Date: January 23, 2019
Source: Post Courier
Internet and telecommunication connectivity is a huge challenge for financial services says Pacific Financial Inclusion Program specialist Jagdeep Dahiya.
He said this is because when financial institutions wants to roll out services into the rural areas services such as online banking remains a challenge due to very poor or no infrastructure at all.
Mr Dahiya made this remark during the opening of the Mama Bank Access point last week.
He said the biggest challenges in PNG is the lack of infrastructure both the physical infrastructure and others such as telecommunications and power.
Therefore he added that the Mama Bank Access point was built in a way that its system is capable of functioning online as well as offline so even if there is a downtime in terms of internet connectivity.
“People will still be able to continue with the transactions so that was kept as one of the key conditions when we started designing it.
Because internet connectivity and telecommunication connectivity is the challenge and as we go away from the urban centres the challenge actually increases, which is where we want to set up the MAPs,” he said.
Mr Dahiya noted that another challenge is the high cost of doing business in PNG.
He said setting up a branch for the MAPs would be costly and it would not be commercially viable.
“The other thing was, we need to look at the commercial viability from the institution and the funding that PFIP provides is always with that commercial viability being at the back of the mind.
“Because we can support distributions once or twice to try something new or set up the processes but unless and until it is making money for the institution and providing the benefit of the people it is not going to last long.
So in order for it to be sustainable it has to be a commercially viable institution and that is something that we are very mindful of,” he said.