Asian Credit Union Movement Envisions to Build a Coop-Led Digital Platform
In 2017, the Association of Asian Confederation of Credit Unions (ACCU) and its member federations in the Philippines – the Philippine Federation of Credit Cooperatives and the National Confederation of Cooperatives embarked on a cooperative member-owned payment platform branded as Kaya Payment Platform. The KPP offers a range of payment services and integrates with a variety of third-party networks. This enables them to expand the range of services available to members, generate additional revenue, and increase member share value. The KPP enables members to transfer funds, load airtime, pay bills, bulk pay, and purchase goods.
The KPP is currently operational in the Philippines, but there is great interest from Nepal, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Through the KPP, credit unions will be able to create greater inclusion in finance for women and other hard-to-reach populations.
Using the pilot country experience, ACCU is confident that the model can be replicated in other Asian countries. For example, credit unions in Nepal and Indonesia are agents of third-party providers allowing them to offer digital channels for financial services. “By pooling resources, credit unions can build and manage their technology by partnering with a trustworthy IT company,” according to CEO Elenita San Roque. She added that the Philippine credit unions have proven that it is working.
As a next step, the ACCU Board of Directors, in its September 23, 2020 meeting approved the creation of the Digital Finance and Infrastructure Committee (DIFC) along with its mandate. In effect, the DIFC will be one of the committees that provide unbiased technical study and roadmap to the technology development for the Asian credit unions system.
ACCU has been spearheading efforts to help its members digitize to enable CUs to better serve existing members and expand their reach to new members. ACCU members are operating in an environment of great technological change.
Throughout Asia, financial and payment landscapes are rapidly modernizing, with evolving customer needs and several new emerging technologies, payment methods, and actors. Users demand faster, low-cost, and convenient services while businesses demand information-rich payments services.
Given its activities to accelerate CUs’ ability to offer digital financial services to their members, ACCU forms a DIFC to streamline management of these digitization initiatives.
The DFIC has four expected outcomes as part of its mandate:
- Modernize – Modernize CUs’ core payment systems, including the policies and rules governing their use, as well as the technology infrastructure
- Manage – Maintain existing operations to meet local and international standards of safety, efficiency, and effectiveness
- Enhance – Continuously enhance and improve processes, organizational capacity, and services to meet evolving end-user needs
- Collaborate – Collaborate and partner with internal and external participants and stakeholders to increase the utility and reach of CU services nationally and globally
The members of the committee are composed of the CEOs, officers, and leaders who represent all three levels – primary, the national federation, and ACCU.
The App can be downloaded here.
About ACCU: The Association of Asian Confederation of Credit Unions is the regional member-based networking and development organization for credit unions in Asia. Its members are the national credit union federations in 23 countries that represents 46 million individual members from 32,809 credit unions.