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 …

Mobile Phone Banking and New Technologies: Providing New Channels to Serve Clients Better, Faster, and 24/7

Alternative ways of delivering banking services are changing the way rural banks are servicing their clients. Not only that, these innovations are also helping the Philippine Government reach families at the bottom of the economic pyramid.

During the 2011 RBAP-MABS National Roundtable Conference, rural banks shared how technology has been useful to them in expanding microfinance services.  As of May 2011, more than 160,000 rural bank clients have processed more than PhP10 billion (US$220 million) in mobile phone banking transactions via the GCASH platform.

Banking practices have been evolving and expanding coverage geographically, as well as in terms of network, …

Updates on the BAP-Credit Bureau

Mr. Leonilo ‘Topper’ Coronel, Managing Director of the Bankers Association of the Philippines Credit Bureau (BAP-CB), presented the private credit bureau’s latest changes and activities to participants of the 2011 RBAP-MABS National Roundtable last May 23-24 in Manila. He shared the latest developments in the effort of BAP-CB and a consortium of microfinance institutions’ (MFIs) to build a responsive credit information system for the microfinance sector. (see Philippine Star article)

He reported the over 60% growth in the number of participating rural banks from 28 to 46 in May 2011, attributing this increase to the BAP-CB’s efforts to reach out …

How to Avoid an India-type Microfinance Crisis in the Philippines

As prologue to the BSP’s (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) National Microfinance Stakeholders Summit held on April 5, the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (RBAP-MABS) with support from USAID/Philippines and the Microfinance Council of the Philippines (MCPI) jointly held a pre-summit seminar on April 4 discussing “How to Avoid an India-type Microfinance Crisis in the Philippines”.

Opening the forum, RBAP President Corazon Miller described the India microfinance crisis as “a wake-up call for microfinance practitioners in the Philippines to begin the proactive process of strengthening transparency, following consumer protection practices, improving governance, and

New Developments in the BAP-Credit Bureau

By: MABS Microfinance Specialist Bernabe Bunao Jr.

One of the keys to successful lending operations is to properly screen out clients who are over-indebted or with poor credit histories. This is becoming increasingly important as the sector becomes more competitive than ever before.  A useful tool to manage and mitigate these inherent risks is through the practice of credit sharing among lenders.  Rural banks are fortunate to have the opportunity to make use of private credit bureaus such as the Bankers Association of the Philippines – Credit Bureau (BAP-CB).
BAP-Credit Bureau offers functional online credit information services that pave the

Marketing Guru Mike Rios shares secrets to successful marketing with rural bankers

After his successful marketing strategies session during the 2010 RBAP-MABS National Roundtable Conference in Manila, marketing guru Mike Rios came back to the Philippines to share effective marketing strategies with the Philippine rural banks.

A former Nike and Coca-Cola creative adman, Mr. Rios believes that marketing has a greater purpose – that if it can sell cigarettes, fast food, and “brown sugar water” to the masses, it can also help motivate people to live healthier, wealthier, and happier lives as well. A big idea writer and strategist, he’s done work for ANZ Bank, Forte Insurance, MTV Exit, PSI, UNICEF, WING …

Options for Microinsurance Sales and Servicing

MABS Microinsurance Coordinator, Ruth Aseron shares lessons learned during the RBAP-MABS Regional Roundtable Conference 2010.

The RBAP-MABS Regional Roundtable Conferences in Manila and Davao each featured a session on Microinsurance that sought to provide participants insights on the various distribution models which rural banks are allowed to adopt.  Presented were perspectives on how rural banks should formalize its microinsurance distribution operations in compliance with the provisions of the National Regulatory Framework and with regulations issued by the Insurance Commission (IC) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). The session focused especially on Section 6 of the Microinsurance National Regulatory Framework, …

The Benefits of the BAP-Credit Bureau for Rural Banks

Getting accurate, timely and objective credit information in a cost efficient way is one of the serious challenges that rural banks with microfinance operations face in making credit decisions.  The long-standing practice of pre-screening a loan application through field information gathering is costly and slow, and delays loan approval process. It is anticipated that a national credit information system mandated by the Credit Information System Act (or CISA) will help in addressing this challenge. However, getting the system up and running may still take sometime.

Meanwhile, rural banks can turn to the existing credit information services offered by the Bankers …

Marketing Tips for Reaching Microfinance Clients

Mr. Mike Rios of Microfinance Opportunities livened up the audience at the 2010 RBAP-MABS National Roundtable Conference in Manila on June 3rd with an entertaining and informative presentation on marketing strategies.

Market like your customer, not like your ‘Mom’” was the first of his three rules of marketing new products. Too often, marketers focus on the benefits that are not tangible to the customer, pretty much like moms lecturing about the benefits of vitamins to their children. Imagining what it is like to be a customer should drive design, branding and marketing decisions. Think of how Flintstones vitamins …

Credit Scoring System, Netbooks, and new Mobile Phone Banking App introduced at the RBAP-MABS National Roundtable

Several technological developments for support and expansion of microfinance services were presented during the 2010 RBAP-MABS National Roundtable Conference held in Manila on June 2-3, 2010.

Ms. Rebecca Hughes, Philippines Country Director of Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), first introduced a credit scoring model and automated loan application process via netbooks. The new loan application process via netbooks allows loan Account Officers to quickly and easily upload and prepare loan applications from the field. In addition, IPA has also added a credit scoring system into the application to better predict the borrower’s likelihood of repayment based on certain indicators such …