OREANDA-NEWS. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Cantilan Bank, in partnership with Oradian, have launched a pilot project on cloud-based core banking technology in the southern Philippines. Backed by a $150,000 ADB grant, Cantilan Bank will use Oradian's cloud-based banking technology to demonstrate how digital services can unlock financial opportunities for the unbanked and underserved segments of the population.

“Financial technology is revolutionizing finance. Recent innovations in digital and mobile phone technology have made it easier to expand access to financial services to people and small businesses in hard-to-reach areas,” said Lotte Schou-Zibell, Technical Advisor for Finance at ADB. “Digital financial services offer new opportunities to save, make a payment, get a small business loan, send a remittance, or buy insurance. These services have the potential to serve as a pathway for the poor and underserved to leap over traditional barriers to financial inclusion.”

The Cantilan Bank pilot project aims to demonstrate that an investment and focus on technology — like cloud-based banking — can increase financial inclusion and provide a useful example to be scaled and replicated.

“By moving to the cloud, we will be able to mitigate various IT, strategic, and operational risks. Oradian’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) model enables us to reduce major IT capital expenses, allowing us to spend less annually for a faster system with superior data security — and we just need an Internet connection. This has given Cantilan more capacity to focus on our core business and financial inclusion mission,” said Tanya Hotchkiss, Cantilan Bank’s Executive Vice President.

Oradian, a SaaS provider, will provide the cloud technology infrastructure for Cantilan Bank. Using the SaaS model, the project will make use of Oradian’s flagship core-banking platform product, Instafin — an all-in-one software product which enables microfinance institutions, cooperatives, and rural banks to manage their day-to-day operations more effectively and serve their clients more efficiently. 

The cloud-based core banking technology pilot project will be implemented in five stages including the full migration of Cantilan Bank’s data and information to the cloud infrastructure; mobility enhancement of loan officers in the field through mobile applications linked to the core system; integration with third parties including payments and remittance services; enabling clients to have direct digital access of their finances; and measuring impact on financial access.

The pilot project aims to make Cantilan Bank the first bank in the Philippines to use cloud-based core banking technology in its operations and can set the tone for the future use of the model in other parts of the Philippines and the region in the future.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said: “The pioneering introduction of cloud banking in the Philippines is a key moment in solving the challenges of financial inclusion. Cloud technology can upgrade the competitiveness of rural banks and enable them to provide affordable, high quality financial services. With this in mind, we are excited to support and observe the collaboration of ADB, Cantilan Bank, and Oradian.”