RBAP to take advantage of strong growth forecast in mobile banking this year

Manila Times – The Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP) is looking to capitalize on the projection of a strong growth in the mobile banking business this year, driven by the continuous flexibility of carriers to adapt according to market needs.

RBAP President Ian Eric Pama said that rural banks will utilize the advantages of cellular phone-based banking in order to hurdle geographical barriers for the industry.

“Now, more than ever, we should use mobile banking to reach out to our clientele and deliver our service to them. If the prognosis of research firms is correct, then we should ride this wave as much as we can,” he said.

“RBAP has long been an active proponent of mobile banking. But with forecasts backing us up, they give the association’s vision more fuel,” he added.

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) research firms see a big jump in the Philippine mobile banking industry this year. Based on its 2012 predictions for the Asia Pacific Region, ICT research firm XMG Global, founded and headed by Filipino-Canadian Lauro Vives, said that the region will be the world’s fastest growing mobile and broadband market with over 3 billion connections this year.

According to XMG, the growth will be driven by three factors: continuous efforts of telecommunications companies to invest an average of 17.4 percent of revenues into capital expenditures to meet emerging demand; variety and flexibility of payment and billing schemes; and low-cost handsets. In the Philippines alone, Smart Communications and Globe Telecom are investing close to P100 billion to upgrade their networks.

In addition, another leading ICT research firm, Gartner, Inc., said that the Philippines is one of only two countries—the other is Kenya—that have successfully implemented mobile payment solutions in micropayments services to distribute money in far-flung areas.

Read the complete article.