|WOMEN IN PHILIPPINES USE SMARTPHONES TO BE MOBILE ENTREPRENEURS|
Aruba, February 19, 2016 - Worldwide, 2.5 billion people lack access to financial services such as banking, ATMs, or credit cards, making it difficult for them to make payments or transfer money. This is particularly true in emerging regions such as the Philippines, where 37% of municipalities have no banking office at all.
Qualcomm® Wireless Reach™ is collaborating with a social enterprise called Hapinoy on the Mobile Money Hub program, which uses smartphones, 3G connectivity, and specialized mobile applications to empower Nanay (Tagalog for “mother”) microentrepreneurs in the Philippines to offer new financial services to their communities and grow their sari-sari stores into sustainable family businesses. Sari-sari stores are small, neighborhood convenience shops that Nanays often operate out of their homes. Nanays typically engage in this microbusiness to supplement their family’s income.
For the Mobile Money Hub program, Hapinoy and Wireless Reach developed a holistic program that provides Nanays who become Mobile Money Hub agents with Android smartphones, education and training in mobile financial literacy, access to capital via microfinancing institutions, and new business opportunities using mobile wallet technology.
Participants use their 3G devices to sell airtime and offer newly developed mobile financial services. Offering features such as access to money, remittances, and bill and loan payments generates higher store traffic and new revenue streams for Nanays while contributing to the financial well-being of their families and communities. For some women participants in the Typhoon Haiyan–affected area of Leyte, access to mobile tools has enabled them to rebuild their homes, businesses, and lives after the 2013 disaster left many devastated in its wake.
The Mobile Money Hub program launched in 2014. Among the results to date:
•Development of a needs-driven, locally relevant, holistic application that provides Nanays access to financial services.
•Enrolled, educated, and trained 100 Nanays to use project-provided mobile devices as Mobile Money Hub agent.
•Entrepreneurs began offering remittance and airtime services that have proven to be vital during emergency situations.
•Hapinoy is continuing to develop a “business-in-aphone” package that will enable many more Nanays to become successful and sustain Mobile Money Hub agents who offer access to new products and services in their communities.