RBAP-MABS links rural banks, insurers, MSPs, and ATM and m-banking partners in “speed networking” activity

Throughout its more than  12 years of working to strengthen the Philippine microfinance industry, the USAID-supported RBAP-MABS program has sought innovative methods not only in microfinance product and service delivery, but also in training methods on how to sustain best practices and maintain strong business partnerships.

At the 2011 National Roundtable Conference held in Manila on May 23-24, RBAP-MABS, for the first time, employed a “speed networking” approach to facilitate networking among rural banks and other microfinance partners so as to nurture relationships and explore partnerships and business opportunities. RBAP-MABS brought together partner rural banks, insurance providers, MABS service providers …

Conditional Cash Transfer, Rural Banks, and Mobile Money Transfer: Observations and Reflections

In a scene being played out in various places in the country, some of them more remote, over 400 households from four barangays in the municipality of Sogod, Cebu received financial support from the government through the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) on May 4, 2011.A 5-year program of the Philippine Government, 4Ps provides conditional cash grants for the poorest families in identified municipalities as financial aid for the family’s health and for children’s education. Aside from disbursements through the Land Bank of the Philippines, conditional cash transfers (CCT) are being disbursed too …

The Power of Savings – Rural Miners Open their First Savings Accounts

From Butuan City going north towards Surigao Norte is the town of Tubod, where mining has become a major source of employment to local residents and those in the outlying towns. Hired by labor sub-contractors of the mining company there, the number of miner-laborers peaks during the dry season and declines during the rainy season. The mining site is about five kilometers away from the Cantilan Bank Tubod Branch, which started its operations in 2005.

As is the practice in the mining industry, mining companies operating in Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur outsource their labor requirements to sub-contractors. …

Mobile money wallets help microentrepreneurs in the Philippines

Microentrepreneurs in a Filipino market are saving time and money by accepting payments using their mobile phones.

Turning sideways to squeeze between the tightly packed stalls, customers stop to admire strings of white, pink, and green pearls displayed by Jamera Macmac and her family. The family runs a pearl business in the bustling Greenhills Shopping Center in Manila, Philippines, where customers seek out their unique designs. After years of managing the business, Ms. Macmac wanted to look for new ways to sell her products. She also grew tired of frequent trips to the bank to deposit cash or send money

BSP officers and Philippine Monetary Board member visit Green Bank and Cantilan Bank

A 12-member study group from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas(BSP) led by Monetary Board Member Juanita Amatong and Dep. Gov. Nestor Espenilla, Jr. visited Cantilan Bank and Green Bank in Butuan City from July 23-24. During the visit, the BSP engaged the officials and staff of the banks in an open dialogue concerning the challenges in their microfinance operations and the regulatory areas that could help promote sound expansion of microfinance services among rural banks. Cantilan Bank and Green Bank are both participant banks of the RBAP-MABS program, which is supported by USAID/Philippines.

At the Cantilan Bank branch in Butuan …

Cantilan Bank Celebrates 30 Years of Progressive and Excellent Community Banking Services

More than 500 attendees packed into a basketball gymnasium in Cantilan’s town square to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Cantilan Bank. The gala highlighted the banks remarkable growth over the past three decades and underscored the important role microfinance services played in their success.

MABS started working with Cantilan Bank 11 years ago, when it had just three branches and 35 employees. Now, the bank is 260 employees strong with 12 branches across Surigao. The bank-wide loan portfolio grew from around P50M to P652M. The number of microfinance borrowers is 39% of Cantilan’s total borrowers with a client base …

Mobile phone banking merchant partners help ease banking in Surigao

A growing number of store owners are collaborating with rural banks and connecting to the GCASH network from Cantilan to Butuan City and across the region. These store owners are providing cash-in and cash-out services to support mobile phone banking services as well as mobile money transfer in these areas.

The partnership between RBAP-MABS and G-XChange, Inc. (GXI), Globe Telecom’s wholly owned subsidiary, has helped develop and implement mobile phone banking applications and m-commerce services for rural banks and their clients.  Based on a secure GCASH menu, mobile phone banking clients of accredited rural banks can receive loans, make payments …

Accounts of Housing Microfinance Clients

During a visit to Cantilan Bank, a team of MABS employees had the opportunity to observe first-hand how housing microfinance loans have impacted the bank’s clients.  Many microfinance clients own their homes, and often have a need to make incremental repairs or improvements using whatever funds they may have saved over time if they have no access to credit.   Housing microfinance loans generally mirror the way low-income households build or improve their homes in the countryside, which follow a progressive building approach.  Clients often build a foundation then the walls, then add roofing, and include water, sanitation, and electricity, step-by-step. …

RBAP plans for big time mobile phone banking services expansion this 2010

The Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP) projects a substantial increase in mobile phone banking services this year as G-Xchange, Inc. (GXI) plans to activate Globe Telecom’s nationwide sub distributer network of over 18,000 cash-in and cash-out outlets.

Combined with the mobile phone banking services developed by USAID-supported RBAP-MABS program, this will provide the rural banks with a virtual ATM network that more than doubles the current count of about 8,000.  “We see this as an opportunity to leapfrog the rural banking sector’s outreach in the countryside and we are gearing up to accomplish this in 2010,” said RBAP …