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 …

Improving Core Banking Systems to Improve Branchless Banking Services – Lessons from Cantilan Bank

This is the fourth 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.”

Cantilan Bank’s Head of Strategic Management, Melvin Yu, shared how the bank is using new technologies, including mobile banking, to accelerate branchless banking services for their clients.

From 1980 to 1998, Cantilan Bank basically maintained all bank records manually and it was only in 1999 when the bank shifted to an automated reporting system. In 2005, the bank installed the RB2000, a banking software program developed and supported by USAID …

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 …

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, …

RBAP-MABS Outlines Financial Education for Branchless Banking During the 8th Citi-Financial Times Financial Education Summit

The 8th Citi-Financial Times (FT) Financial Education Summit, the most established annual international forum on financial literacy, was held on November 28-29, 2011 in Jakarta, Indonesia. With the theme “Empowering the Disadvantaged: Inclusive and Innovative Approaches to Financial Capability”, the Summit focused on how to increase the uptake of financial education initiatives at grassroots levels – microentrepreneurs, migrant workers, and low-income youth – and also explored the use of technology and media in scaling programs and reducing the cost of delivery.  The roles of national frameworks and multi-stakeholder partnerships in addressing large-scale financial capability and consumer protection needs …