Smart Communications Incorporated, a mobile service provider subsidiary of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, has partnered with the Microfinance Council of the Philippines Incorporated (MCPI), a network of 45 microfinance institutions (MFIs), in an effort to expand the use of mobile banking services. By partnering with MCPI, Smart will be able to market its Smart Money platform to MFI clients, offering them remote access to banking and remittance services through mobile phones.
Tricia Dizon, Head of Smart Financial Services at Smart Communications, says, “This collaboration with the Microfinance Council of [sic] Philippines reinforces Smart’s commitment to provide affordable, accessible and relevant mobile solutions to Filipinos.” As of May 2011, Smart Communications had 45.6 million subscribers in the Philippines. This effort follows Smart’s previous establishment of Smart Money Centers and the Island Activation Program, two initiatives that focus on rural populations.
By Rohan Trivedi, Research Associate
About Smart Communications Incorporated (SMART):
Smart Communications Incorporated (SMART) is a wireless service provider in the Philippines that was founded in 1991. SMART provides postpaid and prepaid plans; broadband Internet services; and Smart Money, a debit card linked mobile phone service for users to pay bills, purchase goods, and transfer funds. SMART operates as a subsidiary of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company. As of June 30, 2010, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company reports total assets of PHP 264 billion (the equivalent of USD 5.98 billion).
About The Microfinance Council of the Philippines Incorporated (MCPI):
The Microfinance Council of the Philippines Incorporated (MCPI) is an industry network in the Philippines, comprising 36 microfinance practitioners and 9 service providers as of May 2011. Regular membership is restricted to NGOs, thrift banks, development banks, rural banks, cooperatives and credit unions that have a minimum of 1,000 active clients and an outstanding loan portfolio of at least PHP 3 million (USD 64,800). MCPI forges partnerships with government agencies and institutions including Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Department of Finance-National Credit Council, National Anti-Poverty Commission, People’s Credit and Finance Corporation, Land Bank of the Philippines and the National Economic and Development Authority.
Sources and Additional Resources:
 The Philippine Star: “Smart joins microfinance advocates”, http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=689111&publicationSubCategoryId=74
MicroCapital.org story, March 20, 2011: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MFTransparency, Rural Bankers Association, Microfinance Council of the Philippines to Launch Transparent Pricing Initiative”, http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-mftransparency-rural-bankers-association-microfinance-council-of-the-philippines-to-launch-transparent-pricing-initiative/
MicroCapital.org story, August 31, 2010: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance International Corporation (MFIC) and Smart Communications Inc. (SMART) Team Up to Expand Remittance Services in the Philippines”, http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-microfinance-international-corporation-mfic-and-smart-communications-inc-smart-team-up-to-expand-remittance-services-in-the-philippines/
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Smart Communications, Inc. (SMART), http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Smart+Communications%2C+Inc.+%28SMART%29
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. (MCPI), http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Microfinance+Council+of+the+Philippines%2C+Inc.+%28MCPI%29
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