ANZ INTRODUCES MOBILE BANKING IN TONGA

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NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Aug. 28) - Rural areas in Tongatapu [Tonga’s main island] will be served by a new mobile banking service that was launched today by the ANZ Bank Tonga at Veitongo in central Tongatapu.

General Manager Paul Pelzer said the service, operated by a specially designed armored vehicle, is the first of its kind in Tonga and its first call will be on August 29 at Fua'amotu and other villages in the South East of Tongatapu.

"We are not asking them to travel long distances or come inside an imposing modern building, instead we are bringing the bank to them and into their villages," said Paul.

Melelua Veituna, the Mobile Banking Champion, manager of the mobile service, said that for security reasons they are not going to publicize their operating schedule, but a timetable will be organized between the ANZ Mobile Banking Service and the Town Officers of the villages.

The mobile banking will start off its services by offering an interest bearing passbook account for customers who want to open up a saving account or any other type of account, and as the program develops customers will be able to access the bank's other products and services. The mobile banking customer may also receive their monthly statement from the mobile banking service.

Paul said the mobile bank offers a chance for a large number of people in the outer lying areas to participate in the modern economy, as well as encouraging them to save, invest, grow and make informed choices about their money.

The mobile banking vehicle will be operated by three ANZ employees of one bank teller, a bank assistant, a driver and the vehicle will also be guarded and followed by security at all times.

[PIR editor’s note: ANZ Tonga currently has two branches that serve the Tongan community. One in Nuku’Alofa, and the other in Vava’u.]

August 29, 2006

Matangi Tonga: www.matangitonga.to/nav.html

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