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No Near Bank: financial inclusion in the Philippines

This 6’30 film shows how an enlightened approach to financial regulation is opening up opportunities to create innovations for poor and low income customers in the Philippines.

Before G-Cash came to the island of Rapu-rapu, customers had to take a 3-hour boat ride to the nearest bank branch in Legazpi, with only two passenger boats a day, to do basic banking. Today they can receive remittances and pay bills using a cellphone through the local grocery store, a G-Cash agent.

In Manila, we see low income clients in Quezon City opening new bank accounts through their local pharmacy store. Outsourced Know Your Customer, or KYC rules, allow trained agents to verify the identity of people opening new accounts. Regulations have allowed the banks to accept Barangay certificates, the certification of a local community leader, for ID purposes.

These efforts to create regulation that promotes financial inclusion can actually contribute to financial stability and integrity, says Pia Roman of the Philippines central bank.

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