In my last column, I touched on access to banking services and the power of connectivity.
In this article, I hope to demonstrate the power of our ANZ goMoney mobile phone banking technology in providing both access and connectivity to both urban and rural communities across the country.
75% of the population across the Pacific doesn’t have access to banking services and mobile phone banking plays a strategic role in the Pacific region. When launching ANZ goMoney across the Pacific last year, Vishnu Mohan, CEO Pacific and CEO Fiji stated: “ANZ takes its responsibility to the communities in which we operate very seriously, and we strongly believe in this investment”.
We have certainly seen this in the Solomon lslands where I am particularly proud of the way in which ANZ is supporting growth through the development and roll-out of rural banking products and services. In particular, ANZ goMoney, the first mobile phone banking platform of its kind to be launched in the Solomon Islands last year, provides a new and convenient way for customers to do their everyday banking using their mobile phones.
ANZ goMoney, which is available at our network of accredited merchants across the country, uses an SMS-based platform which allows users to access basic banking services. In addition to Solomon Islands, ANZ goMoney was also launched in Papua New Guinea and Samoa in 2013 and this year in Vanuatu.
ANZ goMoney enables customers to send money to family and friends, pay their bills, purchase airtime top-up vouchers and view their account balances and history on their mobile phones. Customers are also able to complete their cash deposits and withdrawals at a network of ANZ goMoney merchants, without the need to visit a branch.
Similar platforms have transformed the way nations with challenging infrastructure and vast rural areas, such as Kenya, China and Brazil, have been able to connect their rural populations to banking services. Where people would traditionally travel for miles to get to a bank in distant towns and cities, they now had this service in the palm of their hands. This is no less evident than with the roll out of ANZ goMoney in Solomon Islands, which has already delivered banking services to almost 17,000 previously unbanked Solomon Islanders.
These forms of financial inclusion transform the lives of many ordinary people and help to improve financial literacy over time. I will touch more on this in our next edition.
By ANZ CEO Solomon Islands, Geoffrey Buchanan