• CARD of hope: Financial inclusion at its best

    CARD of hope: Financial inclusion at its best

    I WAS 12 years old when CARD started as a foundation, providing loans to landless coconut workers. I witnessed its growth from its humble office—a classroom lent by my grandfather to my father at the back of the San Pablo City public market—to its more than 2,000 offices spread across the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries. Throughout its 31 years of existence, it has remained faithful to its mission of eradicating poverty. Its visionary leadership, committed staff and resilient clients all contributed to its present status: CARD is now composed of 21 mutually reinforcing institutions, a multi-billion-peso social development...

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  • Microfinance and financial technology

    Microfinance and financial technology

    THE Microfinance Council of the Philippines reports that its members are serving five million active clients, with four million borrowers taking average loans ofP10,000. A typical loan is given face-to-face by the account officer to the borrower, whose optimum case load is 500 clients. Traditional loan processing is labor-intensive, because banking services are brought to the doorsteps of the clients. It took decades for micro finance to reach its critical scale, with a remarkable collection rate of at least 99 percent. On the other side of the spectrum is financial technology (fintech) innovations, which is gaining traction for its cost-...

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  • Integrating BDS into microfinance operations: Another pathway out of poverty

    Integrating BDS into microfinance operations: Another pathway out of poverty

    BUSINESS Development Services   (BDS) is the provision of   complimentary non-financial     services to clients through any form   or combination of marketing,   product  development, business   advisory and training with the end in   view of helping the clients grow   their  businesses and increase their   income. As more and more clients   grow their enterprises and   transform  them into small and medium-scale businesses, they have to deal with volume and quality standards. This means having to deal with reliable and quality suppliers, entering into contracts with risks considered and addressed. BDS can help them build capability to address such requirements by developing or improving...

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