BSP Country Head Haroon Ali has praised the alliance saying that it forms an integral part of our financial inclusion strategy and will further enhance BSP's contribution to the Government's objective of National Financial Inclusion and a cashless society.
"We are committed to working with the AMA to facilitate financial literacy workshops for farmers that include digital banking training to provide them with 24/7 access to their own bank accounts via SMS, online banking or the BSP mobile banking app," he said.
Under the partnership, farmers will get a tailored savings account which allows 4 free digital banking transactions each month, no monthly maintenance fees and access to BSP's 16 branches, 41 rural Postal Agencies, 2045 BSP PoS terminals and 118 ATMs nationwide with the added benefit of SMS and Online banking.
Speaking at the MOU signing event today, the Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment, Mahendra Reddy commended the new alliance between the two leading organisations describing it as a step in the right direction.
"Financial resource is a binding constraint to unleash the full potential in any sector, be it agriculture or non-agriculture and I want to thank BSP for being bold enough to make this first move with the Ministry of Agriculture to reach and assist rural agricultural entrepreneurs," he commended.
The AMA has established its reputation as a trusted marketing agent for grassroots farmers by successfully facilitating the purchase of their farming produce at mutually agreed prices including its pickup and delivery to relevant markets.
"BSP is a socially responsible institution that is committed to the vanua and communities we operate in. This partnership with AMA delivers their farmers access to modern Banking, Asset Finance and Life & Health Insurance enabling them to grow their personal wealth with a life and health safety net," assured Mr Ali.
The Bank will also assist AMA to digitise their farmer payment processes and reduce security risks associated with handling large sums of cash.
"With their card based accounts, farmers are able to receive cash directly into their bank accounts from AMA and they can verify when payments have been received by using SMS or the BSP App to check their balances or view transaction history," explained Mr Ali. "Farmers can then visit their rural post offices or their nearest ATM to withdraw cash. They can also swipe their EasyCards at any local BSP PoS terminal to pay for their shopping and withdraw some cash."
The newly signed MOU with AMA will extend BSP's rural and microfinance banking beneficiaries. Currently under the TLTB and Department of Social Welfare partnerships, landowners and social welfare recipients are enjoying similar benefits which contribute to the Government of Fiji's objectives of national financial inclusion and a cashless society.