Mobile Banking – Islands Activation Program
With the Philippines having 7,107 islands, most of these rural communities are located in scattered remote areas where basic financial services are barely accessible or nonexistent.
SEEDFINANCE realizes the needs of the disadvantaged, un-served and underserved sector of the society, that’s why it continues to develop and innovate and is always on the lookout for relevant strategic partners who will assist in bringing affordable, reliable and accessible financial products and services to these communities, providing opportunities to improve their way of life.
SMART Communications, true to its commitment in bringing connectivity to most Filipinos, launched a project in 2008 called Islands Activation Program. Its aim is to assist Island- based microfinance institutions with mobile- based products and technologies to conveniently transmit funds using SMART mobile phones.
By the end of 2009, there are 78,000,000 estimated mobile phones all over the Philippines, and because of its availability and ubiquity even in far flung areas, SEEDFINANCE deems SMART’s IAP appropriate as another value-added service that will greatly benefit its clientele. Therefore, in early 2010, the strategic partnership between SMART and SEEDFINANCE was made official.
Prior to Smart IAP, people living in remote islands and isolated barangays encounter challenges to perform basic financial transactions. They incur high transaction costs to get to established banking services because they still need to travel far distances just to deposit, withdraw or transfer cash. Furthermore, costly service charges, remittance delays and enduring risk to dangers when travelling with cash.
The introduction of mobile banking in island communities is not only beneficial to its residents but also plays an important role in the country’s economic development and increases the level of financial inclusion.
To date, 24 SEEDFINANCE Partner Financial Institutions all over the country are involved in the Islands Activation Program and have already activated 5,581 Smart Money accounts for their members.
Over 50 Smart Money- In, Money- Out (MIMO) Centers have been set up in 50 remote rural communities where island residents can conveniently buy airtime, transfer money, pay their bills and make other micro purchases just by using their mobile phones.
Because of its successful operations and the convenience it brings to the communities it serve, SEEDFINANCE and Smart Communications are all geared up to meet the rising demand to put up more MIMO Centers in far flung areas.
Mobile BEAT or Mobile Banking Education and Training were devised as a support initiative for the Island Activation Program, its aim is to instruct and prepare Microfinance institutions and microfinance clients on the technical and practical use of mobile banking in their daily transactions and how they can utilize it to engage in other business opportunities.
Convenience for Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) and its borrowers in becoming a Mobile Banking Islands Activation Program Partner:
- A tool for mobile loan collection and distribution to Borrowers
- A fast, easier, secure and affordable way of receiving and paying loans
- You can also use Smart Money for other financial transactions ie.
- ~ Bills payment (water, electricity etc.)
- ~ To transfer money to relatives and friends via text message
- ~ Withdraw cash from ATM (with Smart Money Card) or turn electronic cash to money at accredited MIMO (Money–In, Money-Out) Centers
- ~ Purchase goods and services where there are POS machines
- ~ Other mobile banking services
Selection of Islands Activation Program Partners:
- Part of the SEEDFINANCE network
- Recommended by Seedfinance
- Remote locations
- ~ 1 to 2 hours away from the city
- ~ MFI community
- Able to pass the accreditation process of SMART