Empowering Banti Community Through Financial Inclusion
12 August 2021
Communities in nearby villages in Tembagapura now have access to a local bank thanks to the opening of a new branch built exclusively for them.
A new Bank Papua branch recently opened in Banti Village, serving nearly 2,000 people who live in the nearby villages of Banti 1, Banti 2 and Opitawak. The new bank will provide easy access for community members who no longer have to walk miles to Tembagapura to conduct their banking activities.
The new Bank Papua branch was officially opened thanks to support from the PT Freeport Indonesia Community Development group who wanted to help provide easier banking services and introduce financial literacy to community members.
“The newly opened Bank Papua branch will encourage community members who are not using bank services yet to open an account. We expect the community could enjoy financial inclusion and services that will propel economic growth in the area,” said Marthinus Badii, PTFI General Superintendent-Community Liaison Officer.
Opening a bank account is the first step toward broader financial inclusion. It will allow community members to save and send money and make and receive payments.
In the past, villagers had to walk miles to Tembagapura community center to get banking services. Sometimes they reached the town too late, and the bank had already closed for the day, so they had to come back the next day.
With Banti now being rebuilt and the community gradually returning to the village after a riot destroyed it a few years back, PTFI has been determined to restore community services in Banti.
Despite challenges to open a new public bank in a rural area along with ongoing security threats, the new branch was able to open thanks to coordination between PTFI and the local government, Bank Papua and the community itself.
“There were roadblocks here and there, but we are determined to help to restore public services in Banti,” Badii said. “We want to thank Bank Papua, the police and security team, religious and community leaders who have been involved in achieving this outcome. Thank you for all the good coordination.”
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