Russian finance and economic policy makers visit RBAP-MABS to study Philippine mobile banking services

Policy makers from the Russian Central Bank, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Economic Development conducted a study visit with the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines-MABS Program on April 7, 2010.  The 12-member study group visit focused on the mobile phone banking initiatives of the RBAP-MABS Program supported by USAID/Philippines.

The delegates, which included representatives of E-money providers, Russian microfinance and other trade organizations, and the academe were keenly interested in learning from the experience of the Philippines in implementing the mobile technology for microfinance. The study group also visited the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to learn about the supervision and regulation of electronic banking, as well as the two pioneering m-commerce telcos, SMART and Globe.

The delegation was led by Mr. Mikhail Mamuta, president of the National Association of Microfinance Market Stakeholders and Russian Microfinance Center. The visit was organized by the Russian Microfinance Center working through its counterpart organization in the country, the Microfinance Council of the Philippines Inc. (MCPI). According to Mr. Mamuta, their interest in the mobile phone banking experience in the Philippines was influenced by a presentation made by BSP Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla. This presentation featured the successes of the Philippine mobile banking industry.

Meanwhile, the CEOs of Russia’s QIWI, Yandex Money and WebMoney Transfer, all of which are money transfer companies, expressed strong interest in learning about the successful experience of RBAP-MABS and its e-money issuer partners. They also studied RBAP’s coordination with the BSP in pilot testing and launching various mobile phone banking services.  Based on lessons learned in the Philippines, the companies now plan to launch mobile money transfer services in Russia.