Westpac’s 17th In-store Banking in Yandina - Solomon Star News


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Westpac’s 17th In-store Banking in Yandina

30 May 2014

Communities in and around Banika ward, Yandina, Central  province can now access secure, convenient, effective, efficient, banking services, through Westpac’s new In-store Banking outlet which opened last Thursday at the Te-mite store.

In thanking Westpac for the partnership, owner of Te-mite store, Mr Gregory Riahi conveyed to the gathering of civil servants, school teachers and the community at the Instore launch, that since the national bank’s withdrawal of banking services to the Russell islands, many business and development have suffered.

But with the new introduction of Instore banking services, this will now uplift the economy of the Islands and development of normal people like him.

“Let us not hesitate to do banking right now, Westpac Bank is now at your door step, knocking to rescue and address all your problems and to take on board your concerns.

“We no longer have to keep our money in our homes for rats and other money predators to destroy, let Westpac Banking Corporation be our bank and our future,” he said.

“Westpac’s new In-store banking location, which is the bank’s seventeenth in the Solomon Islands to date, allows Westpac account holders to access a number of banking services all from an EFTPOS machine at their local merchant. A total of 350 new accounts where opened at the launch,” said Jeffery Pitamama, bank manager of Westpac who officiated at the launch.

Member of Banika ward, Honorable Kevin Liu; whilst officiating at the ceremony firmly encouraged the community to utilize the new banking service and educate their children to look after it to last for generations as a sustainable service to them.

Speaking to organizers at the launch, Louna village chief - Joseph Tsogotave; expressed that “Westpac is the first bank to ever visit our islands to talk about financial education and banking. We appreciate your coming and enlightening us about banking.”

Amplifying the chief’s sentiments, Mr. Thomas Fakatonu, police officer in charge of Yandina said; this has alleviated the risk it takes for my officers to travel across to Honiara to do banking and done away with the cost of $400 for a boat fare return trip which is very expensive even for us. He further added that the In-store Banking establishment in Yandina is a great relief for us.

Community member, Mr James witnessing the launch, remarked; “now we are able to save money from copra. In most cases, the sale from copra just come and go. There are no banks to save money for our family. In-store banking allows people in Russell to save money in their bank accounts from their copra sales. Thank you Westpac Bank.”

Minister of the Wesley united Church; Min. Allan Gelio was a relieved Church leader expressing that he can now receive funds from the main church in Honiara directly and securely through his newly opened Westpac bank account right at the Westpac, Yandina In-store bank. Previously, money remitted got lost through the wrong hands of friends and relatives.

Whilst principal of the local Havuna community high school, Mr Brian Vaka stated that his teachers have now opened choice basic accounts in order to have instant access to their salaries.

Accountholders using the user-friendly service can conduct balance enquiries, make cash withdrawals or cash deposits, transfer funds between accounts, pay bills where customers and payees are registered for Bill Pay, pay fellow Westpac customers or other Bank’s customers and also print mini-statements for recent transactions.

General manager of Westpac, Kutila Pinto said; “We’re really excited with In-store banking as it will make banking easier for the people of the Solomon Islands, especially those living in rural and remote areas.”

Westpac is also looking at similar partnerships with other provincial governments and businesses to establish and ensure In-store Banking is operational and successful throughout the Solomon Islands. The Pacific Financial Inclusion Program (PFIP) has been a key funding partner in the development and roll out of this service.

“We’ve been in the Pacific for more than 100 years. More than 25 years in Solomon Islands. We learnt a long time ago that we’re more than just a bank; we’re helping to build Solomon Islands and our In-store Banking service reflects this commitment,” said Mr Pinto.