Why reinvent the wheel? Use existing tools that work

Microinsurance Innovation Facility – As more institutions enter microinsurance, it is efficient to make use of existing tools that work, in order to minimize the resources needed to develop successful tools. An encouraging example comes from Seguros Futuro.

When Seguros Futuro wanted to expand its education efforts it decided to incorporate insurance education in the annual general assemblies of its cooperatives. Instead of designing a new educational game, Seguros Futuro adapted an existing game called Treasure Pot, developed by the Micro Insurance Academy, which had already been tried and tested in different countries.

In Seguros Futuros’ adapted game, each participant …

RBAP-MABS Microinsurance Partners Recognized at Gabi ng Parangal

To culminate Microinsurance Month, the Insurance Commission spearheaded an awarding ceremony themed “Gabi ng Parangal at Pasasalamat sa mga Tagapagtaguyod ng Microinsurance” to recognize organizations promoting microinsurance in the country. The awarding ceremony was held on January 31 at the Philippine International Convention Center.

Four partner insurance providers and two participating banks of the United States Agency for International Development-supported Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines-Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (RBAP-MABS) Program were among those recognized during the ceremony. Country Bankers Life Insurance Corporation, Mapfre Insular, Pioneer Insurance, and Philippine Prudential Life Inc., were cited as outstanding life …

Lessons from a Vegetable Farmer

We found Mr. Joel Tormis and Mrs. Jeannie Tormis in their farm tending their fruit bearing bitter cucumber (ampalaya) plants and rows of newly sprouting cucumber plants. Along with microfinance Specialist, Mark Guillermo, and Officers from the Cantilan Bank Tagum branch, we had just come from another location along a river embankment where the couple had planted several long rows of cucumber plants.

We got our education from Mr. Tormis and his wife on a few things about raising vegetables and how cash flow generated from vegetables helps smoothen their income flows.

Mrs. Tormis shared that cucumber plants start generating …

Study shows SMS Reminders Boost Ontime Loan Payments

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) led by Professor Dean Karlan of Yale University, in partnership with United States Agency for International Development-supported Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines-Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (RBAP-MABS) Program,  conducted a study to test the effectiveness of using text messages (SMS) for loan payment reminder. Updates on this study were shared with RBAP-MABS on January 20, 2012.

In partnership with two RBAP-MABS participating banks, Green Bank Inc. and the Rural Bank of Mabitac, IPA studied the impact of SMS reminders with 1,259 first time borrowers. The study was designed to investigate the importance of the …

RBAP-MABS Participates in the Microinsurance Advocacy Training

In celebration of Microinsurance Month, a three-day Training on Microinsurance Advocacy (TOMA) was held in Tagaytay City from January 18-20. The Microinsurance Teams of the United States Agency for International Development-supported Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines-Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (RBAP-MABS) and RBAP-Rural Bankers Research Development Foundation Inc. participated.  The event was the third in a series of workshops under the Financial Literacy Roadshow on Microinsurance Advocacy that will be conducted in sixteen (16) regions of the country. Collaborators include German International Cooperation-Microinsurance Innovations Program for Social Security (GIZ-MIPSS), Insurance Commission, National Credit Council (NCC) of the Department of …

Northern Bicol Federation Rural Banks Completed Microinsurance Training Course

Thirteen rural bank-members of the Northern Bicol Federation participated in the 16th Basic Microinsurance Training Course on December 16-17 at Café Frederico in Naga City. To date, 354 rural bank officers and staff from 168 rural banks have completed the training.

The two-day course is designed to guide and qualify rural banks to properly complete the licensing and approval process prescribed by the Insurance Commission, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Securities and Exchange Commission. After successful completion of the course training and the examination, participants will be certified as trained by RBAP, qualifying them as microinsurance soliciting officers …

Rural Banks Prepare for Pricing Transparency

In preparation for the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) regulation on effective interest rate calculations, Ms. Leila Deles of Microfinance Transparency (MFT) showed how this regulation impacts on how interest rates are disclosed to clients and the profitability of microloans.

Ms. Deles set the context of the session by emphasizing that pricing transparency refers to the terms and the condition where financial products are disclosed to clients in a manner that allows both accurate understanding of prices and comparison of different products. She also provided information on the promotion of transparency, data collection, standardization of pricing calculations, and development of …

RBAP-MABS Outlines Financial Education for Branchless Banking During the 8th Citi-Financial Times Financial Education Summit

The 8th Citi-Financial Times (FT) Financial Education Summit, the most established annual international forum on financial literacy, was held on November 28-29, 2011 in Jakarta, Indonesia. With the theme “Empowering the Disadvantaged: Inclusive and Innovative Approaches to Financial Capability”, the Summit focused on how to increase the uptake of financial education initiatives at grassroots levels – microentrepreneurs, migrant workers, and low-income youth – and also explored the use of technology and media in scaling programs and reducing the cost of delivery.  The roles of national frameworks and multi-stakeholder partnerships in addressing large-scale financial capability and consumer protection needs …

Katipunan Bank Expands Microfinance Services in Mindanao and the Visayas

Established in 1979 in the quiet town of Katipunan in Zamboanga del Norte, Rural Bank of Katipunan’s original mission was to service the banking needs of the community, particularly the public school teachers.

With competition getting stiffer, the Rural Bank of Katipunan decided to move its main office to Dipolog City, and also changed the bank’s name to Katipunan Bank. In Dipolog City, a new head office building was completed in 2009. The new head office is one of the most impressive buildings in the middle of Dipolog City’s business hub.

Today, Katipunan Bank is a major player in the …