Qualcomm Wireless Reach, an initiative of the US-based tech company Qualcomm Technologies Inc. has partnered with Hapinoy, a local social enterprise for the Hapinoy Mobile Money Hub project. Launched last August 28, 2014 at the Romulo Café in Makati, Philippines, the project aims to enable micro-entrepreneurs, specifically sari-sari store owners, to offer various financial services via mobile technology.
Qualcomm Technologies Inc. is a company committed not only to technological evolution and advancement but also to utilizing the potential of mobile technology to positively impact communities across the globe. More than a corporate social responsibility initiative, Wireless Reach is a comprehensive program developed to bring mobile technology closer to the communities that Qualcomm works and is present in. They provide opportunities for the underserved to experience and benefit from the technologies we are all enjoying today.
Working with Qualcomm Wireless Reach is Hapinoy, a social enterprise that has been in the business of empowering women micro-entrepreneurs since 2007. Hapinoy provides sari-sari store owners, who are mostly Nanays (mothers), with proper training, and opportunities for new businesses to help them effectively run and expand their stores.
The joint project will recruit, train, and assist Nanay micro-entrepreneurs enabling them to have their own mobile money business. Empowered with mobile technology, they will be able to offer countless financial services starting with money remittance, bills payment, airtime loading, and eventually including other banking services. According to Mark Ruiz, Hapinoy Co-founder, most of these Nanays start their businesses in an effort to help augment their family’s financial needs. He also shares that through the Hapinoy Mobile Money Hub project, Qualcomm and Hapinoy hopes to help these dedicated Nanays achieve their goals as entrepreneurs, and ultimately, as mothers.
While providing micro-entrepreneurs with additional income and business, the Hapinoy Mobile Money Hub will also help bring financial services closer to the unbanked. Deputy Director Pia Roman-Tayag, head of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ Inclusive Finance Advocacy Staff shared during the launch that 37 percent of municipalities in the Philippines lack banking offices until today and many of our fellow Filipinos still do not have access to financial services. As such, she extends the BSP’s support and congratulations to Qualcomm and Hapinoy for their active contribution to addressing the country’s dilemma regarding financial inclusion. She adds that “Banks will not open branch in an area where profitability is low. If there is such a business that does the functions of banks, we should be thankful.”
Only on its early stages, the Hapinoy Mobile Money Hub has successfully established key partnerships vital to scaling up the project’s operations. In the years to come, Qualcomm and Hapinoy hope to engage thousands of Nanays for the project, reaching even the most rural communities. The team looks forward to a future where every Filipino has convenient access to affordable financial services.