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PNG Market Adapting to Contactless Transactions

The PNG market has adapted to 64 per cent Visa contactless transactions. This is significantly higher than other markets in the Asia-Pacific region such as Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Taiwan.

According to Bank South Pacific’s digital general manager, Nuni Kulu, this is a magnificent start for the BSP digital payment system with an adoption rate over a four-year period for the PNG market, as compared with other markets such as Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand - which normally takes eight years.

“As more goods and services are purchased using various electronic mediums, we transition away from the dependency to use cash or cheques. Digital payments using cards on channels such as ATMs and EFTPoS have been in our markets for over three decades and our banked customers still dependent on these traditional payment channels to carry out their everyday transactions,” she said. “We, however, are seeing a rise in alternate payments, alternative payment methods are bringing new ways for customers to transfer funds online using electronic funds transfer (EFT) for payments in a secure and password-protected manner. The customer is carrying out payments and banking on their readily accessible mobile devices. The accessibility to the simplest phones or ‘one bang’, is driving a connected population who are now gravitating to this style of payment. The increasing adoption of mobile phone devices in the Pacific is supported by the improving expansion of telecommunication networks and we are seeing a direct correlation with an increase in mobile banking transactions.”

He added, “As for the current unbanked who are still accustomed to using cash, it is the role of all financial institutions to drive financial inclusion and offer relevant banking solutions to encourage our population to deposit value through the use of digital solutions. As reported in the media, the impact of COVID-19 on our economy resulted in an increased budget deficit from K4.6 billion to K6.6 billion by the PNG Government. Although the pandemic has been a disruption globally, it has also acted as a catalyst in changing the way we do business by accelerating alternative contactless digital payments, driving existing digital banking solutions and alleviating geographical dependencies on service reach for the business sector. Ultimately, humanity is shifting toward connection by devices for news, weather, food, clothes, music and banking.”

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