Joining the stream of support, BPI Globe BanKO—the Philippines’ first mobile-based, microfinance-focused bank—has partnered with global humanitarian agency, Mercy Corps, to provide mobile cash transfers to those who are devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.
“As the Philippines’ infrastructure, mobile phone network and markets begin to recover, mobile cash transfers like these are critical to help thousands of people recover from one of the worst storms in our nation’s history,” says Rob I. Nazal, vice president for Community Banking at BanKO. “Together with Mercy Corps, we have conducted small-scale pilots of this approach in Western Visayas and this coming week in North Cebu, and we feel confident that we can move forward rapidly to expand these efforts.”
In the small-scale pilots, beneficiaries received cash transfers electronically through their respective BanKO savings account. Subsequently, Mercy Corps generated electronic reports of the successful transfer of funds to the accounts. With this fast and up to date process, Mercy Corps was able to ensure the security, transparency and efficiency of the cash transfers.
“People are desperate and providing cash in this way ensures families can purchase exactly what they need to get back on their feet,” says Lesley Denyes, Agri-Fin Mobile Program Director for Mercy Corps. “At the same time, we are taking a long-term view of this recovery effort. Thousands of people who have never had a bank account will be able to save money securely for the first time. Moreover, through BanKO, they will have access to affordable financial products, such as small business loans and insurance, which can help even out unexpected financial setbacks in the future.”
Mercy Corps and BanKO have been constantly working together to provide mobile banking solutions to their clients since 2011. Mercy Corps will continue to lead the coordination between other non-governmental organizations that intend to make mobile cash transfers through BanKO to victims of Typhoon Haiyan.