Aotearoa Credit Union joins forces with National Bank of Samoa to launch a quick and easy alternative to send money to Samoa

Auckland, New Zealand - Monday 10 June – Aotearoa Credit Union, New Zealand’s most trusted credit union, together with nbs, the National Bank of Samoa, has today released a new digital banking solution that enables a quick and easy transaction for sending remittances from New Zealand to Samoa through a new money transfer service – EziSend®, with aims to better support Samoan families and the broader Samoan communities with fast access to their personal finances.


Money sent to Samoa by family members in New Zealand is very important both culturally and valuable source of funds for everyday living and investments for many Samoans. Traditionally the bulk of money sent to Samoa from New Zealand via money transfer companies which can be slow and costly. Aotearoa Credit Union (ACU) has now partnered with nbs to offer a superior means to transfer money from New Zealand to Samoa.


“Our partnership with nbs marks a new milestone towards greater financial inclusivity and economic growth in Samoa by providing NZ based community members with access to a wider range of secure and convenient money transfer services to support their relatives overseas,” states CEO of ACU. “The launch of the new remittance service to Samoa will not only offer a new payment service that were previously out of reach, but will be the cheapest way of transferring funds to a bank account in Samoa.”  


The new ACU and nbs remittance service, EziSend®, will see remittances received by family and friends in Samona in real time, within one hour, and importantly to be the cheapest product of its type in the market. The transaction fee is only NZD$8.00 per transaction and the money is automatically converted to Samoan Tala. The Sender based in NZ has the option of either going into an ACU branch or sending the money on-line, if they are signed up to the ACU online banking. “nbs is excited to partner with ACU on developing a quick and easy alternative for people based in New Zealand to send money back to Samoa,” said Russell Poppelton, Acting CEO of nbs. “Our customers have been asking for an alternative to send their money internationally, with the safety and security of a bank transfer, so we’re pleased to be able to launch this new service and support our customer needs. nbs has a commitment to our customers and to the people of Samoa to provide our local community with the ability to access appropriate financial services at the cheapest rate.”  


Russell Poppelton added: "The remittances get paid direct into their nominated nbs bank account. If the customer is set up on nbs’ EziBank and Internet Banking services, then they can use these apps to find out when the remittance has arrived. They can also manage what they do with their remittances via the EziBank and Internet Banking services."


nbs customers can also withdraw the remittances into cash at either annbs branch or ATM, or withdraw cash via Digicel agents.


nbs’new remittance product has the support of the Central Bank of Samoa and meets all the regulatory requirements both in New Zealand and Samoa. Terms and conditions apply.  


For more information about EziSend® either contact nbs at one of our branches or call our team on +685 28103.


The Importance of a Strong Financial Cashflow Portfolio

 
nbs is a proud sponsor of the 2019 LIFE-Con Pacific festival, supporting Samoan fashion designers and businesses to succeed.

Starting your own business and building a stronger brand is complex in any industry, especially with our unique challenges in the local market, however, there are some easy ways to become financially stable and ensure you have stronger financial support while you focus on building your fashion and beauty businesses.


At nbs we have all kinds of business customers that come to us seeking financial advice and banking assistance. We’re aware that in fashion, vast amounts of finance and capital are required, and often in advance.


Especially when you are just starting up and have no credit and trading history – everyone wants money upfront.


With difficulty, we see fashion businesses continuously throwing money into their brand: the more you throw in, the more you need again, and again.  


So, being good with money, or partnering with someone who is good at managing finance, is essential. Knowing how to raise money is also important and in most cases, it is necessary.


Building a strong financial cashflow portfolio is one of the most important objectives for any business owner, and it should be a key priority for fashion start-ups and smaller businesses to enable successful growth in the future, and to also prepare the business for investors and future bank loan requests.


Your cashflow is the net amount of cash and cash-equivalents being transferred into and out of a business. If you can showcase a record of how strong your cashflow is, the stronger your business is considered.


To build your financial portfolio, its important to stop trading in cash and to establish a record of all your financial transactions, as small or large as they may be.  


If you haven’t already done so, its recommended that you open a business cheque account or personal bank account and ensure that all the business income and earnings are deposited into your bank account. And from then, you need to ensure that all payments that need to be paid, as small as they are, are made through that account. This way, as history of all your financial transactions are captured into the one account, and you can then analyse and track your finances in detail.


nbs is available to assist you to develop any financial business statements needed, analyse your financial history and assist develop your financial planning. Contact the team at nbs to discuss! And good luck to all the designers and fashion businesses at this year’s LIFE-Con festival.  


nbs Launches New Internet Banking

One of nbs' key goals is to supercharge the adoption of digital banking products by its customers and Samoa. So we’ve taken on board the feedback from the recent customer survey and have invested in the latest Oracle internet banking software Oracle Banking Digital eXperience (OBDX) – the first bank to use OBDX in the South Pacific Islands!

Not only can customers do all the internet banking functions they were able to do on the old site, but it is now much easier and quicker to navigate around the new internet banking site.

Whether you want to pay your invoices, transfer money to relatives, check your account balances, or look up your loan details – you’ll find it easier to find your way around the new site to get what you want.

There are some new additional features such as key suppliers sending your invoices direct to your personal internet banking site, making it easier to review the invoices and pay in a timely manner.

"It’ll be great for our customers – the latest software makes internet banking so much easier to do now” nbs CEO Tu'u'u Amaramo Sialaoa said. “It’ll also help our push to get greater use of digital banking technologies by our people”.

The new Internet Banking platform will be shortly followed by an app allowing customers to access nbs' Internet Banking via their smart phones with a single click.

Customers are being encouraged to check out the new internet banking site and can do so by clicking on the “Internet Banking” tab on the nbs website. This will take them to a new login page as shown.

For more information about the new Internet Banking site customers can contact our Digital Banking Team or register online. 

EziBank™ is Back!

nbs has been busy at work to revamp EziBank™ and has partnered with Digicel Samoa to enhance the offering.

Originally a web based portal, the new EziBank™ is the next generation of cost-effective and easy to use mobile banking services for its Samoan customers. Now customers can not only manage their accounts using their cell phones, but they can also make deposits and withdrawals through selected Digicel Agents throughout Samoa.

The two companies worked together to integrate Digicel’s Mobile Money platform with nbs' banking system. This also allows customers to transfer the money they receive from family and friends via their Digicel Mobile Money wallet, into their nbs bank account. More than half of Samoan’s receive such remittances on a regular basis.

“As a Samoan owned bank, nbs understands the challenges faced by our customers to access remittances and to save away some of these remittances in a bank account. So we have been planning to provide digital services that will help them access and save some of their remittances income easily, as we believe our customers deserve the best,” said nbs CEO Tu'u'u Amaramo Sialaoa.  


“As a Samoan owned bank, nbs understands the challenges faced by our customers to access remittances and to save away some of these remittances in a bank account. So we have been planning to provide digital services that will help them access and save some of their remittances income easily, as we believe our customers deserve the best,” said nbs CEO Tu'u'u Amaramo Sialaoa.  


“In line with nbs’ mission to digitally enable our customers, they now have control and access over their money via their mobile phone at any time” Tu’u’u said.

This is believed to be a first for the Pacific region where customers are able to transfer funds between their Mobile phone and their Bank Account. This will provide nbs customers with a much more efficient and convenient way of receiving, withdrawing and saving their pay and remittances.  

“These new services will reduce the cost of transacting for our customers and also means that they would not need to travel long distances to the nearest bank where they may wait in a queue to conduct basic transactions. As a locally owned bank, our goal of financial inclusion is to provide nationwide access to safe and convenient financial products and services to the “unbanked” in Samoa,” he said.  


EziBank™ is the first product to come out of nbs' recently established Innovation Lab. nbs receives funding assistance for the Lab from the United Nations Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP), which aims to improve the adoption and usage of digital financial services in Samoa. The Lab is looking to determine what combination of products, price, customer experience, marketing, and engagement will drive usage of digital products (technologies) required to build a successful financial service delivery model.  



“Over the next 18 months, the Innovation Lab will also look to develop other new banking payment products, such as prepaid power, airtime top-up and payment for government services which it is hoped that over time, could improve the adoption and use of digital financial services in Samoa” Tu’u’u said.


nbs customers can access the EziBank™ app by dialing *888#


Customer Survey – We must be doing something right!

 
Recently nbs carried out a survey of a random cross section of its current customers with the assistance of a New Zealand company. The results not only surpassed nbs staff and management’s expectation, but clearly demonstrated nbs is on the right track as it seeks to enhance its customers’ experience.

What came through loud and clear in the feedback provided, is the important role nbs’ branches play in the lives of its Samoan customers. They are more than just a facility to do their banking, the branches are a social hotspot where customers run into friends and family.  


A third of survey respondents indicated they visit the nbs Apia branch either daily or weekly, whilst a similar number also visit their local nbs branch with the same frequency. This may well explain the reason a quarter of respondents indicated they have never used internet banking – however this could also be because they do not understand the full benefits of “mobile banking”….and of course even if they adopt mobile banking they are still welcome to pop into a nbs branch at any time!  


Given the extraordinary growth the bank has had over recent years, it was not a surprise when nearly the respondents indicated they had only been with the bank for less than 5 years.  


Three quarters of respondents felt nbs’ offered them all the products and services required to meet their needs, with a similar high proportion believing nbs was more than competitive compared to the other banks in Samoa. However most importantly nearly all the respondents (98%) indicated they felt valued as a customer by nbs. This was reciprocated to a degree with customers believing staff and management put into practice the bank’s values (Teamwork, Customer First, Integrity – Taualoa, and Courage – Loto Tele).  


Respondents were full of praise for nbs’ staff product knowledge, helpfulness, presentation, professionalism, and importantly – they listen and understand.  


When asked to rate nbs’ overall performance, 95% gave them either a 4 or 5 out of 5 – a great result. Despite the pleasing feedback, nbs management continue to plan and explore ways of how they can continue to improve the experience for their customers.  


Xero Software Capable

Xero is the latest cloud based accounting software  designed for small to medium businesses. nbs has been working with local accountants to put in place the requirements to allow customers to access their bank accounts via Xero.

nbs believes providing its customers with on line access to their bank accounts will be a game changer for many business customers. Allowing much quicker processing of accounts in areas such as bank reconciliation. The automatic and accurate data import into Xero means better information for business customers’ decision making.

Account activity is imported and categorised automatically. Bank statement line items from bank accounts can be matched with transactions created in Xero and reconciled. Making it effortless for customers to keep their accounts accurate and up to date. 


Once connected to nbs and Xero, the connectivity is seamless meaning customers can keep their data current without data entry.

In addition, the data is auto backed up into the cloud which means customers can access their bank information/statement instantly, anytime and anywhere, keeping customers informed of their cashflow position real time.


Yona Tielu, the Financial Controller for the Samoa Rugby Union, commented "we have been working closely with our accountants and nbs so we can access our bank accounts via Xero. Not only have nbs staff been great to work with, but now we are getting more timely banking data and reconciliations." Yona added "this not only saves a lot of data entry, but it reduces the opportunity of imputing errors and the information is more accessible and accurate - its great!".


Contact your nbs Client Manager or the Business Team for further details

Phone +685 26766 or Email: info@nbs.ws


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