NATION

Government and Banks Work Together to Ensure Economic Growth, Ease

Banks will be offering unlim­ited free EFTPOS purchase transactions for local debit card holders (commonly known as ATM access cards). This is in line with Government’s initiative announced in the
19 Dec 2018 11:09
Government and Banks Work Together to Ensure Economic Growth, Ease
From left: ANZ Fiji Country Head Saud Minam, Outgoing Westpac general manager Brett Hooker, Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, HFC Bank chief executive officer and chairman of Association of Banks in Fiji, Rakesh Ram and Bank of Baroda, Fiji Operations chief executive Sudhansu Sekhar Khamari at the press conference at Ro Lalabalavu House, Suva on December 18,2018. Photo: DEPTFO News

Banks will be offering unlim­ited free EFTPOS purchase transactions for local debit card holders (commonly known as ATM access cards).

This is in line with Government’s initiative announced in the 2018-2019 National Budget, where the EFTPOS purchase transaction fee waiver will apply as at January 1, 2019. This initiative will greatly as­sist in terms of promoting cashless and paperless banking in Fiji and support a green society.

The Attorney-General and Min­ister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum to held a press confer­ence with the Association of Banks in Fiji (ABIF) about this initiative at Ro Lalabalavu House, Suva, yes­terday.

“A debit card allows you to ac­cess funds in your transactional accounts to make purchases using EFTPOS so you don’t need to carry cash.

“You must have sufficient funds available in your nominated ac­count to make a purchase,” said Association of Banks in Fiji chair­man Rakesh Ram.

He added: “Customers can carry less cash and no customer should have to think twice about the cost of swiping their Debit Card mak­ing payments much quicker and easier.

“It is important to keep your card safe and your Personal Identifica­tion Number a secret, to ensure the security of your bank account and to protect yourself against fraud.”

Benefits

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said people can now carry less cash, make pay­ments more quickly, and can all benefit from more efficiency and accountability in our shops and businesses.

He noted the next agenda on the table was of course to reduce the merchant fees, because at the mo­ment these merchants would ac­cept payments for goods with a minimum purchase of $10.

“We know a EFTPOS machine can be a big cost for a small operator, so we’ll also be paying 50 per cent of the cost to purchase EFTPOS ma­chines for small businesses in Fiji.

“We want more Fijian businesses to offer electronic transactions to more Fijians, as that is a foun­dational part of creating a more financially inclusive society,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He also highlighted that from a wider economic perspective of hav­ing more electronic transactions, is it would increase liquidity, which means when you want to go and borrow money, the cost of borrow­ing is inexpensive.

He also noted that more electronic transaction means more liquid­ity and better accountability for banks which leads to better busi­ness environment.

He said at the moment the mer­chant fees is still being charged and they are talking to ABIF to re­duce the fees for merchants.

He said this would ensure more merchants have more EFTPOS machines and the idea is for people to buy more and more goods with their ATM cards. He noted that this would also encourage an environ­ment that ensures the fees are rea­sonable or there are no fees at all.

Association supports Government

He thanked the Banks for working with them to ensure they are able to achieve their objectives which is more electronic transactions in Fiji and also maintain the liquidity which is an important phase in our economic development.

Members of the Association of Banks in Fiji also acknowledged Government’s initiative to pay 50 per cent of the cost to purchase EFTPOS machines for small busi­nesses.

Mr Ram said: “This will enable all the banks to increase the number of EFTPOS in sub rural and rural areas to ensure that everybody has access to electronic transactions.

“ABIF supports Government’s initiative for a cashless and finan­cially inclusive society where busi­nesses are able to offer electronic transactions to more Fijians.”

All the major banks in Fiji are mebers of Westpac Bank, ANZ, Bank of Baroda, BRED Bank, Bank South Pacific and HFC Bank.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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