A state owned bank in Indonesia runs a floating bank to help residents living on remote islands conduct business. Julie Noce reports.
A woman gets cash from a teller at a bank in Indonesia. Another customer withdraws money from the automated teller machine. Still other customers fill out forms to open an account. All things one normally does at a bank, except this particular branch, is on the water. This is Indonesia's first floating bank... a boat that allows customers to get cash, open accounts, and even take out a loan. The bank serves people living on remote islands off the coast of Jakarta where conducting even the simplest business transactions can take days. (SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Indonesia) RESIDENT OF PRAMUKA ISLAND, HUDREYA, SAYING: "(It takes) one day go to the (main)land, and another day to return, (and) it takes about two to three days if we need to go to the bank. Although this service is provided once in a week, it helps a lot." The floating financial service is on a trial run for now. From Monday through Friday the boat visits five islands a week, each for one day. Bank officials say their aim is for all islanders in these remote locations to have their own personal accounts. Eventually they hope to take their boat to other islands that make up the sprawling Indonesian archipelago.