The United States Agency for International Development -supported Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines – Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (RBAP-MABS) Program joined mobile money experts from all over the world at the 5th Mobile Commerce Summit Asia 2012 in Singapore. The two-day conference themed as, “Evaluating the Best Formulas for the Next Winning M-Commerce Move” gathered high-level mobile commerce industry professionals that have brought unique insights from experienced ventures and tested concepts of the field.
The mobile commerce market in Asia has been growing extremely fast in the past few years. The event served as a forum for banks, financial institutions, m-commerce technical providers, telecom operators, telecom regulators and financial regulators to have insightful discussions on regulatory policies, innovative models, and lessons learned in implementing mobile commerce in varying areas and location.
In one of the panel discussion, Ms. Roselle Hernandez of RBAP-MABS presented its mobile phone banking initiative. The presentation discussed how the program supports microfinance-oriented banks to make use of mobile money to expand banking services in the rural areas. This includes training partner-rural banks, assistance with regulatory approvals, development of mobile payment ecosystems, cash-in cash-out networks, linking bank products to mobile money, payroll servicing, Person-to-Person transfers, Government-to-Person transfers, mobile payments to micro and small businesses, and international remittances.
As of end of March 2012, RBAP-MABS program has helped accredit more than seventy (70) rural banks with more than 1,100 bank offices to offer mobile phone banking services, benefiting over 370,000 clients while processing more than PhP14 billion (US$320 million) in mobile phone banking transactions since 2006.