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 …

Call for Nominations: Paeng Microfinance Awards 2012

Dear Partners and Friends,

Rafael B. Buenaventura Micro Finance Resource Center Foundation, Inc. (the RBB Foundation) in partnership with Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc., the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines-Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (RBAP-MABS), PinoyME Foundation, and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, are launching the first Rafael B. Buenaventura Award for Outstanding Microfinance Institutions (the “Paeng” Microfinance Awards).

Through this award, the RBB Foundation will recognize Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) who through their initiatives have been able to carry out exemplary work, worthy of emulation, empowering community, sector or barangay. Specifically, the Paeng Microfinance Awards will honor five …

Prudential notes increase in 2011 microinsurance claims

THE Philippine Prudential Insurance Co. Inc. has reported paying more than P22 million worth of claims in 2011, a substantial increase compared to 2010 when payouts totaled only P2.49 million.

Company officials said this indicated a renewed and more vigorous pursuit of a program championed by then Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Rafael Carlos Buenaventura, who made it his personal advocacy project very early in his term.

Like Buenaventura, Philippine Prudential engaged in the business of providing protection to ordinary Filipinos at the retail end of the business long before the program gained prominence as a viable source of sustainable …

TOP FIVE tips to build a successful microinsurance partnership

Microinsurance Innovation Facility – Highlights on the recently conducted webinar on Managing Partnerships in Microinsurance:

  1. A successful partnership requires a clear understanding of the business problem that a distribution partner has and how insurance is going to fix it. Financial incentives such as commissions may not be sufficient (see Emerging Insights #32). Will insurance help partners manage internal risk, attract new customers, or retain existing customers?
  2. An alignment of vision and interest is critical.  An assessment questionnaire or a third-party facilitator can help partners have a genuine dialogue and identify potential issues upfront.
  3. Trust and commitment are crucial and

Rural Banks Learn Best Practices in Developing Housing Microfinance Products

Fifteen (15) participants from seven (7) Luzon rural banks shared their best practices in developing, marketing, and selling housing microfinance product to their clients at the Training Workshop conducted by the United States Agency for International Development-supported Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines-Microenterprise Access to Banking Services Program, in partnership with the Research and Development Department of GM Bank in Nueva Ecija from March 7-9.

The three-day workshop is part of the technical assistance provided by RBAP-MABS to its participating banks. A Focused Group Discussion (FGD) with GM Bank’s group loan clients was conducted to demonstrate FGD facilitation and validation …

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 Prepares Rural Banks for the New Effective Interest Rate Calculation Rules

The first of a series of seminar workshops to prepare banks for the new rules on effective interest rate calculations was held at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Complex at Pasay City last March 8, 2012 to discuss the new regulations and what banks must prepare for. Attended by participants from fifteen (15) rural banks, the workshop was conducted by the United States Agency for International Development-supported Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines-Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (RBAP-MABS) Program, together with the Rural Bankers Research and Development Foundation, Inc. (RBRDFI). Representatives from the BSP were on hand to answer …