Philippine Rural Banks’ Mobile Phone Banking Experiences Highlighted at the Connected World Forum in Dubai

Connected World Forum

The United States Agency for International Development Agency (USAID)-supported Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines-Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (RBAP-MABS) Program was highlighted during the Connected World Forum held in Dubai from October 31 – November 3, 2011. This event focused on how to launch and scale ‘mobile lifeline services’ including: Mobile Money (M-Money), M-Health, M-Education, and M-Agriculture. Over 600 participants, exhibitors and presenters representing mobile network operators, banks, healthcare providers, insurance companies, payment providers, and regulators from around the world shared their experiences during the four-day event.

The RBAP-MABS Chief of Party provided an update and shared with peers about the experiences of rural banks in the Philippines which are effectively using mobile money transfer platforms to expand outreach to more clients as well as providing new products and services.

The conference also featured case studies from Afghanistan, Cambodia, Ghana, Kenya, the Philippines, Tanzania, and other countries making use of mobile money to provide a range of services as well as to reach out to the unbanked and under-banked market. It featured the work of RBAP-MABS and the rural banks that have partnered with Globe X-Change Inc.’s GCASH platform to facilitate mobile phone banking as well as Smart’s work with rural banks, credit cooperatives and others.

Smart was also awarded the Best Operator-led Mobile Money Program Award during the awards night. Smart was chosen over three competing mobile network operators in the same category, namely Digicel Pacific, Turkcell and the Vodafone Group.