BSP launches its own mobile wallet


Papua New Guinea’s largest bank, BSP, has joined PNG’s growing mobile wallet market, with the launch last week of Wantok Moni.

Checking Wantok Moni - BSP Marketing

Checking Wantok Moni – a detail from BSP’s marketing material

Mobile wallets allow customers to deposit, withdraw, receive and send money and even pay bills using their mobile phone.

As flagged in our interview with outgoing BSP CEO Ian Clyne last week, Wantok Moni is a money transfer product similar to Western Union. It allows a BSP Mobile Banking customer to initiate and send funds to anyone without a bank account as long as the recipient uses a Digicel mobile phone. At present, payments can only be made within PNG.

Other companies that already provide mobile money transfer services in PNG include Digicel Financial Services Ltd (Digicel Cellmoni), Post PNG (SMK Mobile) and Nationwide Microbank (MiCash).

The Bank of Papua New Guinea regards mobile banking as a ‘banking business’ and all providers have to be licensed by the central bank.

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The growth of mobile wallets can be seen as part of a broader move towards greater financial inclusion, which is being actively encouraged by the Bank of Papua New Guinea. Last month, it launched the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion in Port Moresby, which aims to ensure financial initiatives are available to all Papua New Guineans.

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Overseas, online giant Google last week announced its intention to allow its customers to send and receive money via its Gmail email system—a significant expansion of its Google Wallet payment system, currently available on Android mobile devices. The Gmail money transfer service will initially be available within the US only.