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18th September 2012

First-ever mobile-only bank soon to have 1m customers

FI BPI Globe BanKO Inc styles itself the world's first mobile phone based bank. It is in based in the Philippines and is a provider of microfinance.


The bank launched in January of this year now has 200,000 customers. It believes this exponential growth will continue and it will cross the 1m customer threshold during next year. The customer opens an account by going to an agent, often a retail store, registers his mobile number and makes an initial deposit to the new account. The customer later receives an ATM card.

BanKO customers can pay bills and remittances, and apply for micro-loans and insurance. Cash withdrawals and deposits can be made either by ATM or at an agent location.

"The business model adopted by BanKO is the way to reach out to people from the farthest areas of the country. Through BanKO's affordable banking services, Filipinos gain financial empowerment and an opportunity to build their savings," Teresita B. Tan, president of BanKO, said.