Mobile Phone Banking & Mobile Payments for Students: The GM Bank Experience

GM Bank is the largest rural bank in Nueva Ecija (Philippines) with its head office in Cabanatuan City, more than 3 hours by land north of Manila.  It has been in partnership with Globe’s G-Xchange Inc. (GXI) and the RBAP-MABS program and for its mobile phone banking initiative since 2006.  It is also one of the banks participating in the new Channel Management Initiative supported by USAID/Philippines and MICRA Philippines, which is supported by Mercy Corps through a grant from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Channel Management Initiative focuses on developing partnerships between local merchant-partners who are accredited GCASH cash-in and cash-out outlets (CICOs).  The rural banks provide liquidity services to the CICOs as well as send customers to their shops.  The CICOs provide cash-in and cash-out services for the rural banks and help them in promoting mobile phone banking services.
Recently, GM Bank shared a new use case focused on students and schools to stimulate an m-banking ecosystem between the bank, its merchant-partners, students, and neighboring schools. The province, especially Cabanatuan City, is the educational center of the Central Luzon and Cagayan Valley regions.

GM BankGM Bank is the largest rural bank in Nueva Ecija (Philippines) with its head office in Cabanatuan City, more than 3 hours by land north of Manila.  It has been in partnership with Globe’s G-Xchange Inc. (GXI) and the RBAP-MABS program to support its mobile phone banking initiative since 2006.  It is also one of the banks participating in the new Channel Management Initiative supported by USAID/Philippines and MICRA Philippines, which is supported by Mercy Corps through a grant from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Channel Management Initiative focuses on developing partnerships between local merchant-partners who are accredited GCASH cash-in and cash-out outlets (CICOs).  The rural banks provide liquidity services to the CICOs as well as send customers to their shops.  The CICOs provide cash-in and cash-out services for the rural banks and help them in promoting mobile phone banking services.

Recently, GM Bank shared a new use case focused on students and schools to stimulate an m-banking ecosystem between the bank, its merchant-partners, students, and neighboring schools. The province, especially Cabanatuan City, is the educational center of the Central Luzon and Cagayan Valley regions. 

CabanatuanCabanatuan City is a university town with students comprising approximately 48% of its more than 260,000 population. The city has 3 universities, 5 colleges, 1 science high school, more than 15 public high schools, and more than 80 public and private primary schools. Notable institutions include Wesleyan University (Philippines), which is the largest and oldest private university in Nueva Ecija, Araullo University, Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology, College of the Immaculate Concepcion, La Fortuna Colleges, the Dr. Gloria Lacson Foundation Colleges, and the Maria Assumpta Catholic Seminary.

With the large number of schools, the senior management saw the opportunity to support families wanting to pay their children’s tuition and send allowances by authorizing payments and withdrawals from their GM Bank savings account and the bank’s GCASH-based mobile phone banking services. In addition, the bank saw the opportunity to provide salary loans via Text-A-Credit to school employees and payroll services via Text-A-Sweldo for the schools.

Wesleyan University (image source: http://philippinebackpacker.org/NuevaEcija.aspx

By maximizing its banking relationships with the schools and parents, their students can also jumpstart the local mobile money ecosystem. To this end, channel officers have begun identifying and training students and GCASH accredited merchant-partners within or near school grounds on the use of m-banking services.

GM Bank has also started reviewing its internal processes and its branch support staff to enhance the servicing of mobile phone banking services for target schools and the surrounding merchant-partners. They are also working with Globe’s GXI to coordinate marketing activities to complement their service offers and maximize impact to their target youth market.