Mobile banking boost to rural Solomon Islands businesses

20/10/2013

<p style="text-align: justify;">The proliferation of mobile phones around the Pacific islands region is making it possible for people even in the remotest regions to access services that would otherwise be restricted to urban locations.<!--more--></p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The progressive deregulation of the telecommunication industry around island nations over the past decade has greatly expanded mobile telephone and data networks covering many places that had no telecommunications infrastructure before. These services are bringing benefits both to individuals and businesses.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">One of the early business sectors that has ridden this wave of expanding mobile coverage is the financial services and banking sector. Money transfer and banking companies have been offering a range of services to people in remote locations for the past few years. This month, the outer islands of the Solomon Islands group will be able to access banking services delivered through the mobile phone network.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The Bank South Pacific (BSP) last week began a campaign to gain new customers in the southern and northern regions of Malaita in the Solomon Islands for its rural mobile banking services.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">BSP recently launched new products designed to assist people living in remote and rural areas that have access to banking services via its recently launched mobile banking service and branchless banking.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Sharon Toby, BSP’s spokeswoman for the Mobile Banking Product Campaign told local media that BSP’s Mobile Banking Team would be campaigning in Malaita for two weeks.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">“The message BSP wants to put out is that this is a product we want to market out to rural areas where banking services are not previously available. But now with this service, you can make a transaction anywhere provided you have a Telekom tower near you,” Ms Toby was quoted as saying.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">“It is not just for ordinary customers like teachers and police officers posted out in rural areas. We are also targeting small business customers like copra producers and small retail shop owners,” she said.</p>

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