– embraces President Ali’s vision of modernization, digitization
THE New Building Society (NBS) Limited has received commendation for being Guyana’s first financial institution to utilize the digital payment option, Mobile Money Guyana (MMG), for mortgage payments.
“… [W]hen our President speaks about transformation of our country, [and] 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, [and] 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,” Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for finance, Dr Ashni Singh said at the initiative’s launch on Tuesday.
“[T]he uses of this digital technology is very much a part of the modern way of doing business,” Dr Singh said, according to a finance ministry statement.
The new payment option, a partnership with telecommunications giant, GTT, was launched at the Society’s Camp and North Road, Georgetown headquarters.
“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 expressing hope that other institutions will do the same.
E-commerce business transactions are encouraged among the private sector, the Senior Minister noted.
Acknowledging that the COVID-19 pandemic forced the world, including Guyana, to make full use of online methods for daily activities, Senior Minister Singh said there is no denying the true value of digital solutions.
Dr Singh further underscored the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government’s passion and drive for a modern Guyana, adding that this was part of the reason the telecommunications sector was liberalized as one of the government’s first acts in office in 2020.
MMG General Manager Bobita Ram said there are more than 820 MMG agents across Guyana.
Pointing out that NBS is the first financial institution to implement MMG, Ram noted the payment option has successfully been used for sale of Caribbean Premier League (CPL) tickets, for gas station transactions, and, most recently, for the digital toll at the Demerara Harbour Bridge.
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, which was an increase 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.
Additionally, interest rates for loans above $4 million but not exceeding $9 million were reduced from 5.95 per cent to 3.75 per cent.
Finally, interest rate of 5.70 per cent, instead of the previous 5.95 per cent, were applied to loans which are above $9 million but not more than $20 million.