The Benefits of the BAP-Credit Bureau for Rural Banks

Getting accurate, timely and objective credit information in a cost efficient way is one of the serious challenges that rural banks with microfinance operations face in making credit decisions.  The long-standing practice of pre-screening a loan application through field information gathering is costly and slow, and delays loan approval process. It is anticipated that a national credit information system mandated by the Credit Information System Act (or CISA) will help in addressing this challenge. However, getting the system up and running may still take sometime.

Meanwhile, rural banks can turn to the existing credit information services offered by the Bankers Association of the Philippines – Credit Bureau Inc. (BAP-CB). During the 53rd RBAP Charter Symposium on October 14-15, 2010 BAP-CB officer Manuel Batallones, reiterated the strong interest of the BAP-CB to support  rural banks’ credit information needs as their way of supporting the rural banks and especially the microfinance sector.  …

Marketing Tips for Reaching Microfinance Clients

Mr. Mike Rios of Microfinance Opportunities livened up the audience at the 2010 RBAP-MABS National Roundtable Conference in Manila on June 3rd with an entertaining and informative presentation on marketing strategies.

Market like your customer, not like your ‘Mom’” was the first of his three rules of marketing new products. Too often, marketers focus on the benefits that are not tangible to the customer, pretty much like moms lecturing about the benefits of vitamins to their children. Imagining what it is like to be a customer should drive design, branding and marketing decisions. Think of how Flintstones vitamins changed the way vitamins were marketed to children.

Mr. Rios’ second rule is: “Make your product easy to try, buy, and know ‘what’s in it for me’.” A product can have great brand recognition, but if customers do not know what the product does or how it benefits …

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 as the borrower’s background, cash flow, debt capacity and past repayment patterns of comparable borrowers. For the staff and clients, the netbooks help speed up the processing of loan applications in the field.

While Ms. Hughes cautioned that not every bank will be able to implement the credit scoring system …