National Bank launches Samoa's first 'tap and go' card

The National Bank of Samoa celebrated a milestone of launching the country's first 'tap and go' card on Wednesday night.

The new product is a result of the bank's partnership with MasterCard and Co-op Money.

The card simply means customers do not have to insert and type a pin number at an EFTPOS machine in supermarkets, bars, and retail stores, for the sake of convenience. 

N.B.S. Debit Mastercards are equipped with the technology that allows customers to tap or wave the card on the EFTPOS machines and go. 

N.B.S. Chairman, Va'atu'itu'i Apete Meredith, said the product is something they are proud to celebrate.

"This has been a dream project for the bank for quite some time, and the whole idea was to try and bring Samoa up to an international standard and international level," he said.

"We've all travelled overseas and we have seen these debit cards that you just walk past and wave it on the EFTPOS machine and it goes through.

"So we've seen it all but we wanted to bring this to Samoa. We're so proud that we, a local bank, a national bank has achieved that before any other bank in Samoa. It is something to be proud of, it's something we've dreamt of for quite some time."

Va'atu'itu'i said the project has been in the progressing phase of three three years, but has been in the pipelines for a very long time.

The debit mastercard has a limit to it's magic wave as it comes with a limit of $60 tala without having to put in the pin, any transaction amount above that requires a pin.

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"As you are aware, most of the people in our families or the elders won't have the time to go to the ATM and the shops. So they give the cards to their children, but that requires them top give out their pin numbers.

"With this, you can can get them to go down, pay for the goods without the pin number, but the maximum they can spend is 60 tala.

"That's another way of securing funds from the parents account from the kids."

Acting Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Russel Poppleton, said this latest technology will give the Samoan people access to money, products and services all around the world.

In terms of security the card is micro-chipped and requires a pin.

"It's no different to any other card on the market in that regard, there is safety and security of the customers records, information and money," he said

Annual and joining fee is $65 and requirements to owning a NBS debit Mastercard includes: must be a customer of N.B.S., be 18 years and older and have a Samoan residency visa.

The Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, congratulated the bank.

"This is a major contribution to our country and people's journey towards digital transformation and to achieve our ultimate goal of a digital economy within the next three years," he said.

"I am told that this is the beginning of greater innovations to come as N.B.S's contribution to strengthening the resilience of Samoa's financial sector and to boost financial literacy and inclusion for our people."

Other fees include: Withdrawal at local and other ATMs is .50 sene, purchase on EFTPOS or online is .50 sene, enquiring at another Bank ATM is $2, replacing card is $65, emergency card fee is $30, Pin replacement fee is $10, ATM surcharge applied by ATM owner NBS cannot control is $15 and foreign currency cross border is 2.5% of exchange rate.

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