USAID Officers Get Hands-on Briefing on Mobile Phone Banking Services

Officers of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) were given a firsthand briefing on the mobile phone banking initiative of the USAID-supported Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines-Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (RBAP-MABS) Program during a visit with partner bank, PR Savings Bank’s Ortigas Branch on August 11, 2011. The officers included Science & Technology Adviser to the Administrator Alex Dehgan, Environment Officer Kerry Reeves, Teresa Leonardo, Global Climate Change Advisor, and Contracts Officer Technical Representative Teresita Espenilla.

The team was provided with a presentation outlining the Program’s mobile phone banking initiative. As of May 2011, there are …

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 …

The Power of Savings – Rural Miners Open their First Savings Accounts

From Butuan City going north towards Surigao Norte is the town of Tubod, where mining has become a major source of employment to local residents and those in the outlying towns. Hired by labor sub-contractors of the mining company there, the number of miner-laborers peaks during the dry season and declines during the rainy season. The mining site is about five kilometers away from the Cantilan Bank Tubod Branch, which started its operations in 2005.

As is the practice in the mining industry, mining companies operating in Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur outsource their labor requirements to sub-contractors. …

RBAP-MABS and Smart Money expand RB Mabitac’s mobile money transfer services

On April 15-16, RBAP-MABS and Smart Communications trained 14 field officers of the Rural Bank of Mabitac (RB Mabitac) on mobile money transfer using Smart Money. The two-day Field Officers’ Smart Money Training/Workshop held in Los Baños, Laguna was attended by 14 representatives from five RB Mabitac branches: Los Baños, Paete, Candelaria, Infanta and Cabuyao.

Smart Communications is one of the leading wireless services providers in the Philippines, with over 45 million subscribers and 8 million Smart Money subscribers nationwide. RBAP, through its MABS program, collaborated with Smart to pilot test its e-money transfer services with RB Mabitac.

Three RB …

Mobile money wallets help microentrepreneurs in the Philippines

Microentrepreneurs in a Filipino market are saving time and money by accepting payments using their mobile phones.

Turning sideways to squeeze between the tightly packed stalls, customers stop to admire strings of white, pink, and green pearls displayed by Jamera Macmac and her family. The family runs a pearl business in the bustling Greenhills Shopping Center in Manila, Philippines, where customers seek out their unique designs. After years of managing the business, Ms. Macmac wanted to look for new ways to sell her products. She also grew tired of frequent trips to the bank to deposit cash or send money

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 …

Bangko Mabuhay and GCASH serve the mobile money community of Cavite

Bangko Mabuhay together with G-Xchange Inc. (GXI), a wholly-owned mobile commerce subsidiary of Globe Telecom, brings the benefits of mobile money and convenient remittance pay-out options in Cavite.

Using the GCASH platform, its branches serve as cash-in and cash-out facilities for customers who would like to take advantage of the convenience that mobile money transfer offers. Bangko Mabuhay is also an active pay-out outlet for GCASH REMIT, cash pick-up remittance service under GXI.

Bangko Mabuhay, registered as Rural Bank of Tanza (Cavite), Inc., has over P900M in assets serving thousands of clients in the province.…

Cantilan Bank Celebrates 30 Years of Progressive and Excellent Community Banking Services

More than 500 attendees packed into a basketball gymnasium in Cantilan’s town square to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Cantilan Bank. The gala highlighted the banks remarkable growth over the past three decades and underscored the important role microfinance services played in their success.

MABS started working with Cantilan Bank 11 years ago, when it had just three branches and 35 employees. Now, the bank is 260 employees strong with 12 branches across Surigao. The bank-wide loan portfolio grew from around P50M to P652M. The number of microfinance borrowers is 39% of Cantilan’s total borrowers with a client base …

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 …