• Co-ops' CISA Compliance Good for Economy

    Credit Information Corporation CEO Jaime P. Garchitorena lauded the release of the Cooperative Development Authority’s Memorandum Circular 2019-01, as: “a significant step in achieving many of the inclusive lending targets of the National Government.”   Asked why co-ops need to Read More
  • CDA Tells Co-ops to Submit Credit Data to CIC

    The Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) has confirmed that co-ops must ‘establish, maintain, and submit credit data’ of members to the Credit Information Corporation (CIC).   Said government agency issued its first memorandum circular for the year, Memorandum Circular 01-2019, named Read More
  • All China Co-op Leaders Visit NATCCO

    QUEZON CITY – Delegates from the All China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives (ACFSMC) visited the NATCCO Network headquarters on September 18 to exchange information, learn about the Philippine cooperative sector, and explore business linkages.   The Chinese delegation Read More
  • Sector Honors 3 Tagum Co-op Leaders

    DAVAO CITY -- Three leaders of Tagum Cooperative were honored at the 14th National Cooperative Summit held at the SMX Convention City here, before some 3,000 co-op leaders from all over the country.   Mr. ANTONIO C. ARAÑAS, MPA has served Read More
  • Lezo MPC's Champion, Aklan's Pride

    AKLAN – She served the National and Local Government as a dedicated, hardworking Municipal Agriculturist Extension Worker of the Municipality of Lezo for 42 years, before she retired in 2010.  And Emelinda Revestir-de la Cruz has proven herself to be Read More
  • COOP-NATCCO Partylist guns for 3 seats

    All cooperative members, leaders, staff, management and stakeholders are reminded to support COOP-NATCCO Partylist (CNPL) in the upcoming 2019 Elections.  Support is through – voting, campaigning, or providing finances and logistics.   The CNPL, since 1998, has endeavored to protect Read More
  • Ravanera, Chinese Counterpart Sign Agreement

    The Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) represented by Chairperson Orlando R. Ravanera and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) of the People's Republic of China represented by Han Changfu, signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) for the Strengthening of Read More
  • Financial Pillar Shows Challenges & Hopes of Co-ops

    DAVAO CITY – One of the highlights of the 14th National Cooperative Summit was the Financial Pillar Presentation.  The Financial Pillar is considered to be the most “liquid” sector of the cooperative, delving into financial services.   The Finance Pillar Read More
  • How Lamac MPC Engages Youth

    DAVAO CITY - Co-op Youth Leader Justine Limocon of Lamac Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Cebu Province, spoke at the Cooperative Summit before more than 3,000 co-op leaders from all over the country, urging them to engage the youth in their cooperatives.   Read More
  • NATCCO GA on April 26-28 in Iloilo City

    ILOILO CITY – Representatives of member cooperatives of the NATCCO Network will converge in Iloilo City on April 26-28 for the 17th Coop Leaders Congress and the 42nd General Assembly.  Venue is the Grand Xing Imperial Hotel.   This year’s Read More
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Credit Union Apex Endorses Kaya Payment Platform

 
 
Credit unions empower and improve communities. According to the ICA, the cooperative identity is “based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.” Their focus on sustainability and local needs prove they are necessary entities in our world. Just looking back on a few international Credit Union Day logos: “Dreams thrive here”, “People helping people”, and “Your money, your choice”, all inspire.
 
Planning with or for the communities guarantees sustainability. This is what credit union and financial cooperative movement excels in. We mobilize local resources and empower community members, leading to a sustainable economy. This movement reaches more than 232 million people.  If we play our cards right, we can create a global community interconnected through our financial institutions and communities. Interconnection will create a larger voice for credit unions worldwide.
 
I am excited that WE are creating a more interconnected community through your institutions, that impacts your finances, operations, staff, and, most importantly, your members. 
 
Technology is an unstoppable force we can’t ignore. It is transforming everything. Because of technology, I can connect to the Wi-Fi, get on Whatsapp, and call my mom in New York, for free. With wireless internet, I don’t need a calling card. 
 
Although technology offers these conveniences, like all good things, there are a lot of hurdles to overcome. 
Technology can be confusing: There are so many options to choose from – many different technology firms to sort through and vet, many different types of software to pick. 
Technology is expensive especially for financial institutions. 
Technology can be insecure.  You must make sure all the data you store are secure from hackers.
Digital literacy: It’s hard to adopt anything if your staff and members don’t know how to use it.
 
So, why go through this? 
 
Your Bangko Sentral wants 20% of all transactions to become digital.
 
Digital payments enable members and cooperatives to:
Save money and time
Minimize fraud and manage risk
Gain data on your members to help design appropriate services and make management decisions
Learn more from each other & more from experts around the world
Expand points of services and provide a broader array of services
Gain efficiency by sharing investment in infrastructure
 
Through a smart phone, computer, ATM, and other points of service your members can perform perform digital transactions like mobile money, digital payments, and bill payments. They can transact without having to ride the habal-habal or banca to town.
 
Your members can pay their electric bill through the Kaya platform rather than in person. Davao Light is a biller in the Kaya Payment Platform, that allows co-op members to perform transactions thru their smart phone. 
 
Services can be digitalized. You can offer savings and loan products over the phone and Internet.
 
For instance, the Capitol Credit Union in the US designed a digital loan that can be repaid through a mobile application, called Kasasa. It allows borrowers to manage their debt by showing them the status of their loan in seconds. Borrowers can also see the impact of payment changes before they make them, providing them more control and better decisions.
 
AgriAnalytica software in Ukraine helps farmers create a business-plan and a set of documents necessary for obtaining credit, such as determining planned production costs and revenue, profitability, predict monthly cash flow, analyze planned and effective production efficiency, compared to those of similar companies. This software allows loan officers to remotely underwrite agricultural loans for members. 
 
In Brazil, the national association, SICREDI, has segmented the entire country through agricultural value chains. Based on climate and other factors based on location of the farmers, SICREDI helps the member credit unions deliver specific value chain products to their members. 
 
WOCCU supported mobile money in Haiti. When they realized their adoption rates were low, they started offering digital literacy training through their agent network. They go to the people, directly, to provide training. The agents also earn commission from transactions and client signup.
 
Technology allows you to access data on your members. Through data mining and analysis, you can segment your members by geography, gender, age, and even vocation; helping to see trends and gaps. This helps you develop better products and services, request more services from your national association, manage risk, and even prevent fraud. 
 
Savvymoney, in the US, allows credit union members to analyze their own information to make decisions regarding their finances. 
The Guatemalan FENACOAC developed an agricultural lending toolkit. The association houses an agricultural lending unit, which includes expertise in value chain market analysis, partnership development to create relationships with potential buyers for the farmers, agronomy, and product development. Because they have data on their members, the national associations are better able to provide the market information needed for the members and member credit unions. 
 
Loans increased 8 percent in 2017. Late payments have declined to only 0.63 percent, loan default dropped by more than half, even as the total loan portfolio increased. 
 
In Kenya, 7 SACCOs have used the toolkit and have issued 314 loans valued at more than 10,000,000 Kenyan Shillings as of December 2017.
 
In the US, CO-OP Financial Services is developing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning to be used on behalf of its CU clients, enabling the company to provide alert and case management capabilities for fraud and risk services. The CEO of the CU states, “As a credit union cooperative, we have the size and the endpoints, as well as tremendous leverage with different partnerships that make it easier for us and our members to use this technology. For smaller institutions, it’s about finding the right problems we know are worth solving for, and identifying those use cases to build solutions for first.”
 
How can you get to that point?
 
Share costs, resources, and learnings thru your NATCCO federation. This lowers cost and expands your reach. Luckily, the credit union ethos already believes in the cooperative and sharing economy. 
 
Most recently, WOCCU translated, customized, and installed MIS software at all co-ops in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Mexico, which enabled them to handle transactions and accounting electronically, facilitate reporting, reduce the human resource burden, and strengthen off-site monitoring of financial performance and operations. Technology-driven system networks enable financial institutions to pool resources, allowing them access to expensive technologies they would normally be unable to afford.
 
You must share ATM networks, have one Digital payment platform, and standardize Core banking systems/ MIS.
 
Use newer technologies like Blockchain, Machine Learning, and Biometrics.
 
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in the US is investing in a service bureau or CU Service Organization (CUSO) to utilize blockchain technology to create digital identities for their members. Ideally, this technology will create an international platform for sharing transactions. This means each member will have a digital identity securely stored in blockchain. Every time the member conducts a transaction, their transaction is verified through the blockchain ledger technology. This information will also be securely shared throughout the CUNA network.
 
Your very own Kaya Payment Platform actually has the ability to integrate these types of technology and software. So in the future, through Kaya, you could be offering chatbot services to your members and using AI to analyze your data.
 
The World Bank and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are interested in seeing how Kaya works. Last November, the IFC invited Ms. Leni San Roque (ACCU CEO) to Washington, DC, to present the payments platform to gender and finance experts at the IFC. Based on her presentation, the IFC is currently funding WOCCU and ACCU to conduct research on how Kaya and credit unions can empower women entrepreneurs, especially through business development centers. So after the conference, Leni and I will be traveling to a credit union that has joined Kaya and is offering business development support to women microentrepreneurs.
How do we actually implement this?
 
As in the US, Colombia, and Kenya, NATCCO and Philippine Federation of Credit Cooperatives (PFCCO) have developed a payments platform that also has the option of core banking software that co-op members can adopt. However, Kaya is unique from the other systems. The other systems require staff that are fluent in API, cyber security, and backend engineering, ensuring that all transactions are safe and sound, while running efficiently. Kaya removes the headache and offers a fully-packaged software as a service. 
 
So, the first step is to join the Platform.
 
The second step is to encourage your members to use it. The more members that use it, the cheaper the transaction costs become, which can also equate to higher profits. 
 
The investment in training is big, but can lead to great things for your members. It can create trust and higher levels of interaction between you and your members. It will create convenient transactions for your members. And can generate additional revenue for your credit union to invest in other services for your members and community.
 
This is the abridged version of the presentation of Ms. Gulbahar Okuyan, Business Development Manager of the World Council of Credit Unions. WOCCU strives to be the global apex organization of the credit union movement and is a trade association for financial cooperatives. Ms. Okuyan  designs and gets new projects that relate to WOCCU’s mission to improve lives through financial cooperatives and expand financial inclusion worldwide through the global credit union community.
 

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