Bank South Pacific’s new BSP Pay service is launched this month with a view to helping MSMEs reach its 1.8 million customers online.
2020 is the year Papua New Guinea’s largest bank plans to ramp up its ecommerce offerings to small businesses.
Speaking during the recent inaugural PNG Digital Commerce Forum, the bank’s Head of Digital Implementation and Performance, Belinda Manning, noted a drop in ATM usage and EFTPOS and a rise in online payments systems in PNG.
But the bank has not yet tapped the full potential of online payment systems. Manning said that BSP has 200,000 debit cards in circulation but over 1.8 million bank accounts, so ‘we are missing the ability to maximise and reach our 1.8 million customers’.
‘We will introduce a new online payment system that is not card-based and we will reach out to the 1.8 million customers here in PNG.’
This month, the bank is launching a domestic ecommerce solution, BSP Pay, that will allow for clients to register for the service online so they don’t need to come into a branch.
‘We will introduce a new online payment system that is not card-based and we will reach out to the 1.8 million customers here in PNG,’ Manning explained. ‘It will be a secure payment solution that will allow for a one-time password to authenticate the transaction.’
The aim is for ecommerce transactions to make up 10 per cent of overall digital channel transactions by 2022.
The secret will be to get the MSME market comfortable with making the switch to online payments by connecting them to PNG-based tech companies, who will provide the solution, rather than international providers.
‘Isn’t it great that we have that local talent you can catch up with over a coffee and ask those daunting questions?’ Manning added.
Moving away from cash
Nuni Kulu, BSP’s General Manager of Digital, said that the improvements in ecommerce are part of a general trend in banking away from using cash particularly for businesses.
‘We are seeing adoption not only from our B2C clients but we are starting to see it across industries more, with B2B transactions coming through,’ Kulu said.
‘We are starting to see mobile payments become the customers’ preferred purchase options.’
The key was to design the right platform for smaller businesses because customers are already embracing the digital payment world.
‘We are starting to see mobile payments become the customers’ preferred purchase options and with the use of our Visa debit products we are starting to see our own customers access the global app giants who offer digital payments,’ Kulu said. ‘From a business perspective, the opportunity now is to develop these payment platforms and to really have your customers complete their sales using your own systems.
‘The benefits are numerous,’ she said. ‘You get real-time settlement to your bank accounts.’
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