BPNG and Mama Bank launch “Palm Saver” investment product for Oil Palm Growers

06th September, 2021

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea – Women’s Micro Bank Limited (WMB), branded as Mama Bank in conjunction with the Bank of Papua New Guinea has created an innovative investment product for the Oil Palm Growers of West New Britain Province. The led from a Memorandum of Agreement signed between Mama Bank and the West New Britain Provincial Government to provide financial service to the province particularly the Oil Palm Grower. In association with the Provincial Government, Mama Bank inaugurated a customer access point in Kimbe recently in July 2021 which is serving the Oil Palm Growers.  

To serve the targeted customer segment, The Bank of Papua New Guinea with its technical expertise through the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion has developed a tailored savings product named “Palm Saver” successfully blending contractual savings and investment for regular income earners. The product is designed to address savings and investment needs.

The product was launched yesterday on Monday 06th September at the Mama Bank’s branch in Kimbe at the Hamamas Plaza. Present at the launching were BPNG Governor Mr. Loi Bakani, Hon. Governor Francis Maneke, Regional Member Hon. Sansindran Muthuvel, and Head of Department for Small Holder Affairs NBPOL Mr. Wilfred Tangole, OPIC, Widows Association and lus fruit mamas.

“I want to congratulate the Mama Bank for being innovative in coming up with this great investment product for the Oil Palm Growers, the Palm Saver Account. Financial behaviours of our people engaged in oil palm farming are something this product I believe will tremendously have a great impact in changing their lives and into their future wellbeing. Mr. Bakani in congratulating Mama Bank stated that this Palm Saver Account offers a very high rate of interest, hence emphasised saving money that will meet the needs of ordinary lus fruit mamas. This is an indication of the confidence all stakeholders can have in the Mama Bank to support and provide financial services to those who have no access to demand driven financial products and services.” Said BPNG Governor Mr. Loi Bakani.

In launching the product, West New Britain Governor Hon. Francis Maneke thanked Mama Bank as being a great partner for creating tailored product for his local people’s needs. “I would say that today marks the beginning of a new dimension for the people of West New Britain Province because this product will truly organize their future plans to be financially independent. I want to challenge the Oil Palm Growers to make use of this opportunity in creating a savings culture and maximise your revenue and diversity where you can rather than been stagnant at one end forever. I want to thank Mama Bank for reaching out here with this innovative investment product which will greatly help our local people particularly the Oil Palm Growers and lus fruit mamas and their families including widow mamas who are at the bottom of the pyramid to alleviate them to become active participants in changing and managing their financial life.” Said Hon. Governor Maneke.

West New Britain Governor Hon. Francis Maneke further stated that West New Britain Provincial Government is pleased to work in partnership with Mama Bank in supporting the people of West New Britain province. “This is the gateway for financial self-independence through access to finance and financial management where Mama Bank will play a very significant role in translating the aspirations of people into reality.

Hon. Sansindran Muthuvel in thanking Mama Bank acknowledged that Palm Saver offers a high rate of interest with respect to other financial institutions. Mama Bank has created an environment that is conducive with a product that will organize your revenue so come on and utilize this opportunity create your savings now, you will appreciate it changing your standard of living. “Do your bit, Government is with you, we can create many more opportunities in this province through this partnership” Said Hon. Muthuvel.   Hon Muthuvel emphasized doing business with integrity and self-reliance will bring prosperity to each and every one and the cash-flow in the province particularly in the oil palm industry can see many more SME in the province if those money is being utilized in a proper way instead of expensing in unnecessary items.  

The Head of Department – Small Holder Affairs Mr. Wilfred Tangole emphasised at the ceremony spoke about the importance of lus fruit, and the importance of working in collaboration with all stakeholders, hence encouraged oil palm farmers to maximise their lus fruits potential with this investment product as it will have impact in the savings and its relationship benefits. ‘Palm Saver’ is designed to serve a specific customer segment, oil palm growers and others associated with the industry who receive regular payments from the industry.

Mama Bank’s CEO, Mr. Gunanidhi Das while explaining the product design extend the word of thanks and appreciation to the Bank of Papua New Guinea, particularly the BPNG Governor Mr. Loi Bakani for granting us approval for this product. “We have obtained approval from Bank of Papua New Guinea to launch this product for the benefit of oil palm farmers. The product is going to give at least 6% interest rate with no transactional cost to the customer and they can save for their better future.  Said CEO Mr. Das.

The product is designed to inculcate the habit of regular savings offering high returns. There are more than 20,000 Oil Palm block holders who are paid fortnightly for their produce. Apart from growers there are more than 27,000 women (especially widows) associated with palm oil industry receiving regular payments out of which some are block owners. Mama will work in association with Widow Association, Lus Fruit Mama Association and other agencies working directly with oil palm growers to identify the prospective customers within the province. Mama Bank have opened more than 3,000 customer accounts from Kimbe in association with Widow Association and Lus Fruit Mama Association as of now. The product brochure is prepared for distribution with the required details.

The customer shall commit a fixed amount authorizing the payment provider to deduct from his/her fortnight income and deposit to customer account with Mama Bank. A customer can commit the smallest up to K20 with no upper limit. In addition to the fortnight deduction, customer can do additional deposit directly at the branch location. On maturity the customer will be given option to withdraw or roll-over to interest bearing term deposits. Interest on IBD offered by Mama Bank will be applicable. No fee will be charged for roll-over.  The product package includes Business Development Training and Financial Literacy Training as well. 

The Mama Bank’s CEO Mr. Gunanidhi Das in acknowledging the support from the BPNG and the West New Britain Provincial Government stated that Mama Bank is a family bank and we want to use the Asian Model of doing business rather than the African Model where we don’t charge hefty fees but rather we give good rate of interests on our savings products. “We want to be the first social bank in Papua New Guinea and support families through women. The BANK will be providing the opportunity to service potential 20,000 smallholder oil palm growers and their families, and by doing this, Mama Bank is pleased to carry out this responsibility in nation building.” Said Mr. Das.

About Mama Bank

Women’s Micro Bank Limited (MAMA BANK) is a licensed Micro-Bank regulated by Bank of PNG. Mama Bank formerly known as PNG Women in Business Microfinance Institute limited established in 2010. The Bank received its banking business license from Bank of PNG in May 2014. The bank is the (6th) deposit taking licensed micro bank in the world and more importantly the first women’s micro bank in PNG and the Pacific region. The bank is a subsidiary of PNG Women in Business Limited which sprang from PNG Women in Business Foundation formerly known as City Mother‘s Business Foundation, established in 2006.

Hon. Mendani funds Women’s Micro Bank with K2.5 Million to support MSME in Kerema District.

2nd March, 2021

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea – Women’s Micro Bank Limited branded as MAMA BANK has received a total of K2.5 Million from the Kerema District Development Authority (KDDA) to provide credit facility in the district, enabling the local people to have easy access to credit and support the district’s economic plans in empowering entrepreneurship in Kerema District.

The Women’s Micro Bank and KDDA recognized that ordinary people in the Kerema District of Gulf Province should be equal partners in the district’s economic development plans through access to financial services. They should have their own bank account with affordable and adequate access to credits to enable them to play a more active role in the economic development of themselves and contribution towards the district’s economic development.

During the ceremony held at Mama Bank’s Head Quarters last week in Port Moresby, the Member for Kerema Hon. Richard Mendani (MP) has announced that his DDA is committed to work with Women’s Micro Bank to roll out the credit guarantee scheme. This scheme will be coordinated jointly by the KDDA and the Mama Bank project team. Mama Bank will now established its Agency called the “Mama-Bank Access Point” in Kerema District for the people’s accessibility with the help of KDDA.

Upon the presentation, Hon. Mendani said that this will create an avenue for his people to adequately access to credit, to enable them to play a more active role in the economic development and contribution of the District. The KDDA and Mama Bank are prepared to also consider the provision of loan facilities to borrowers through their suppliers. These includes farmers and fishermen who are unable to provide security of a type or in an amount which banks would in the normal course of its operations. The KDDA and Mama Bank have agreed to operate under the scheme name of “Kerema District Credit Guarantee Scheme” in order to assist Women’s Micro Bank to serve the ordinary villagers endeavoring to participate in MSME activities.

The CEO of MAMA BANK Mr. Gunanidhi Das explained that the Women’s Micro Bank is trying to implement the real microfinance concept in the country. Mama Bank believes that any credit scheme should link to the performance to the income generating activities. If a customer is willing to improve her own economy and a bank help in access to finance then automatically nation’s economy will developed. SME can be created and the Government’s ambition of achieving 500,000 SME by 2030 will be fulfilled if MSME sector is taken care properly. He thanks Member for Kerema District Hon. Richard Mendani (MP) and the DDA Members for having that vision for Kerema district and commended him and the KDDA that they are taking the right move to economic freedom for their people. “We are happy to work together to help and support KDDA’s ambitions for its District to extend inclusive financial inclusion services to Kerema people  He challenged all the men, women, youths and children of the district to use this opportunity as the gateway to become economically independent and do away with free hand out mentality.

He emphasized that Women’s Micro Bank Limited is the only licensed financial institution in Papua New Guinea with an explicit focus on women. This focus is due to women and men being positioned differently in the rural economy because of traditional gender dynamics. Men tend to produce crops for cash while most women are self-employed in an informal economy. Even all contribute in the family but money goes to men’s pocket. We believe when money goes to the women’s hand it reaches more to family welfare and guarantee higher utilization of total disposable income. Also we believe that women are the gateway to economic empowerment of the country. He further explain that MAMA BANK is the TRU TRU bank for its members and adhere to the slogan “SUPPORTIM MERI KIRAPIM BUSINES KIRAPIM KANTRI”

He further emphasized that Savings should be first expenditure of Income not last. He also request all the shareholders and customers to come and do banking with their own bank with innovative IBD products and simple loan products. Recently BANK has come up with biometric enabled technology solutions where in all the MAMA’s money is safe from fraudulent activities and urge all the MAMA to register their finger prints as early as possible to safe guard their hard earn money.

Black Thursday! STOP THE CYCLE OF GBV!

Violence is one of those epidemics that doesn’t respect limits or borders. To stop the cycle of GBV, one of the most important step is to identify the different ways that violence manifests itself. We like to believe that we learn and reproduce it and, in turn, teach and validate it. But just as you can learn it, you can unlearn it and stop the cycle.

This Black Thursday, our female staff at POM Branch and Head office came together to conduct an awareness on most common types of violence, what triggers GBV and how victims can get help. The awareness session was very emotional and informative as some female colleague’s shared their stories and life experiences of DV and how they survived it.

As a Women’s oriented bank focusing on providing financial services to all women and their family members, we join hands together with other women and like minded organisations of our great nation in this fight against GBV and we say NO to all forms of Gender Base Violence.

Respectim Meri, supportim meri , stopim GBV, kirapim kantri

#JusticeForPNGWomen #EndTheSilence #SayNoToGBV



Meet Mrs. Elizabeth Tandapi, an informal table market woman developed into a businesswoman through Women’s Micro Bank.

“The dream that I had since day one is a dream come true today, from table market to trade store, taxi service and rental property.” Testified Elizabeth Tandapi, one of the pioneer customers of Women’s Micro Bank.

Hailing from Enga Province, Elizabeth Tandapi is one of the pioneers of WMB. Her dream was to become a businesswoman when she joined Women in Business Foundation (WIBF) in 2009 inspired by the charismatic lady Late Janet Sape. At that time Elizabeth was doing informal table market in Port Moresby to support her family. Using a small 100 cm by 100 cm table, she was selling dough nuts, ice blocks to sustain her livelihood. From the little earnings, she budgeted for her family’s food and did her savings with WIB with a dream to become a successful businesswoman. Elizabeth was one of the first customers (19th Customer, Meri Moni Savings Account number 00019) to open bank account with WMB after attaining the license from BPNG in May 2014.

Following the legacy of Late Ms. Janet Sape, Elizabeth stood firm, committed and worked hard towards achieving her dream. In 2014, Elizabeth’s savings was more than K10, 000 in her savings account when she obtained her first loan of K10, 000 in August 2014. Valuing the savings culture she hesitate to withdraw her money and obtained a loan which she used and built a trade store and migrated from table market to trade store by selling all grocery items. Elizabeth’s motivation began to rise and she envisioned how she will develop her entrepreneurial ambitions. With that motivation, Elizabeth repaid her loan accordingly as per the loan repayment schedule without any defaults. During the tenure of WIB, she has already got three small loans to support her table market so had the knowhow of loan repayments.

“It was my dream to become a businesswoman and to become equal with men given the challenges we womenfolk in PNG face daily as men tend to consider us as inferiors even though we contribute a lot in the family. So I want to break that cultural barrier and be equal with men by becoming a successful businesswoman,” said emotional Elizabeth. She explained that just after one year from the first loan of K10, 000, she used part of the proceeds to purchase a second-hand taxi to run a taxi service in Port Moresby.

On March 2016, Elizabeth obtained her second loan of K25, 000 with an ambition to scale up her business, which she ventured into building a five (5) bedroom rental house. She said that she haven’t been to any formal education or business courses, however, with the Financial Literacy Trainings and Business Development Skills Training that she obtained from WMB, she is able to manage and run her business. She paid off the loan within schedule time and doing savings regularly to obtain a bigger loan upscale and diversify her business. Elizabeth is now running a trade store, a taxi, rental house and recently she purchased a land. Elizabeth’s plan is to upscale her trade store into a mini shop, build two (2) more rental houses and build a proper parking bay for her taxi and purchase one more. During covid-19 lockdown period she took a small loan of K2, 000 to support her business cash flow and has confessed the importance of savings culture that embeds WMB’s business philosophy as experienced now where all the women are happily using their savings money during this covid-19 lockdown period. Elizabeth plan to take up another loan when the Covid-19 situation improves so she can continue on with building up her business. When asked what would be her best advice to other women, smiling Elizabeth said “Simple, start small, have a goal, work hard, seek fund support from our own Bank, honor your commitment, stick to one bank who can be in your help at any time and rest will follow suit. Like me, “from table market to trade store, taxi service and now rental property.”