Smart's mobile bank starts operations
MANILA, Philippines – The mobile microfinance firm of Smart Communications Inc. has started its operations, according to a circular letter by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
BSP said mBank Philippines (A Thrift Bank), Inc. started its operations on October 16.
"The corresponding Certificate of Authority to Operate as a microfinance-oriented thrift bank was issued by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on Sept. 23, 2013 and its operation started on Oct. 16, 2013," the central bank said.
The BSP's policymaking Monetary Board approved the microfinance firm on November 29, 2012.
Smart was tapped to empower mBank to capitalize on the growing market of mobile phone users who access bank services such as savings and loans.
Through mBank, Smart and Talk 'N Text subscribers will be able to open a savings account, apply for loan products and pay obligations via their mobile phones.
The bank's target market include micro entrepreneurs with limited or no access to financial services.
According to its website, mBank was first rolled out in Leyte and Eastern Visayas and was later introduced to the Central Visayas.