Senior Finance Minister lauds NBS for being first financial institution to introduce MMG as mortgage payment option
– urges all other institutions, businesses, cell phone users to come on board in countrywide modernization and digitization as envisioned by President Ali
Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, November 22, 2022: Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, today lauded the New Building Society (NBS) for taking the bold step of leading the way in being the first financial institution to implement the use of Mobile Money Guyana (MMG) for mortgage payments.
The Minister was at the time speaking at the launch ceremony held at the NBS Head Office on Avenue of the Republic and North Road. He also called on other financial institutions, businesses as well as any individual who possesses a cell phone to ensure that they use the app to do business or make payments as he noted that this would eliminate the countless lines around the country daily.
“I want queues to be a thing of the past. Guyanese people must not have to join a line to do routine transactions. That’s part of this modern Guyana that President Ali aspires to,” Dr. Singh said while noting that today was a good example that he trusts will be replicated many times over and encouraged private sector entities to deploy solutions to allow for faster and easier service and E-commerce business transactions.
Acknowledging that the COVID-19 pandemic forced the world including Guyana to make full use of online activities including through the delivery of educational content and online payment solutions, the Minister stated that this therefore highlighted the true value of digital solutions.
“You know when our President speaks about transformation of our country, the modernization of our country, that transformation and modernization to which we aspire is not only about new bridges, new highways, new roads, new hotels new restaurants, new businesses, new industry. That modernization and transformation are also about modernizing and transforming the way we do business and the way we interact with each other and the use of this digital technology is very much a part of the modern way of doing business,” Dr. Singh emphasized.
The Finance Minister alluded to the People’s Progressive Party Civic’s (PPP/C) passion and drive for a modern Guyana and posited that it is why the first thing that was done by the President when he assumed office in August 2020, was to ensure that the law providing for the liberalization of the telecommunications sector was passed.
General Manager of MMG, Ms. Bobita Ram noted that there are more than 820 MMG agents across the country within all ten of its regions. Pointing out that NBS is the first financial institution to implement MMG use reminding persons that the MMG app was already successfully used for sale of Caribbean Premier League (CPL) tickets, is used for countless transactions including to fuel up at gas stations and most recently for use as the Breeze Pass service at the Demerara Harbour Bridge. She also challenged Government to continue to create more opportunities for modernization and expansion of digital solution services.
Meanwhile the MMG team were urged by the Minister to continue to be more aggressive in persuading more businesses and mobile phone users to come on board with 70,000 indirect customers and 48,000 individual wallet holders countrywide, an objective, he noted that Government will embrace under the leadership of President Ali.
Since Government assumed office in 2020, the NBS has disbursed more than 2,000 new mortgages across the country to the tune of $9 Billion. As part of Budget 2021 measures approval was granted to the financial institution to increase its mortgage ceiling to $15 Million up from $12 Million. This amount was further increased to $20 Million in September last. Effective from September as well NBS slashed its interest rate to support Government’s housing drive with the interest rate for loans from $1 Million to $4 Million reduced to 3.50 per cent from 4 per cent, interest rate for loans above $4 Million up to $9 Million reduced from 5.95 per cent to 3.75 per cent and an interest rate of 5.70 per cent, instead of the previous 5.95 per cent, applied to loans above $9 Million up to $20 Million.