Mobile Transparency? Financial Inclusion, Mobile Money & Papua New Guinea's Resources Sector

Strengthening mobile money ecosystems around PNG’s mining, oil and gas regions
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Papua New Guinea (PNG) has some of the highest unbanked rates in the world owing to a set of interrelated challenges including geographically dispersed communities, low population density, low financial literacy, relatively underdeveloped telecommunication and banking infrastructure, and diverse cultural and language groups.

Yet PNG also has substantial oil, gas, copper and gold deposits, as well as a significant number of existing resource projects. Equitable and transparent distribution of payments from resource projects in PNG is a challenge for regulators, companies and communities alike; often causing significant local conflict and leading to a loss of "social license to operate" for resources companies.

This report outlines the results of a research study that was conducted on financial inclusion, mobile money and the resources sector in PNG. The results of the study suggest that strengthening mobile money ecosystems around PNG’s resource projects can:

  • Improve the distribution of payments to local communities;
  • Strengthen "social license to operate" for resources companies; and
  • Enhance financial inclusion efforts in PNG’s mining, oil and gas regions.

More broadly, the study suggest that resource projects can be used as a catalyst for global financial inclusion efforts, particularly in developing countries where geographically remote oil, gas and mineral deposits often neighbour unbanked communities.

About this Publication

By Grice, T. A.