Bank highlights benefits of financial inclusion
The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited’s (A.N.Z.) financial inclusion strategy has benefited the Pacific in numerous ways, including Samoans.
This is according to the bank’s Regional Executive, Tessa Price, who was referring to their Money Minded course and how it has economically transformed the lives of Pacific peoples.
“We know Money Minded has a profound impact that is why we trained more than 8,000 people last year,” Ms. Price said.
“When I hear the stories about the impact that Money Minded makes to people’s lives it makes me proud.”
She said after the Money Minded course, most Samoans trained under it gave positive feedback of its benefits.
“Ninety-seven percent of people trained feel less stressed about their future and 93 percent feel better to better able to provide for their family,” Ms. Price said.
“So it’s one of the courses we care about financial health and well-being and Money Minded is fundamental to delivery of that. And we just launched a dedicated financial inclusion team in Fiji that helps with Money Minded in Fiji and across the region, and also micro and small businesses, and our business basics package.”
Ms. Price said the bank understands that remittances are important to developing the economies in the region, especially because most islanders are involved in the seasonal workers scheme in Australia and New Zealand.
“Online transaction have gone up 49 percent from New Zealand and 19 percent from Australia, we have also reduced fees, $7 from New Zealand and $9 from Australia.
“We’ve made it a lot easier for people to send money home through the goMoney application, and the New Zealand market now has international transfers on it, which means customers can pick up their phone, click and send money home to their families.”
Ms. Price said the Deutsche Bank stated that A.N.Z. is the number one transforming bank in the world, and that only means they have a lot to offer for their customers in the region.
“I am coming up to three years in the Pacific. I see the change and momentum in every country I visit, Timor with the Sunrise LPG project and the development of the port and airport, the new Hilton that is almost complete.
“Fiji and the Cook Islands, tourism is going from strength to strength; Samoa we have lent into landmark resorts such as Taumeasina, the new airport, in Tonga projects to address climate change – solar and water, infrastructure spend post Cyclone Gita, Vanuatu airport, and in Papua New Guinea – gold, LNG, roads to name a few,” she said.