“We won’t stop forging onward alongside the fast-paced, fast-changing developments in the world of IT to equip CARD MRI in serving the Filipino poor.” These are the words of CARD MRI Information Technology (CMIT) President Edgar V. Cauyan, as the whole CARD MRI community celebrated CMIT’s 12th anniversary on March 10, 2022.
To commemorate its historical founding, Cauyan recollected how the institution started and how CMIT is straining forward to lead CARD MRI’s digital transformation initiatives.
“The need for CARD Bank to computerize in 1999 was the starting point of the operations of CMIT. I can recall how it was back then, and every time I think about it, the memories make me smile. Because it was the first time CARD MRI had an IT department, everything that has to do with new technology, from printers to air conditioning, is taken care of by its IT department. These were the initial operations of CARD’s IT department. Today is different as it became a separate entity in 2010 to advance the technology of the CARD MRI group,” Cauyan shared.
Cauyan is talking about the digitalization of CARD MRI in the 21st century, not only to expedite the transactions of CARD MRI clients but also to achieve digital financial inclusion in the country.
CMIT continues to support CARD MRI’s microfinance institutions (MFIs), including CARD, Inc. (A Microfinance NGO), CARD Bank, CARD SME Bank, and CARD MRI RIZAL BANK, to assist its account officers (AO) and to improve their service delivery to clients.
From the manual application of loans using pen and paper, AOs are now equipped with the loan origination system (LOS). Through the LOS, AOs only need to conduct an interview with clients and input their data on the system installed in their tablets. Once done, the loan application will be sent automatically to the unit manager for approval. Once approved, the loaned amount will be sent to the applying client’s savings account.
Having the same concept as LOS, the mobile onboarding digitally records those who want to be clients of CARD for faster and simpler registration.
According to Cauyan, besides these new systems that aim to support both CARD MRI staff and clients in their transactions, CMIT is also hands-on in the continuous upkeep and monitoring of its konek2CARD mobile banking application for CARD MRI clients.
“konek2CARD is perhaps our proudest contribution to CARD MRI, and we are thankful to FDS ASYA PHILIPPINES (FDSAP) for working with us hand-in-hand to make this possible. We are also forever grateful to the CARD MRI community, most especially our MFIs and our clients, for making this possible and for absorbing this into their lives,” Cauyan shared as he expressed his gratitude for the clients’ positive response towards the mobile banking application despite the difficulties they faced in implementing konek2CARD in 2016.
konek2CARD recently reached 2 million registered users in February 2022, a milestone for the CARD community that can be attributed to how the clients recognize the application as a necessity in their lives.
It can be recalled that konek2CARD saw an increase in user registration in 2021 after the
“Saya ng Buhay, Level App” campaign that emphasized konek2CARD’s role in the lives of CARD clients, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
konek2CARD users can skip taking transportation, going to the bank, and waiting in line with the mobile banking application’s features that allow clients to do their banking transactions in the comforts of their home. These features allow them to access their savings, to pay their loan amortization and bills, to purchase e-load, and to check their balance and other transactions without going to the bank and putting themselves at risk of contracting the virus.
CARD clients can also be assisted by authorized konek2CARD agents in their neighborhood for their banking transactions and easy access to their savings through cash-in and cash-out.
Cauyan also breached the subject of remittances as CARD MRI also steps up other alternative delivery channels to bring better services to its clients.
“We are also supporting and empowering more Filipinos, not just our clients, with CARD Sulit Padala. Through this local remittance provider, located in our branches and branch-lite units, you can send and receive money from your loved ones anywhere in the Philippines. It’s the best alternative for people who are looking for nearby remittance outlets in their neighborhood,” Cauyan explained.
Now, CMIT led the conversion of 52 unit offices of CARD, Inc. from the local system to the Core Microfinance System which aims to provide real-time transactions and reports, automatic calculations, and paperless transactions, among others.
Together with FDSAP, CMIT also monitors the migration of 20 remaining CARD Bank branches from the local system to the centralized Core Banking System which enables the clients of CARD’s MFIs to make their banking transactions at any of CARD’s branches.
Since 2010, CMIT has been developing the technical designs and systems required in the day-to-day activities of CARD MRI. The IT company is at the forefront of CARD MRI’s digital transformation in the hopes of eradicating poverty through its technology-driven initiatives.