Westpac's In-store Banking service has been embraced by the merchants and people in rural areas around Fiji. Recently launched, the new service is a first of its kind for Fiji and the Pacific which offers an electronic branchless banking infrastructure designed specifically for rural and remote areas.
Simple to use via EFTPOS machines, bank customers have the opportunity to access their accounts performing traditional bank teller transactions at their rural local merchant. Transactions include: Cash withdrawals, Cash deposits, Transfer between accounts - with own accounts at Westpac, Pay others - transfer funds to other Westpac accounts and accounts held with other local banks, Mini statements - check last 10 transactions performed on your account, BillPay and Enquire balances.
All transactions performed via Westpac's In-store Banking are "real time" adding to customer convenience.
"The more Fijians bank the better for our country as a whole. Access to financial services helps protect and grow the savings of our poor, facilitates increased economic activity and promotes growth for the future," Permanent Secretary from the Prime Minister's office, Lt-Col Pio Tikoduadua said at the official launch of the In-store Banking service in Naubouwalu, Bua. Westpac's Head of E Business Yvonne Brackterfield said Westpac currently had a strong network of In-store merchants and was planning to increase this to fifty locations by the end of the year.
"We are a strong and secure bank that continuously looks for ways to make banking easier for our customers of all market segments. The Bank is delighted to offer this service to financially include our customers in the rural areas."
Mrs Taiyab who runs Mohammed Taiyab Store in Dama, Bua said their business had grown since becoming a Westpac In-store Banking merchant.
"We now serve more people each month, we have around fifty more social welfare recipients and we also now serve civil servants in this area, especially the school teachers. The EFTPOS machine is very easy to use and I have no problem with it at all."
Mrs Taiyub added that previously the people of the Dama area travelled to Labasa to cash their allowances and salary paying bus fares up to ten dollars and carrier fares which ranged from a hundred and fifty to two hundred dollars.
Westpac's In-store banking merchant network is currently available in eight provinces around Fiji.
Westpac plans to roll out the In-store Banking service to the rest of its locations in the Pacific Island nations shortly.