ATM Go, the Philippines’ first community-based and bank-agnostic mobile handheld financial services devices of the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC), is now servicing all 81 provinces nationwide. Over 1,400 ATM Go terminals have been deployed through RCBC’s more than 1,000 partner merchants across the country. This makes RCBC as having the most extensive reach using these handheld devices even servicing geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas.
As of end August this year, ATM Go recorded transactional volume in excess of P6.2 billion, growing 32% from last year, and a transaction count at over 2 million, also recording 43% growth from last year. More than 60% of transactions recorded were from 4Ps Pantawid CCT beneficiaries receiving their social grants from the government. RCBC has also facilitated the digital disbursements of over P20 billion in social grants to more than five million household beneficiaries benefitting about 30 million individuals. Through the years, RCBC ATM Go has continuously seen sustained double-digit revenue growth and a compound annual growth rate at 85%.
ATM Go merchant from Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte who has 3 ATM Go terminals.
“Grassroots-based sachet banking has always been at the core of RCBC’s inclusive innovations. We are on track in doubling the number of our partner merchants and terminals deployed in the next couple of months as our commitment towards empowering mSMEs as merchants as well as enabling underbanked Filipinos with easy and secure access to financial services anywhere in the country,” said Lito Villanueva, RCBC executive vice president and chief innovation and inclusion officer.
ATM Go is a digital-based financial service for remote unbanked communities all over the country. The Philippines’ first neighborhood (kapitbahay) ATM enables partner merchants such as cooperatives, microfinance institutions, rural banks, sari sari stores, pawnshops, money service business, supermarkets, and other micro small enterprises to offer the services in their respective communities. These partner merchants earn incremental income from transaction fees. Onboarding partner merchants do not require initial capital or expense for the use of the ATM Go terminal and data connection as these are provided by RCBC free of charge. All transactions are real time, including crediting to partner merchants’ RCBC settlement accounts.
4Ps distribution in Maniwaya Island, Marinduque through an ATM Go merchant (Mr. Chris Quizana’s Loading Station).
ATM Go accepts all BancNet cardholders making the service available to any bank-issued prepaid or debit cards to do transactions such as cash deposit and withdrawal, balance inquiry, bills payment, and e-load purchase, among others.
Aside from regular ATM services that require ATM cards, ATM Go terminals now allow card-less withdrawals using RCBC banking apps such as RCBC Digital and DiskarTech.
“While we are enjoying additional income for our sari sari store business, it also gives convenience to our neighbors whenever they need to do cash withdrawal as they don’t need to travel at least eight kilometers to the nearest bank ATM,” said Albino Palma, a sari-sari store owner and a partner merchant in Santa Maria, Isabela.
“RCBC ATM Go served as a lifeline during the lockdown when our core travel business was down. It served as a financial hub for Mandung and our neighboring barangays where bank branches and ATMs are absent or limited. We have been a proud ATM Go partner since 2018 because of RCBC’s excellent customer service,” said Charvimalou Armonia, owner of Clarv Travel and Business Center in Mandug, Davao.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has set its twin outcomes under the Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap, that is, converting at least half of retail financial transactions to digital, and at least 70% of Filipino adults to have transaction accounts by the end of 2023. Based on latest BSP statistics, 56% of the adult Filipinos are now banked. This is a jump from 29% in 2019. Despite the leaps that Filipinos have made in digital finance, there are still 34.3 million Filipinos who are yet to be banked.
RCBC is one of the country’s fastest-growing banks. It is now the Philippines’ 6th largest privately-owned universal bank from 8th place in asset ranking in 2018. It accomplished and maintained this feat from 2020 to present from loans and investment securities, even breaching the P1-Trillion asset mark by end June 2022 in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic and various investment activities by competition. RCBC’s continuing digital and business transformation further enhanced its value.
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