How an SME uses Bank South Pacific technology to cook with gas


Developing name recognition is essential to businesses at any level. That is what Helen Victor, owner of Zoenani Gas Supplies, has achieved—with the help of Bank South Pacific’s Smart Business start-up package.

Zoenani Gas Supplies' Helen Victor. Source: Bank South Pacific

Zoenani Gas Supplies’ Helen Victor. Source: Bank South Pacific

Victor delivers LPG gas cylinders door to door to residents and businesses in Port Moresby and outlying villages. When her customers see her coming, they say: ‘Here comes the Gas Lady.’ The familiarity has been crucial.

A secondary school English and Social Sciences teacher by profession, she established the business when she relocated from Lae to Port Moresby because of her husband’s work commitments.

‘I started with about five small gas bottles.’

The business began in 2012, with Victor operating as a distributor out of her back yard. She quickly ran out of gas, however, and, realising that demand was strong, she bought a truck and a block of land near her home.

High demand

The next step was to market the business using flyers. Word of mouth also proved crucial. Victor commenced door to door deliveries in 2014.

Victor stores gas bottles Source: Bank South Pacific

Victor stores gas bottles on a block of land. Source: Bank South Pacific

‘I started with about five small gas bottles,’ she says. To meet the high demand and buy the necessary stock, Victor opened a BSP Smart Business account in 2013 and in 2014 got a loan from BSP to fund growth.

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BSP provided two EFTPOS machines, one for the home office and one for the trucks. Now, almost half her business is electronic: ‘The EFTPOS technology is very popular with customers because many prefer not to use cash. I also noticed that customers paying by EFTPOS were more loyal than cash customers.’

Victor finds some customers prefer phone banking. ‘I do repeat sales because they find it more convenient than cash. All they do is sit in the convenience of their house and have the gas delivered to them.’

Transaction record

The banking technology is not just useful for its customer convenience. It also establishes a transaction record, which can be used to facilitate a business loan.

The mix of EFTPOS, mobile phone banking and on-line banking has been crucial.

‘All the transactions that I do, the bank has a record of that. So in terms of going for a loan I don’t have to get an accountant to do my books. All they do is look at the records of the transactions that I do with my Smart Business debit card. I went for a second loan in 2014 for a shed for my stock.’

Victor says the business has grown from selling 350 kilograms to 15 metric tonnes. ‘That is a significant difference,’ she says. The business has two trucks. Airways Residences is a customer, as well as several hotels.


There have been challenges along the way. ‘When I started out, I was driving the truck myself and I found that my gender was a barrier. People were more reluctant about ordering their gas cylinders from a woman.’

‘I’m planning to diversify into areas like rubbish collection.’

Victor believes the key is to do the little things correctly. She says the mix of EFTPOS, mobile phone banking and on-line banking has been crucial. ‘It is a smarter way of doing business,’ she says.

So where does she go from here? ‘My business has become more competitive recently, as gas companies are getting more involved in their own deliveries. As a result I’m planning to diversify into areas like rubbish collection. I’ll need a new truck for this—hopefully BSP will give me another loan!’



  1. Eric Mumson Piuk says

    Doing small things with willing heart and commitment will see the result….Well done Hellen

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