RBAP launches ATM FaceCard

Rural banks further empower their mobile phone banking clients with a new and exciting ATM Card attached to the GCash wallet, the Rural Bank FaceCard ATM Card. Made possible with the joint support of RBAP, its USAID-supported MABS program, and Globe’s G-Xchange Inc. (GXI), the customizable Rural Bank FaceCard ATM Card allows mobile phone banking clients to withdraw money not just from Globe’s over 18,000 cash-in/cash-out (CICO) outlets, but also from more than 9,000 ATMs or automated teller machines nationwide. It also doubles as a valid ID card containing the client’s photo and signature. Powered by GXI, this new ATM card allows clients to choose among pre-designed themes or upload an image of their own design.

Early this year, Globe launched a major expansion of its GCash Cash-In and Cash-Out (CICO) network. Adding all ATMs nationwide, clients now gain access to over 27,000 GCash cash-out points.  “We have always worked with the rural banks to utilize the power of GCASH to deliver various services for remote payments or money transfer purposes, attuned to the needs of the under-banked customer segments they serve. In-line with the significant growth of the rural banking industry over the past five years, we have now designed a dual function card providing ATM access that also serves as a valid ID appropriate for their customers based in key cities. This is our way of strengthening the link between the under-banked and banked markets serviced by our rural bank partners with the expanded capabilities of our GCash platform,” GXI President Rizza Maniego-Eala said.

To avail of a Rural Bank FaceCard, clients just have to visit the bank’s nearest branch and have the counter personnel facilitate the online application and photo capture/upload. Clients can also opt to apply on their own by simply accessing the rural bank specialized web portal. After filling out the online application form and choosing themes or uploading their chosen design/photo, they will be asked to confirm their P100 payment using their GCash mobile PIN (MPIN). This payment will be charged from their GCash wallet which will cover costs for card materials and production, web portal maintenance, application processing, card delivery, and customer support via 2882. Upon completion of the application, GXI will then deliver the card to the nominated rural bank branch within two weeks.

GCash-accredited rural banks are very excited about this new service. “This is a very good opportunity not only for the rural banks but also for our clients. Not only can we reach out to more people, we also get to offer more perks and services for our existing and new clients.,” GM Bank President Tomas Gomez IV said. It will also help GCash subscribers who dont have enough valid identification to deepen and widen their access to formal financial services offered by the banking system, he added.

According to RBAP-MABS Chief of Party John Owens, “when RBAP-MABS started in 1998, a lot of potential microfinance clients in the countryside could not open bank accounts because of lack of identification required by the BSP. With FaceCard, clients will not only have an ATM card that they can use to withdraw from the mobile wallet, they will also have a valid ID that they can use for KYC (know your customer) purposes.”

RBAP-MABS, or the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines – Microenterprise Access to Banking Services, is a USAID-supported program that helps rural banks offer microfinance services to more clients by providing training and technical assistance. In partnership with GXI and its participating rural banks, RBAP-MABS developed and implemented mobile phone banking services for rural banks in 2004. Among these services are: Text-A-Payment (TAP) for loan payment, Text-A-Remittance (TAR) for local and international money transfer, Text-A-Deposit (TAD) for remote deposit mobilization, and Text-A-Withdrawal (TAW) for withdrawal of electronic money from the savings account to the mobile wallet. To date, there are 65 rural banks with over 900 branches and other banking offices (OBOs) offering mobile phone banking services to over 130,000 microfinance clients nationwide.