specially developed to suit people in the Highlands, an area where most people...

The forum’s theme this year is “Navigating the Cycle: Creating Opportunities in Challenging Times” and will run between May 14 and 16.   Fierravanti-Wells will use the visit to launch the Choice Wantok program in partnership with Westpac, to increase access to banking services in the PNG highlands using a range of digital solutions.  ...