konek2CARD reaches one million registered users; BSP congratulates CARD

CARD MRI’s mobile banking app, konek2CARD, has reached more than 1 Million registered users as on June 28, 2021 after an aggressive marketing campaign, which was launched first quarter of 2021.

The mobile banking application first saw an increase in user registration in May 2021 with 808,378 users registered on the application. The campaign consisted of various promotions including registration and usage promos and a konek2CARD dance contest that spiced up the campaign even further.

CARD Bank, which initiated konek2CARD in 2016, ushered in the largest number of registrants with 557,913, followed by CARD SME Bank with 273,974, CARD MRI RIZAL BANK with 168,187, and CARD, Inc. (A Microfinance NGO) with 754. The financial institutions of CARD MRI garnered a total of 1,000,828 registrations and counting.

Changing the Way We Live

konek2CARD has changed the way people live in the New Normal by providing a variety of banking transactions to its clients in the comforts of their homes. Among these include checking of savings and loan balance, transferring funds, purchasing e-load, and viewing of mini-statement and transaction history. Agent-assisted transactions such as cash-in (deposit) and cash-out (withdrawal) services through konek2CARD agents are also made possible through konek2CARD. These services bring an added convenience to clients most especially as health and safety protocols should be observed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the positive response towards the mobile banking application, CARD MRI Founder and Chairman Emeritus Dr. Jaime Aristotle B. Alip emphasized the importance of konek2CARD in this COVID-19 era and expressed hope even as the pandemic stretches on.

“We are delighted that our clients and communities are embracing our digital initiatives as we prioritize their health and safety amid the pandemic. We continue to be one with the government in ensuring transactions are safe for our clients. I believe that this is the beginning of our fruitful journey as we reach out to more underbanked communities,” said Dr. Alip.

CARD MRI Managing Director Aristeo A. Dequito also expressed his gratitude to those who have trusted the mobile banking service.

“As we conform to our government-mandated protocols, we continue to adapt to the new normal with konek2CARD to provide our clients the convenience they need in times like these. We are grateful to our clients for trusting konek2CARD, and we hope that the mobile banking application continues to serve as their companion for their banking needs,” said Dequito.

Road to Financial Inclusion

konek2CARD was not only designed to provide safety and convenience to its clients. It also serves as an instrument to financial inclusion. As the platform being used by the four financial institutions of CARD MRI namely, CARD, Inc. (A Microfinance NGO), CARD Bank, CARD SME Bank, and CARD MRI Rizal Bank, the mobile banking service enables them to break the barriers that separate its clients, especially those in the outskirts of communities, from experiencing affordable and well-designed financial services.

According to CARD Bank President and CEO Marivic M. Austria, “Since konek2CARD’s inception in 2016, we saw how the mobile banking application changed the lives of our clients and the communities we serve overtime. This is a part of our financial inclusion initiative to make sure no one gets left behind especially during a health and financial crisis such as this.”

Through konek2CARD agents strategically placed in neighborhoods, konek2CARD is within reach of CARD MRI clients who need to make their banking transactions. Because of the accessibility of konek2CARD agents, more users saw the need to register to the mobile banking application, contributing to the success of the “Saya ng Buhay, Level App” campaign. To date, CARD MRI has 11,621 konek2CARD agents nationwide.

“Reaching one million registered users proves how vital digital transformation is in our journey towards eradicating poverty,” Head of the konek2CARD campaign and CARD SME President and CEO Cynthia Baldeo said. She added, “Our konek2CARD agents, operations staff, and executives are all essential in making this possible.”

CARD, Inc. Executive Director Vicente Briones, Jr. also sends his gratitude to konek2CARD agents who have been vital in their operations. “Thanks to our konek2CARD agents, we have created an ecosystem that makes it possible for our clients to conduct their financial transactions even during the weekends without going to our offices. We appreciate how they make our clients’ lives more convenient through their work.”

In light of expanding their services to provide access to better financial and social development assistance to communities, CARD MRI RIZAL BANK President and CEO Elma B. Valenzuela is also optimistic in overcoming the challenges of financial inclusivity.

“We will not be fazed by the roadblocks that try to exclude the unbanked and underbanked communities in the Philippines. We will eventually reach those in the far-flung communities with our initiatives, especially now that konek2CARD is in place,” said Valenzuela.

BSP on konek2CARD

Meanwhile, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno congratulated CARD MRI for reaching 1 million registered users on konek2CARD in a recorded statement.

“We extend our congratulations for reaching 1 million registered konek2CARD users. CARD has been a longtime partner and champion of financial inclusion, and we are glad to mark this achievement with you today,” remarked Diokno.

In addition, the current BSP governor and former budget secretary mentioned how it was “fortunate to witness the beginnings of konek2CARD” as “the significant gains in a short period revealed the vast opportunities available to financial service providers when they maximize enabling policies and adopt an innovative financial inclusion-oriented mindset.”

In his speech, Diokno also revealed some of the digitalization initiatives included in BSP’s Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap for 2020 to 2023. This includes QRPH payments, which will allow payment of goods and services in stores, markets, and even transportation through the use of mobile phones. He also mentioned the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) which will authorize clients to avail bank accounts and other financial services using the PhilID alone. This will lessen the need to acquire various government IDs and will expedite transactions.

As mobile and internet connections remain to be a constant problem for Filipinos, Diokno also broached the subject of “pushing for mainstream technologies like satellite internet” and making way for more broadband players in the industry.

Finally, the BSP governor remarked how “digitalization can improve the lives of a common man” as he ended his speech with a positive note.

“Indeed, by embracing our financial inclusion mission, we can improve lives and create shared prosperity in ordinary and extraordinary times. And so, to the officers and personnel of CARD Bank, keep up the outstanding work,” concluded Diokno.

konek2CARD will continue its mission of serving communities with its digital financial services. It hopes to acquire 2 million registered users by the end of 2021.