Thursday, January 12, 2012

BanKO. It's my bank.

When I saw three outlets of something like this along Kamias last week, I began asking myself what it was while I was driving. I was pretty sure that it has something to do with banking because of the name itself. But what made it confusing was that all three of those outlets I saw were integrated to a drugstore or a sari-sari store. I cannot help but to search about it when I got home. My instincts were correct. It is a “bank for the poor”.

I once had stumbled on a book entitled “Banker to the Poor” which turned out to be my all time favorite book. It was written by Muhammad Yunus, a Bangladeshi economist, who later received a Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. The book is about the journey of Yunus in establishing a bank for the poor focusing on microfinance with a sustainable business model. To make the long story short, the book and the business model of Yunus had inspired and is continuously inspiring people especially bankers and businessmen in promoting a socially responsive enterprises.

BanKO is a joint project of BPI and Globe, both part of Ayala Group. It seems that BanKO is taking on the challenge in making a business model (which I think similar to that of Yunus’ based on the news articles that I read) work in the Philippine setting using the existing technological culture of the Filipinos. BanKO is not only offering microfinance which is called PuhunanKO but it is also offering microsavings called PondoKO and microinsurance called PaniguroKO. These products use SMS services as medium to make transactions even faster and more efficient. It will also remove the image to the general public that banking is only for those people in shoes and in polo. This will drive the message that banking is for all people. The ultimate goal is to encourage the masses to do banking with BanKO which will bring economic benefit to them and also to the society as a whole.

Adrian Francis S. Bustos, Entry #4

No comments: