Shift to digital lifestyle to boost financial inclusion – Mynt
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The continuing shift to a digital lifestyle presents a unique opportunity to boost financial inclusion in the Philippines with the use of mobile technology.
Taking advantage of such opportunity, Mynt is pioneering initiatives of providing financial services that previously were not available to most Filipinos, said John Rubio, Mynt President & CEO. Mynt is a fully owned subsidiary of Globe Telecom that aims to build a unified Globe Financial Services structure.
Through Mynt, which is currently looking at setting up businesses across the financial business spectrum, Globe hopes to enable all aspects of the Filipino’s digital lifestyle. Specifically, Mynt is looking into payments, remittance, lending, business solutions and international platform, Rubio said.
According to him, 3 out of 4 Filipinos aged 15 and above do not have bank accounts and 40% of municipalities are without physical access to a bank while 95% do not have credit cards, which means most Filipinos don’t have credit history on which future financial transactions will be based. This, in turn, leads to poor access to legitimate credit facilities and proliferation of informal lenders, who charge a monthly interest payment of 20% or about 350-400% per annum.
“This situation presents a unique opportunity to address these gaps using mobile and digital technology. For example, it provides platforms where customers can access consumer loans in a non-traditional manner, and where they can do things like remittance in a more efficient manner,” Rubio said.
Rubio was one of the keynote speakers at the Mondato Summit Asia, held for the first time in the Philippines, which gathered decision-makers and influencers focused on the mobile finance & commerce ecosystem in emerging Asia.
Believing that innovation can be applied across a range of various platforms not only in technology but also in mobile finance and commerce, Globe through Mynt supported the event to bring in the innovative spirit of stakeholders in this field. “To help our nation move forward, there is a need to promote social inclusion through rapid adoption of financial technology,” Rubio said.
Mondato Summit helped deliver indispensable knowledge, practical solutions, stimulating engagement to help stakeholders navigate the fast growing, but highly fluid and complex, MFC space. As the MFC ecosystem has grown, and is now on the verge of producing “MFC 2.0,” Southeast Asia looks to be the market leader in innovation. The widely varying markets in the region potentially allow for a cross‐pollination of ideas that may be less likely in other mobile money regions, such as Africa. In fact, companies in the region are taking advantage of the fast growing use of smartphones, social media and m‐commerce to deliver advanced MFC services, such as loans, savings and insurance, and becoming increasingly focused on the introduction of even more complex, multi‐layered MFC value propositions.
The Philippines, for instance, has already seen diverse use cases ranging from the fundamental P2P domestic remittance option, to savings and loans products that leverage social media, to large‐scale G2P cash benefit transfers, as well as convergence propositions. Additionally, international remittances continue to play an important role in the Filipino digital payments ecosystem. It is this variety and spirit of entrepreneurship that makes the Philippines a good testing ground for a country on the road to MFC 2.0.
The former president of BPI Globe BanKo, Rubio has worked closely with USAID on the Scaling Innovations in Mobile Money (SIMM) project which developed the mobile money ecosystems in Bulacan, Batangas City, and Quezon City. Employees of the Pulilan, Bulacan local government now receive their salaries on their BanKO accounts, and Pulilan Water District customers are now also able to pay for their water bills using BanKO. The Quezon City government uses the BanKO disbursement facility to give out allowances and stipends to public school teachers and scholars. Cooperatives of hard-to-reach barangays in Batangas City have become BanKO partner outlets as well, providing the community with access to formal banking services.
International aid agencies Mercy Corps and Goal International have also sought BanKO to facilitate the disbursement of cash assistance to beneficiaries hit by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), and over 25,000 beneficiaries have received more than P100 million in aid through their BanKO accounts. BanKO also partnered with the Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan ministry to increase the economic resilience of disaster-stricken or vulnerable communities in Payatas, Casiguran, and Culion through the mass activation of mobile-based savings accounts. The bank has also conducted financial literacy seminars and opened bank accounts for grantees of the DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino conditional cash transfer program.
Under his leadership, BanKO focused on expanding its credit services to cater to the ever-growing needs of its accountholders. Forging partnerships with consumer goods companies like Nestlé, Unilever and Globe enabled BanKO to provide credit lines to micro-retailers at competitive rates, allowing them to purchase additional inventory of goods from their distributors to generate more sales and grow their income. BanKO also teamed up with supermarket chain Puregold to offer members of the Tindahan ni Aling Puring Club additional capital for purchase of goods from Puregold. By introducing such innovative loan products, BanKO’s retail loan portfolio has successfully grown to over P180M, showing five-fold growth in just one year.
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