The Cardno-managed Market Development Facility (MDF) recently published a field diary about its partnership with microfinance bank, MiBank, to connect rural communities in Papua New Guinea (PNG) with banking services.
In Papua New Guinea (PNG) 75 per cent of the population is unbanked, of which 90 per cent are women. A major barrier to people accessing banking services is that many parts of PNG are disconnected from urban centres where most banks are located, as well as traditional banking products not being accessible for the majority of the population. MiBank connects rural farmers with innovative banking services in regions where there is limited infrastructure.
MiBank offers financial services tailored to rural farmers. Compared to other banks in PNG, MiBank offers a simple sign up process that only requires K25 ($8USD) and a working Digicel (mobile phone) number. The MiCash account has no monthly fees, no deposit fees and minimal withdrawal fees compared to competing banks. MiBank is the first bank to launch a mobile banking option, a mobile wallet that can be accessed through the Digicel phone network with no need for a bankcard.
MDF is helping MiBank to encourage more buyers, processors and exporters of cash crops to use the MiBank products to pay their suppliers so that they have better, more reliable access to money from their sales.
Presented in a photo story format, this field diary shares some of the challenges faced by people having basic access to their money and how MiBank is transforming access to these services.
Funded by the Australian Government, MDF supports private sector development in Fiji, Timor-Leste, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea. It creates sustainable livelihoods, boosts growth and creates jobs through partnerships with local business.
For more information, please visit our MDF project page, the MDF website or contact the MDF Team Leader or Contractor Representative.
Dr Harald Bekkers
MDF Team Leader