Australian lender Westpac is set to introduce a new mobile banking service in Papua New Guinea in February 2014, to expand its financial services offering for the unbanked population in the country and the Pacific Islands.
The new service will be available for all mobile devices, regardless of handset make, data packages or operating system, claims the bank.
Westpac mobile banking head Gary Collins said the service, which was launched recently on the Solomon Islands, would be based on the same unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) technology that had already proven highly successful in Africa and Asia.
"Mobile banking technology is particularly beneficial for customers based in remote and rural locations, because it eliminates the need to spend time and money travel long distances to their ‘local’ branch to have their banking needs met," Collins added.
"Our mobile banking offering will be underpinned by our highly successful in-store banking platform, which offers select merchants the ability to provide banking services to customers using EFTPOS terminal.
"We already have 179 active In-stores across the Pacific, which is testament to the success of this kind of informal banking."
The bank will invite customers to register for the new mobile banking service ahead of the launch.