Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), a wireless service provider and subsidiary of the publicly-traded Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), will be launching mBank Philippines, which is billed as the country’s first microfinance bank to offer all of its services only via a mobile platform. Subscribers will have the ability to open savings accounts, apply for loans and pay debts on their mobile phones. mBank Philippines will be launched by the PLDT-Smart Foundation, a non-stock, non-profit organization that serves as the “social outreach arm” for PLDT and Smart. Other sponsors of the program include two development finance institutions, FinnFund of Finland and the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO in Dutch) of the Netherlands. As of September 2012, PLDT provides service to 68.6 million subscribers including 52.6 million Smart customers.
By Jennifer Young, Research Associate
About Smart Communications Incorporated
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 the publicly-traded Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT). As of September 2012, PLDT reports total assets of PHP 402 billion, equivalent to USD 9.8 billion. PLDT provides service to 68.6 million subscribers including 52.6 million Smart customers, as of the same year.
Sources and Additional Resources
ABS-CBNNews.com Story: “Smart Tapped to Empower Microfinance Bank”
MicroCapital Story: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Smart Communications of the Philippines Partners with Mobile Money Service Provider mHIT of Australia, Microinsurance Provider BenLife,” September 5, 2012.
MicroCapital Story: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Smart Communications, Microfinance Council of the Philippines to Extend Mobile Banking Services Through ‘Smart Money’ Platform,” May 30, 2011.
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart)
MicroCapital Universe Profile: FinnFund
MicroCapital Universe Profile: FMO
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