Biometrics opens up banking via fingerprint in PNG

10:03 pm on 22 January 2019

People in Papua New Guinea can now make bank transactions using their fingerprints following the development of a biometrics system.

Roadside market in rural Papua New Guinea.

Roadside market in rural Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

The new system aims to make financial services more accessible for rural communities, especially women.

It was developed by the Women's Microbank and the UN's Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme.

The bank's general manager, Gunanidhi Das, said many people in PNG had difficulty travelling long distances to banks and lacked the formal identification needed when accessing financial services.

He said the system could be made available across the Pacific.

"Each kiosk is equipped with tablet-based biometric technology that allows customers to transact with WMBL by just using their fingerprint," Mr Das said.

"This makes it much easier for customers as very often bank cards get lost or stolen and many people tend to forget their PIN.

"The kiosks will be set up in Port Moresby, Kerema, Madang, Maprik - East Sepik and Goroka -Eastern Highlands Province."