Philippine Star: Mobile Banking Expands in Rural Areas

MANILA, Philippines – In 2011, Philippine rural banks processed over P4.9 billion (roughly $116 million) worth of banking transactions which were enabled by mobile banking.

In fact, the former head of the Microentrepreneurs Access to Banking Services (MABS) program John V. Owens said a 58-percent increase in the volume of transactions through mobile banking has been noted in the first four months of 2012.

Since mobile banking or access to banking services through the mobile phone technology was introduced in 2006, a total of P16 billion (approximately $363 million) had been processed.

Involved in the entire process were 73 rural banks through their 1,168 branches and other banking offices.

In his presentation at the 59th convention of the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP), Owens noted that the rural bankers made good their partnership with the two leading telecommunications companies – Globe Telecom and Smart Communications – to facilitate easier use of mobile money for greater access to banking services.

“Rural banks are fortunate to live in a country with two very active and supportive mobile money platforms and a very proactive and supportive regulatory environment. I highly recommend that all rural banks take advantage of these two platforms to better connect with new and existing clients and customers,” Owens said.

Globe and Smart have over 85 million subscribers and this number is growing whereas rural banks serve only six million clients. There are now 10 million Filipinos that have registered to the two mobile money platforms.

Article written by Ted P. Torres.

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