Today is: Sat, May 25, 2013
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
The Microenterprise Access to Banking Services-4 (MABS-4) Program assists rural banks in developing the capability to profitably provide financial services – loans, deposits, micro insurance, remittances, and mobile phone banking services – to microentrepreneurs, small farmers, and other households.
Supported by the USAID and implemented by the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP) with oversight from the Office of the President through the Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo), MABS is one of the principal elements of USAID/Philippines’ effort to accelerate economic growth through expanded participation of lower income groups in productive activities. The program, which began in 1998, was expanded in 2008 under MABS Phase 4 to further broaden the range of financial services available to microenterprise clients.
MABS' step-by-step approach to microfinance has proven to be successful over the past decade. By combining technical training for our participating banks and implementing new technologies, MABS successfully developed the capacity of rural banks to expand access to banking services throughout the countryside.
The MABS Program has helped about 100 rural banks with more than 550 branches and other banking offices to expand and offer new microfinance products and services. As of June 2009, MABS participating rural banks have disbursed over 2 million loans totaling PhP24.7 billion ($511 million) to more than 640,000 new bank borrowers. These partner banks also manage more than PhP1.8 billion ($38.8 million) in small savings deposits from approximately 1.4 million micro deposit accounts.
Still, there are several Filipino microentrepreneurs without access to financial services, as it is estimated that only a third of over 4 million families engaged in micro businesses are being reached. Access to financial services is especially limited in rural areas. Fortunately, there are rural banks, which are in the best position to reach this market with a full range of microfinance services: loans, deposits, money transfer services, and facilitating access to microinsurance services. Providing these products and services is now easier and faster. Taking advantage of three enabling factors -- the advances in technology; rapid expansion of mobile phone subscribers even among microentrepreneurs and low income families; and favorable regulatory environment – the MABS program initiatives allowed the microenterprise sector to access banking services through a mobile phone from almost anywhere in the country.
Expand Access to Microfinance MABS-4 will support the expansion of participating banks to reach a cumulative total of 500 branches using the MABS Approach; to increase the cumulative number of new micro borrowers by more than 375,000, bringing a 15-year total of more than 800,000 new borrowers; and to increase the amount of loans disbursed by more than US$500 million, bringing a total 15-year cumulative amount of microloans disbursed to over US$800 million. MABS will focus on providing technical assistance and support to existing MABS participating banks. Moreover, through the MABS Service Providers, additional rural banks will be trained on the MABS Approach and best practices package.
Expand Mobile Phone Banking MABS Program initiatives have enabled participating rural banks to offer mobile phone banking services which are documented on a new website at www.mobilephonebanking.rbap.org. As of June 2009, there are already 665 bank branches and sub-offices offering mobile phone banking services, benefiting more than 72,000 rural bank clients.
Increase Agricultural Lending The MABS Approach to agricultural lending (Micro Agri-loan Product) has been successful in reaching small farmers and reducing the risk to the banks. As of June 2009, MABS participating banks have reached over 15,200 small farmers with loans totaling more than PhP418 million (US$87 million) since 2004.
Introduce Housing Microfinance MABS has been working with a small group of rural banks to conduct market research, develop, pilot-test, and rollout various housing microfinance products to both existing and new clients. As of June 2009, 18 branches of three (3) pilot banks had disbursed housing microfinance loans outstanding to 222 borrowers totaling more than PhP6.8 million (US$266,000).
Develop Microinsurance Products In partnership with 8 insurance service providers, MABS is working with rural banks to ensure that there is improved access to insurance options (life, accident, hospitalization, property, and crop). MABS has been working closely with concerned agencies on the regulatory issues and with insurance providers on product options that can be made available to rural bank clients.
- Success Stories
- Economic Reforms
- Peace and Development
- Workforce Development