From Rags to Reaching New Heights through Mobile Payments – Hazel the Seamstress

Hazel is a seamstress at Bibota Industries, a garments shop that began many years ago making rags that sold at 2 US cents per piece.

With the help of microfinance loans through Green Bank, the company gained reliable and prompt access to credit which kept the business going and growing.

In the past, Green Bank’s account officer would travel 45 minutes by motorcycle to collect loan repayments. A recent innovation of Green Bank now allows Bibota Ind to send payments using their mobile phone via the bank’s Text-A-Payment service. Transactions are cheaper and almost instant for both the borrower and the bank. Mobile payments allow borrower and bank to use their time and resources for more productive work.

Bibota has come a long way and now supplies garments to some of the the country’s leading signature clothing chains.

Truly, a story from “Rags” to “Reaching new heights” through mobile payments …

Mobile Money Expands Pizza Business

Mrs. Sheila Milan owns W’s Pizza, a pizza parlor with branches in three Mindanao towns (Cantilan, Madrid, and Tandag). In March 2007, Sheila, a borrower and depositor of Cantilan Bank since 2005, agreed to become a bank partner-merchant and started accepting GCASH from her customers. Since then, Sheila has seen her sales expand because of mobile payments.

Now, she is able to accept orders for delivery that are paid through GCASH. All three of her parlors now accept GCASH as payment; the cashiers of the other two branches send their GCASH sales to her at the end of each day phone-to-phone. Early in March 2008, Sheila started selling a popular donut brand in her store. Because she finds mobile phone banking services a more convenient and affordable mode of making payments and money transfers, she talked her supplier into accepting GCASH as well. Sheila said the arrangement has been working …

Mobile Phone Banking Services Expand Business Opportunities in Surigao del Sur

Loida Llamas owns and operates Pawnshop de Madrid – Madrid, Surigao del Sur’s “homegrown” pawnshop. On the side, she makes and sells trinkets and fashion accessories. Loida, a depositor of Cantilan Bank, decided to accept GCASH from her customers in March 2007; she now uses the mobile phone banking services of the bank for practically all of her business transactions. Loida gets the raw materials for her trinkets from Manila-based suppliers. She now pays them through Text-A-Payment instead of making inter-branch bank deposits. Her sub-dealers likewise remit their sales purchases by sending her GCASH. Loida also sends money phone-to-phone to relatives via Text-A-Remittance.

Loida finds the mobile phone banking services offered by Cantilan Bank  “very convenient”. Through Text-A-Withdrawal, she can withdraw from her deposit account whenever she needs to cash-in or “load” GCASH unto her electronic wallet.  Loida prefers to keep enough GCASH balance so that she can serve customers …

Making the world go round thru caps, food, and music

MEET OUR CLIENT: Estela Lagunzad

What would a mother give to feed her family’s hunger for food, knowledge, and music?

Estela Lagunzad and her family have taken root in Tacloban City, Leyte, very near the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center where her husband used to work as a minimum-waged security guard. Besides personally taking care of the family, she had to man their sari-sari (retail) store and, on the side, had sold Natasha, Tupperware, and Avon products. Mindful of their children’s future, she had to find ways to augment her husband’s low income so they can better provide for their children’s needs.

In 2003, the Rural Bank of Dulag (RB Dulag) opened a branch in Tacloban City. Through the bank’s microfinance services, Mrs. Lagunzad was provided with a Php 15,000 loan (US$300) in January 2004. She used the amount as capital in putting up a home-based eatery catering to hospital …

Profits Can Come from Small Packages

Eight years ago, Mrs. Elma Garan and her husband both lost their jobs. Subsequently, to support their five children, they started a business of delivering bread and fish to sari-sari (small grocery) stores and fish stalls in the Santo Tomas Public Market in Mindanao. The couple barely made a profit from their business, since they did not have the means to increase their inventory and sell to more customers. “We knew we had to do something so our business would grow, but we did not have enough money to expand. Our earnings were just enough for our family’s needs”, recounts Mrs. Garan.

To supplement their income, Mrs. Garan decided to start another business. Aware of the local practice of buying tingi-tingi (repackaged small retail items), she decided to buy goods in bulk and repack them in smaller quantities sized for household consumption. Housewives on a tight budget frequently look for …

Cooking Up Business Success


Until recently, the income of the Pido family had been enough for their needs. Mr. and Mrs. Pido both had regular jobs at Mindanao State University – which is in Marawi City, in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Mrs. Amina Pido was an office clerk while her husband worked as a security guard. But with all their seven children reaching school age and enrolled in school, the additional, mounting expenses for their children’s education forced Mrs. Pido to look for a way to earn additional income. Being a long-time university employee, Mrs. Pido knew that students were always on the lookout for affordable meals. Because her family lived inside the university campus, she decided to set up a carinderia (small restaurant) that would cater to students.

Mrs. Pido bought several tables and chairs, converted a portion of her front porch into a dining area, …