Mobile remittance pilot project gets approval from the Philippine central bank

Anisa Menur
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Australian fintech startup Peppermint teams up with MyWeps International in a programme that aims to foster greater financial inclusion through mobile remittance

A jeepney in rural Philippines.

Australian fintech startup Peppermint Innovations today announced that the Philippine Central Bank (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, BSP) has granted approval for its local partner MyWeps International to conduct its Mobile Remittance Commercial Pilot programme.

To be held for the duration of three months, the programme will be utilising Peppermint’s Mobile Agent Remittance Platform.

Claiming to be the first of its kind in the country, the programme will allow unbanked societies to use different kinds of financial services –from tranfering funds to paying bills- through a network of individual remittance agents called the 1Bro Global Agent Network.

Such programme is similar to Kenya’s M-Pesa, and in Indonesia, startups such as Kudo is enabling unbanked societies to shop online through the use of individual agents.

In a press statement, 500 agents are said to be ready to take part in the programme, which will commence “immediately” following completion of BSP-specified accreditation process.

Also Read: Indonesian fintech event IFFC 2016 is set to champion financial inclusion

Citing the approval as a “significant milestone” for the company, Peppermint CEO and Managing Director Chris Kain stated that the programme will support the National Strategy on Financial Inclusion.

In 2014, according to the World Bank, only 15 per cent of citizens aged above 15-year-old has a form of formal savings and only 31 per cent have bank accounts. As a comparison, more developed Southeast Asian economies such as Singapore has 46 per cent of formal savings and 96 per cent of bank accounts.

Another World Bank report also stated that Filipinos are more likely to use informal credit and saving services than formal financial services.

“Only four per cent of respondents report having a mortgage, five per cent have credit card and 10 per cent availed credit product from a formal financial institution. At the same time, more than a third relies on informal savings and credit,” it said.

As an Australian fintech startup listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), Peppermint focusses in the developing market with the Philippines as a start. Its Peppermint Platform is currently being used by commercial banks in the country.

Image Credit: tykhyi / 123RF Stock Photo

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