2012 RBAP-MABS Microfinance Conference and Awards Ceremony

Over 200 rural bankers and other participants throughout the Philippines attended the 2012 National Roundtable Conference organized by the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP) – Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (MABS) Program. The two-day conference is a gathering of all RBAP-MABS participating banks to share and exchange experiences on microfinance operations, new developments in the field, and marks the Programs’ 15th anniversary. The United States Chargé d’Affaires, Ms. Leslie Bassett, opened the 15th year anniversary of RBAP-MABS and Awards Dinner along with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ Monetary Board Member Ignacio Bunye.

The MABS Program, now on its 15th …

Rural Banks Learn Best Practices in Developing Housing Microfinance Products

Fifteen (15) participants from seven (7) Luzon rural banks shared their best practices in developing, marketing, and selling housing microfinance product to their clients at the Training Workshop conducted by the United States Agency for International Development-supported Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines-Microenterprise Access to Banking Services Program, in partnership with the Research and Development Department of GM Bank in Nueva Ecija from March 7-9.

The three-day workshop is part of the technical assistance provided by RBAP-MABS to its participating banks. A Focused Group Discussion (FGD) with GM Bank’s group loan clients was conducted to demonstrate FGD facilitation and validation …

A Dream Home Come True

After getting married in 2001, Mr. Joel and Mrs. Erlyn Espinosa built their small nipa hut in Balasan, Iloilo to start a family. Mr. Joel is a son of a small palay farmer and makes a living as a carpenter for house construction. Years of labor as a carpenter are now showing in his slouched posture. Mr. Joel’s nine siblings somehow managed to live auspicious lives despite poor family background. Three of his brothers work as ship crew, while a sister married up and now settles in another province. Meanwhile, his other sisters managed to migrate to Canada to escape …

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 …

Video: Microinsurance Services of Rural Banks

This video documents the microinsurance efforts of the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines in partnership with United States Agency for International Development/Philippines through the Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (MABS) Program and the International Labour Organization under the Microinsurance Innovation Facility.

Text-A-Withdrawal Makes Access to Mobile Money Easier

Mr. Archiebald “Archie” Beldad owns a pharmacy located in the town center of Cantilan, Surigao del Sur located in rural northeastern Mindanao. As a registered client of Cantilan Bank, a participating bank under the Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (MABS) Program, Archie began using GCASH for business in March 2007. He purchases and sells GCASH in small amounts and accepts GCASH as payment for his goods. He has a good credit record with the bank where he has been maintaining a deposit account for several years. Archie also uses the convenience of the Text-A-Withdrawal facility to withdraw from his deposit …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …