Improving Core Banking Systems to Improve Branchless Banking Services – Lessons from Cantilan Bank

By Aditya Banerjee

This is the fourth of a four part series of articles about the RBAP-MABS National Roundtable 2012 Conference panel session entitled “Using New Channels to Expand Microfinance Services.”

Cantilan Bank’s Head of Strategic Management, Melvin Yu, shared how the bank is using new technologies, including mobile banking, to accelerate branchless banking services for their clients.

From 1980 to 1998, Cantilan Bank basically maintained all bank records manually and it was only in 1999 when the bank shifted to an automated reporting system. In 2005, the bank installed the RB2000, a banking software program developed and supported by USAID under the RBAP-MABS Program. In 2010, the bank upgraded its core banking system not only to comply with new supervisory and regulatory requirements but more importantly, to offer a broader range of services for their clients.

The first major feature is the Cantilan Bank Moneycard, an ATM/Debit card that is connected to the back-end system of the bank allowing the bank to offer a range of new services. In addition to the ATM card, the bank has made several enhancements to their mobile phone banking services.

The bank and its clients quickly realized the benefits of these new enhancements – reduced teller lines and shorter ATM queues, real-time balance inquiry from anywhere, reduced physical money transactions, added revenue for banks from prepaid airtime loading services and improved 24/7 banking services.

The bank’s latest mobile-enabled SMS reminder system allows the bank to reach out and actually be closer to their clients without the need for face-to-face visits since clients are reminded about loan payments, savings promotions, and even branch operating hours in the event of closure due to severe weather or flooding all from their mobile phones.  Clients can now check on their balances from anywhere at anytime.  For banks interested in learning more about using and SMS Gateway system for their clients, check out the presentation at http://www.slideshare.net/MABSIV/crm-via-sms-1491074 or contact RBAP-MABS partner MyClick Technologies.