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Fingerprint accessible savings accounts – a first in Papua New Guinea from Women’s Microbank

The Passbook is optional – with her thumb, Isa can build her savings
With fingerprints registered, Isa will be able to deposit and withdraw from the MAP

Isa is among the first customers to use her thumb to open a bank account in Papua New Guinea.  Her local “Mama Bank”  recently opened in the Morata area of Port Moresby and she was excited to open her first savings account.When reminded to come in frequently to deposit her savings, she asked, “How late will you stay open today?  I have 300K (USD100) in a can in my room, and I want to put it here instead.” She returned just hours later to make her second deposit.

Mama Bank, or technically Mama Bank Access Points (MAPs),are a new delivery channel being developed by Women’s Microbank Ltd. with funding assistance from the European Union and the Australian Government through the United Nations’ Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP).  Mama Bank features the first biometric-authenticated bank accounts in Papua New Guinea –  where it is estimated less than 10% of adults have any form ofgovernment issued ID.

Isa has her photograph taken, and will have a secret keyword for added security

Biometric identification aims to address this challenge in a digital and convenient way. Each MAP is staffed by a team of 3 and equipped with tablet-based biometric technology that allows customers to transact with just their fingerprint. For Isa, it is east and safe.

PHB Development has been working closely with all stakeholders in the roll out of the MAPs initiative. For more information, see the January 2019 media release for the launch of MAPs, and the previous PHB blog on creation of the pilot program.

PHB is proud to be working toward inclusive finance in Papua New Guinea and around the world!

1 March 2019

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