Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.’s MoneyBela Barangayan Banking boosted bank onboarding in rural areas by 210 percent, reached 13,116 barangays or 31 percent of the 42,000 total barangays nationwide, enabled millions of unbanked and underserved Filipinos to open their first basic deposit accounts and grew gross transaction volume by 103 percent.
This remarkable feat was accomplished in a record time of only six months since the flagship program was launched in November 2022.
The RCBC MoneyBela Barangayan Banking is a one-of-a-kind campaign and the first in the Philippines that hybridizes physical-digital or phygital banking services serving geographically distant and disadvantaged and conflict areas of the country. It fuses the best features of digital banking and human connection as it brings RCBC’s award-winning and world-renowned digital solutions – RCBC DiskarTech and RCBC ATMGo, to marginalized and rural communities.
The Moneybela campaign also engaged micro, small, and medium enterprises through the RCBC NegosyanTech program which empowered sari-sari store owners, family-owned establishments, and grassroots businesses to earn additional income and capital by facilitating digital transactions such as cash deposits and withdrawals, bank transfers, bills payments, e-loading and availment of teleconsultation plans and microinsurance.
As a core component of Moneybela Barangayan Banking, RCBC ATMGo is the country’s first bank-agnostic, last mile, and grassroots-oriented mobile-point-of-service ATM service, to Filipinos in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas such as Busuanga, Coron, and Cullon in Palawan province, and in armed conflict-prone areas such as Lake Sebu in South Cotabato, and all provinces under the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.
The residents are able to withdraw government benefits without having the need to travel far and spend on costly transportation. The presence of RCBC ATM Go also provided additional income to small entrepreneurs who became RCBC’s ATM Go partner merchants and who then helped RCBC serve Filipinos in remote areas.
RCBC is the only private universal bank in the country with the most extensive reach through its RCBC ATM Go network covering all 82 provinces nationwide with over 1,400 terminals deployed at the end of 2022 and is poised to grow to 10,000 units or a projected year-on-year growth of 614%.
RCBC ATMGo now has over 1,200 partner-merchants.
More than 65 percent of ATM Go’s financial transactions are social grants and cash withdrawals by household beneficiaries of the national government in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas.
RCBC conceptualized the Moneybela Barangayan Campaign as a response to the call of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to expand financial inclusion and literacy efforts, as well as the concerns of yet-to-be-banked Filipinos that they are not digitally literate and they need assistance in bank onboarding. RCBC had special launches of this initiative during the Kadayawan Festival in Davao City and Masskara Festival in Bacolod City in 2022, and early this year, in the Dinagyang Festival of Iloilo City and in the Pinya Festival of Calauan, Laguna recently.
Lito Villanueva, RCBC executive vice president and chief innovation and inclusion officer, said the campaign successfully targeted unbanked Filipinos who were reluctant to embrace digital finance because of lack of knowledge and underserved Filipinos who lived in areas wherein there are few or no banks and ATMs operating to cater to their daily needs
“By combining the power of revolutionary digital solutions and the impact of meaningful human relationships, RCBC has successfully created a compelling case study of engaging Filipinos in remote, marginalized, distant, and conflict areas and provide them with financial and digital literacy, and access to a wide array of empowering products and services,” said Villanueva.
“The massive growth of our digital products and services can be attributed to our philosophy that Innovations should come with Empathy, and to the diligence and ingenuity of each RCBC employee whose dedication to finding and creating breakthroughs in finance is forever inspiring,” he said.
RCBC MoneyBela, being the first of its kind, has earned commendations from none other than the Philippines’ finance leaders, BSP Governor and Monetary Board Chairman Felipe Medalla and Department of Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, during its official launch at the RCBC Plaza last year.
“I am really so happy that if there’s any bank that embodies the goal of bringing BSP closer to the people, it is RCBC. You [RCBC] deserve all the honors you are getting for combining old ideas like cash-lite banking,” Medalla said.
“Beyond bringing more Filipinos into the fold, your latest project [RCBC MoneyBela] shows that the future of banking requires human-centric and empathy-driven design. I am very pleased to see RCBC make significant headway in this area,” Diokno said.
RCBC is one of the country’s fastest-growing banks, and the most awarded for its banking innovations. It is now the Philippines’ 5th largest privately-owned universal bank that breached the P1-Trillion asset mark by the end of June 2022 despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
RCBC’s continuing digital and business transformation further enhanced its value and reach. With this, RCBC has become the most awarded bank in the Philippines. Among its global and local recognitions include a three-peat award as the Philippines’ Best Bank for Digital by Asiamoney, back-to-back wins for Best Financial Inclusion App by The Asian Banker’s Financial Technology Innovations Awards, and the YouTube challenger award for its viral and out-of-the-box digital ad campaigns generating combined views of over 17 million.
Recently, RCBC was also hailed as Grand Champion for Digital Payments and Financial Inclusion by the Bankers Institute of the Philippines.