PNG FIRST: KINA BANK FIRST TO CONNECT TO BPNG’s NEW “SWITCH”
Kina Bank becomes the first financial institution in PNG to connect to the Bank of PNG’s new central “switch” – a digital software solution that allows all of the banks in PNG to connect to one another through the central bank.
As the first institution to successfully connect, it shows Kina Bank’s flexibility and speed to market. Greg Pawson, Chief Executive Officer of Kina Bank, said: “The new switch is a game-changer for banking in PNG. It will lead to additional customer choice because it removes barriers to entry for smaller financial institutions who offer their own cards or EFTPOS and ATM services.”
Currently, banks’ ATM and POS switches communicate directly from bank to bank, facilitated by bilateral agreements. This means that non-banks, like microfinance companies or savings and loans societies, who want to issue cards to their customers, or offer ATM and POS services, are dependent on the dominant banks. This dependency is seen as a dampener on the expansion of financial inclusion in PNG.