Opportunities for Rural Banks to Use Smart Money to Expand Branchless Banking Services

This is the third of a four part series of articles about the RBAP-MABS National Roundtable 2012 Conference panel session entitled “Using New Channels to Expand Microfinance Services.”

Mr. Jun Perez of SEEDFINANCE explained how their partnership with SMART in the Island Activation Program supports empowerment through mobile banking. SEEDFINANCE is a wholesale microfinance provider that works with retailers to provide financial and technical assistance. The Island Activation Program (IAP) specifically targets remote communities and helps develop mobile-based financial services in these under-served areas. The partnership among microfinance institutions, SMART, and SEEDFINANCE helps to enable island residents to …

Rural Banks Trained on GCASH-Enabled Mobile Phone Banking Services

The United States Agency for International Development-supported Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP) – Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (MABS) Program conducted two separate GCASH accreditation trainings for rural banks from the Bicol Federation and National Capital Region (NCR) on May 10 at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Naga City and May 29 at the RBAP Conference Room in Manila.

Five (5) participants from four (4) Bicol Federation banks – Rural Bank of San Jose (Camarines Sur), Bangko Rural ng Magarao, Rural Bank of San Fernando (Camarines Sur) and Rural Bank of Pasacao – attended the training while seven …

Sharing Experiences Using Mobile Money to Enable Banking Services at Next Bank Asia Event

On May 9-10, 2012, I had the great honor of speaking at the Next Bank Asia in Singapore that was all about the future of banks, financial services, and money. The conference focused on the changes in the consumer market, fast evolving technology, and the key factors that are changing the financial services landscape.

The conference included some of the real movers and shakers in the “new vision” of banking including Brett King, Scott Anthony, James Gardner, Derek Sivers, Richard Kelly and Andrea Kershaw, Gordon Cooper, Oliver Weidlich, Scott Bales and other leading experts. View the presentations online.

Although this …

Philippines lags behind peers in bank penetration, survey shows

Philippine Daily Inquirer – The Philippines is considered one of the laggards in the Asia-Pacific region in the area of financial services reach, ranking only 12th out of 15 countries in terms of the proportion of working-age population who have accounts with banks or other financial institutions.

Results of a regional survey, done recently by various institutions including the US Agency for International Development, showed that only 26.56 percent of Filipinos aged 15 years old and above have accounts with banks or financial entities.
This proportion is better than the nearly 20 percent for Vietnam and Indonesia, and the less …

RBAP Launches Smart Money Accreditation Course for Rural Bankers in Luzon

The Rural Bankers Research Development Foundation, Inc.  in partnership with Smart Communications Inc. and the USAID-supported Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines-Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (RBAP-MABS) Program and partner Seed Finance held the 2nd SMART Money Accreditation Training Course for twenty-seven (27) participants from nine (9) rural banks based in Luzon on March 9, 2012.

The course was designed for qualified rural banks seeking to obtain accreditation as a Smart Money Center in order to offer money-in and money-out services, facilitate distribution of Smart Money Cards, and eventually to offer mobile phone banking services utilizing the Smart Money Platform.  …

The Future of Mobile Phone Banking in the Philippines: Global Trends for Rural Bankers to Consider (Part 3 of 3)

During my presentation, I shared with the audience some of the latest relevant updates and trends that we are seeing from around the world in terms of the uses of mobile money and mobile banking services.

Viral Marketing & Use of Social Networks

One interesting theme is the use of viral marketing to support the expanded use of mobile money and mobile banking services by focusing on key influencers in particular markets. I wrote about this a few years ago in an article entitled Creating a Tipping Point for Mobile Phone-based Financial Services. In this article, I talked about …

RBAP-MABS Innovative Use of Mobile Money Highlighted During the 5th Mobile Commerce Summit Asia 2012

The United States Agency for International Development -supported Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines – Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (RBAP-MABS) Program joined mobile money experts from all over the world at the 5th Mobile Commerce Summit Asia 2012 in Singapore. The two-day conference themed as, “Evaluating the Best Formulas for the Next Winning M-Commerce Move” gathered high-level mobile commerce industry professionals that have brought unique insights from experienced ventures and tested concepts of the field.

The mobile commerce market in Asia has been growing extremely fast in the past few years. The event served as a forum for banks, …

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, …

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 …