RBAP-MABS links rural banks, insurers, MSPs, and ATM and m-banking partners in “speed networking” activity

Throughout its more than  12 years of working to strengthen the Philippine microfinance industry, the USAID-supported RBAP-MABS program has sought innovative methods not only in microfinance product and service delivery, but also in training methods on how to sustain best practices and maintain strong business partnerships.

At the 2011 National Roundtable Conference held in Manila on May 23-24, RBAP-MABS, for the first time, employed a “speed networking” approach to facilitate networking among rural banks and other microfinance partners so as to nurture relationships and explore partnerships and business opportunities. RBAP-MABS brought together partner rural banks, insurance providers, MABS service providers (MSPs), and ATM and m-banking partners in the activity.

About Speed Networking

“Speed networking” is a social and business networking event “based on speed dating and a Jewish tradition of chaperoned gatherings of young Jewish singles, originally intended to keep Jewish singles from marrying out of faith”. (See source: European …

Updates on the BAP-Credit Bureau

Mr. Leonilo ‘Topper’ Coronel, Managing Director of the Bankers Association of the Philippines Credit Bureau (BAP-CB), presented the private credit bureau’s latest changes and activities to participants of the 2011 RBAP-MABS National Roundtable last May 23-24 in Manila. He shared the latest developments in the effort of BAP-CB and a consortium of microfinance institutions’ (MFIs) to build a responsive credit information system for the microfinance sector. (see Philippine Star article)

He reported the over 60% growth in the number of participating rural banks from 28 to 46 in May 2011, attributing this increase to the BAP-CB’s efforts to reach out to rural bank federations in the country, and the assistance of the USAID-supported RBAP-MABS Program.

He also underscored the enhancements in the bureau’s Negative File Information System (NFIS) particularly its accessibility via the Internet, which allows the credit bureau to automatically process requests on a daily basis, even on non-working …

Options for Microinsurance Sales and Servicing

MABS Microinsurance Coordinator, Ruth Aseron shares lessons learned during the RBAP-MABS Regional Roundtable Conference 2010.

The RBAP-MABS Regional Roundtable Conferences in Manila and Davao each featured a session on Microinsurance that sought to provide participants insights on the various distribution models which rural banks are allowed to adopt.  Presented were perspectives on how rural banks should formalize its microinsurance distribution operations in compliance with the provisions of the National Regulatory Framework and with regulations issued by the Insurance Commission (IC) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). The session focused especially on Section 6 of the Microinsurance National Regulatory Framework, which provides entities engaged in informal insurance or insurance-like activities three (3) options to formalize their microinsurance operations:

Become an agent or broker of a licensed microinsurance company
Partnering with a third-party broker or agent to offer microinsurance
Join an existing MBA or Cooperative Insurance Society (CIS)
  1. Become an agent

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 …