Pushing mobile banking to the limit (Conclusion)-A A +A
Sunday, September 30, 2012
I AM sure that most of us are aware that the Philippines has been considered a “trailblazer” in mobile technology.
We are proud of the fact that we have been repeatedly recognized as the “Texting Capital of the World,” even during an earlier time when mobile phones were just emerging as the new “it” thing.
“People in the Philippines have pioneered in mobile technology years and years before,” said Dr. Maura O’ Neill, United States Agency for International Development (USAid) Chief Innovation Officer and Senior Counselor to the Administrator.
In a meeting hosted by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, USAid recently got together with BPI-Globe BanKo, G-Xchange and Smart Communications to push further the frontiers of mobile banking. This will be through the implementation of the Scaling Innovations in Mobile Money (SIMM) Project. O’Neill stressed that mobile technology, of which the Philippines is a trailblazer, is actually “a safe and stable way to create a new financial system.”
Over the past few years, the USAid has worked extensively with mobile network operators Globe and Smart. It is planning to expand cooperation to deepen financial inclusion in the country through technological innovations.
The USAid noted that while most mobile banking deployments around the world provide a new delivery channel to existing bank clients, transformative models like the SIMM Project aspire to integrate unbanked populations into the formal financial sector.
According to the USAid, financial services provide the means for the poor and the unbanked to build assets, better withstand shocks, and participate more broadly in the formal economy.
Mobile phone banking truly has the potential to help the Philippines reach development goals faster and make those gains sustainable, the USAid emphasized.
After all, only 26 percent of Filipinos enjoy access to formal financial channels such as banks. It should also be pointed out that 610 out of 1,635 municipalities in the country do not have banks!
While the number of mobile money deployments has experienced a global explosive growth, the number of active mobile money users has not grown commensurately. The USAid/SIMM Project intends to:
* Grow mobile money to more than 1 million active users; one-quarter of these users would be new subscribers to mobile money services.
* Train more than 10,000 people through financial education and literacy on the uses of mobile money and mobile money services for improved household financial management.
* Provide 10,000 people with new savings accounts via mobile banking.
* Establish an additional 2,500 cash-in/cash-out merchant partners focusing on rural areas.
* Increase payroll implementation and adoption to 100 small, medium, and large businesses and one Philippine government agency or local government unit.
* Increase the volume (monetary value) of mobile money transactions by over 200 percent.
* Sponsor conferences and venues for networking support and produce research papers and assessments for knowledge sharing.
On the part of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the government’s implementing partner particularly in the areas of policy and regulation, it will continue to create an environment that promotes innovations rather than stifles them, while ensuring the safety, soundness, and integrity of the system at the same time.
BSP will also continue to be proactive in our measures to protect the rights of the consumers.
BSP hopes that the cooperation among the parties and agencies mentioned will not only result in the success of the SIMM Project, but also in the provision of much-needed financial services for the entire Filipino people.