1st Valley Bank highlights microfinance & mobile phone banking services

USAID visit to FVB 1In a visit to 1st Valley Bank branch in Cagayan de Oro City on January 30, a USAID delegation led by USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator Gregory Beck and USAID/Philippines Mission Director Gloria D. Steele was oriented on the microfinance and mobile phone banking initiative of 1st Valley Bank, which has benefitted from focused technical assistance and training under the USAID-supported RBAP-MABS Program.

Glenn Mendez,1st Valley Bank Vice President, briefed the guests on the bank and its microfinance operations since joining the RBAP-MABS Program in 1999. Others in the USAID delegation included ThomasRojas, Daniel Miller, Dany Khy, and Teresita Espenilla.
Underscoring the influence of the RBAP-MABS program on management’s decision to expand it’s branch network, Mr. Mendez quoted 1st Valley Bank Chairman, Nicolas Lim, on how “the bank management overcame its fear of expanding geographically after it learned best practices in banking from MABS.”  From 6 branches in 1999 when the bank first started working with the RBAP-MABS program, the bank has expanded its outreach and now has 23 branches and has recently began to extend beyond the borders of Mindanao to the Visayas region.  Bank assets had grown 17-fold, net income has increased 16-fold, while deposits achieved the most dramatic growth having increased27–fold since 1999.
In searching for ways to reduce bank transaction costs and expand its outreach to more microfinance clients, 1st Valley Bank has embracedmobile phone banking applications developed under the RBAP-MABS program in partnership with Globe telecom’s G-Xchange, Inc. by utilizing the GCASH platform.Moreover, the Bank now offers a suite of micro loan products including their FAME microenterprise loan product, micro agricultural loans, housing microfinance loans.  The bank has also expanded the types of savings services that it offers to microenterprises and low-income households. The bank now manages more than 110,000 micro deposit accounts.
The delegation also visited one of 1st Valley Bank’s clients who is a merchant-partner of the bank providing cash-in/cash-out services and selling goods via GCASH payment.

The delegation also visited one of 1st Valley Bank’s clients, who is a merchant-partner of the bank providing cash-in/cash-out services and selling goods via GCASH payment.

First Valley Bank Vice President Glenn Mendez briefed the guests on the bank and its microfinance operations since it joined the RBAP-MABS Program in 1999. Others in the USAID delegation included Thomas Rojas, Daniel Miller, Dany Khy, and Teresita Espenilla.

Underscoring the influence of the RBAP-MABS program on the management’s decision to expand its branch network, Mr. Mendez quoted 1st Valley Bank Chairman Nicolas Lim, on how “the bank management overcame its fear of expanding geographically after it learned best practices in banking from MABS.”  From six branches in 1999 when the bank first started working with the RBAP-MABS program, the bank has expanded its outreach and now has 23 branches. It recently began extending beyond the borders of Mindanao to the Visayas region.  Bank assets grew 17-fold, net income increased 16-fold, while deposits achieved the most dramatic growth having increased 27–fold since 1999.

In searching for ways to reduce bank transaction costs and expand its outreach to more microfinance clients, 1st Valley Bank has embraced mobile phone banking applications developed under the RBAP-MABS program in partnership with Globe Telecom’s G-Xchange, Inc. (GXI) by utilizing the GCASH platform. Moreover, the bank now offers a suite of micro loan products including their FAME microenterprise loan product, micro agricultural loans, housing microfinance loans.  The bank also expanded the types of savings services that it offers to microenterprises and low-income households. The bank now manages more than 110,000 micro deposit accounts.

The visit to 1st Valley Bank provided the visitorswith hands-on experience to register for GCASH, perform cash-in functions at the bank.

The visit to 1st Valley Bank provided the visitors with hands-on experience on GCASH registration and cash-in functions at the bank.

The visitors were then taken to visit a partner-merchant client of the bank who accepts payment via GCASH.

The visitors were then taken to visit a partner-merchant client of the bank who accepts payment via GCASH.

The USAID-supported RBAP-MABS program has provided technical assistance and training to over 100 participating rural banks with more than 1000 branches and other banking offices (OBOs).  The Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP) implements the Program under the oversight of the Office of the President through the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).