BPI’s BanKO sees strong 2013 growthBy Michelle V. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
BPI Globe Banko Inc. (BanKO), the first mobile phone-based bank in the country and the world, expects to reach one million clients in 2013, citing the large demand for micro-banking services, especially from the lowest-income groups and countryside residents in the Philippines.
Teresita B. Tan, president of BanKO, said the bank started its retail operations only in January but already has about 200,000 clients.
She said the existing number of clients exceeded initial expectations of company officials and indicated the likelihood of exponential growth over the short term.
“The business model adopted by BanKO is the way to reach out to people from the farthest areas of the country. Through BanKO’s affordable banking services, Filipinos gain financial empowerment and an opportunity to build their savings,” Tan said in a press conference on Thursday.
BanKO—a firm established through collaboration among Globe, Bank of the Philippine Islands and Ayala Corp.—is targeting clients from low-income households.
Under its business model, an individual who wants to open a bank account may go to any partner outlets (including pawnshops, gasoline stations, convenience stores, drugstores and money changers), register his globe mobile phone number, and pay P100. Of the amount P50 will be credited as initial balance of the bank account.
The client will then get a text message confirming the opening of the bank account. He will also receive an automated teller machine (ATM) card.
Once a bank account is opened, the client will be able to avail himself of various banking services, such as bills payments, remittance, purchase of micro-insurance and application for micro-loans through his mobile phone.
An account holder who wants to load his bank account with cash may do so at any of the partner outlets. For withdrawals, an account holder may either go to partner outlets or to automated teller machines.
An account holder who wants to apply for a loan may do so through his mobile phone, particularly by going to the loan application portion of the BanKO menu.
The maximum loan amount a new client may get is equivalent to his outstanding deposit balance.
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