The Payment Landscape in the South Pacific

Friday, January 12, 2024

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by Sandra Smith

Sandra Smith, Asia/Asia Pacific ATMIA Executive Director, reached out to David Maip, Manager, ATM Network I Channel Support of BSP Financial Group Limited to get his perspective on the changing payment landscape of the South Pacific. 

  1. How do you see the future of cash in your country, and how will this impact the ATM network in terms of growth 
  • Cash presence in communities is the biggest challenge here. The use of cash needs to be maximised in our society. There needs to be some strong awareness driven by our Central Bank on major shopping centres and malls to restrict the use of cash. The Central Bank must take the lead in this strategy and maximise the use of cash. Some areas have already adopted applying cashless transactions, and this created strong opposition at the start but then picked up. This same approach needs to be applied across major transacting and shopping areas so that the use of cash can be maximised.    
  1. What do you see as the role of cash in the South Pacific region, and what impact have cashless payment options had upon using cash? 
  • People would want to always have cash on them to move around even though bank cards and other electronic banking platforms are already on hand. With this demand on hand, ATM operation becomes a critical part of the banking product on our network.  
  • Cash Quality is another big challenge in our country, hence causing a lot of ATM hardware issues. This causes our ATM uptime availability to fall between 90% all the time. 
  1. What are some of the innovations you believe will drive the ongoing success of the ATM industry? 
  • The Clean Note policy was a subject that the Central Bank talked about being introduced; however, it is yet to take effect. This must be introduced so that cash out in the community needs to be looked after properly to retain the legality of its value. There must be some strong awareness driven like it did to remove paper notes and polymer notes on the network.       
  • To maximise the use of ATMs, I would suggest using only the biggest denomination. Anyone requesting smaller valued notes to be directed to use Eftpos devices at the shops. This initiative will push people to use electronic platforms all the time.  

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