BPI Globe BanKO, the world’s first mobile savings bank, has already attracted over 200,000 clients since its inception on 1st January 2012. Now, it is targeting up to 1 million accounts in 2013.
Bank of the Philippine Islands the affiliate of Globe BanKO, has over 160 years of banking experience, yet has only generated five million clients.
The mobile bank’s initial performance has been impressive but according to BPI Globe BanKO president Tessie Tan, attracting new depositors is of utmost importance. According to Tan, it is important to educate Filipinos about the basics of saving and investing and is still the biggest challenge any bank executive could face.
The mobile bank’s target market is individuals who are generally intimidated to open accounts with other major banks and they would rather transact with institutions that are less formal. With 90% of Filipinos or about 86 million own a mobile phone and only 2 out of 10 households have a bank account the bank is looking to fill the this gap.
Partnering with BPI which owns 40%, Globe Telecom another 40% and the Ayala Group which owns another 20%, BankO will be able to serve the mobile banking needs unbanked Filipinos.
- BPI Globe BanKO currently has 200,000 clients since Jan. 1, 2012
- BPI Globe BanKO’s target by 2013: 1 million accounts
- 90% of Filipinos owns a mobile phone
- Only 2 out of 10 household do not have a bank account
Tessie Tan, BPI Globe BanKO President: “Our biggest hurdle is client education. It is often difficult to explain the various products. This inclusive approach brings closer to Filipinos, making BanKO the Filipino’s partner to a better, more secure and rewarding life. Through BanKO’s affordable banking services, Filipinos gain financial empowerment and an opportunity to build their savings.”
Will the staggering mobile phone usage in the Philippines translate into hundreds of thousands of new banking customers for this new mobile bank? How difficult will it be for BanKO to educate the unbanked filipinos about financial literacy and savings? How big is the role of social media in this?
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