Mobile banking system launched-A A +A
By Mia A. Aznar
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
ALL the things that have made some people shy away from banks have been addressed by a mobile banking system that aims to reach the masses, the team behind it said.
The BPI-Globe BanKO launched in Cebu Tuesday, signing as partners Prime Asia Pawnshop and the Visayan Electric Co.
With 262,000 depositors around Luzon, BPI-Globe BanKO hopes to reach those without access to bank accounts in the Visayas and Mindanao through a partnership with Prime Asia, which has over 100 branches in these regions--34 of these in Veco franchise areas.
BanKO president Teresita Tan said they have a mobile application that is compatible with old cellular phone models.
“We are a full service savings bank. We still have branches, but the primary delivery of services are through the cellphone,” she explained.
They are targeting 95 percent of Filipinos who have no bank accounts, saying those of this number who do have access to financial services are from informal institutions.
With just P100, a filled-up application form and identification card, one can open up a BanKO account at any partner establishment like Prime Asia, Generika and Tambunting Pawnshop. Half of the amount is meant to pay for an ATM card. Identification cards can be as simple as a barangay certification issued by the barangay.
BanKO accounts have no maintaining balance and could stay empty for days with no bank charges.
Cash deposits and withdrawals can be done through these partner establishments. Money in the account can also be used to buy cellphone load or pay bills such as the monthly bills from Veco.
Globe SIM cards used for BanKO also do not expire, and bank transactions even without load credits can be done as long as the account has enough cash to complete the transaction.
Tan said their system was designed to make it easy and accessible to the masses, which is why there is not need to register a phone number. They also chose partners that are “familiar in the community.”
Because transactions are done online, Tan assured these are all reflected in real time, including bill payments.
Aside from just having a bank account, the account holder also has life insurance and can avail of loans from the bank.
Tan said they have since released P50 million in retail loans and P2.5 billion has been lent to micro finance institutions.
Tan said partner establishments are chosen for their name brand, long operating hours and cash liquidity position, saying they will have to provide the cash that the account holder requires.
They are under negotiations with two other establishments to partner with them.
Tan was glad to note that the most common activity among account holders is making deposits, which means they are saving.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 14, 2013.