Mercy Corps is committing to create the Maximizing Financial Access and Innovations at Scale (MAXIS) initiative by replicating the work of its nonprofit Indonesian foundation (the Microfinance Innovations Center for Resources and Alternatives) in the Philippines and by launching a new commercial bank, Bank Andara that will serve as the strategic banking partner for the Indonesian microfinance sector.
The main objectives of MAXIS are threefold:
1) To enable an estimated 12 million, low-income people in Indonesia to access a full range of financial services, including loans, savings accounts, microinsurance, remittances, mortgage finance, and mobile banking savings
2) To increase microfinance institution (MFI) capacity to serve the un-banked in Indonesia, including a demonstrable increase in MFI service delivery to the poor; and
3) To enable increased access to innovative financial services for an estimated five million low-income people in the Philippines.
In order to meet these three objectives, Mercy Corps will ensure that market-driven, sustainable institutions providing support to MFIs, particularly those that serve the poor, are in place in Indonesia and the Philippines. The MFIs will benefit from significantly increased access to finance, product innovations, ratings, and ability to participate in shared data solutions via a centralized IT platform and adequate technical support. By proactively supporting MFIs and assisting them to expand their outreach to the poor, Mercy Corps will support the greatest number of low-income people possible in a sustainable manner.
To achieve the main activities of the MAXIS program Mercy Corps will:
- Establish a wholesale commercial bank in Indonesia that provides a full range of services to and through thousands of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Indonesia.
- Conduct market research, product development, and technical assistance to build microfinance services in highly underserved areas (i.e. rural and urban slums) of Indonesia.
- Build the capacity of the Microfinance Innovations Center for Resources and Alternatives (MICRA) Indonesia to provide strong technical assistance and training to MFIs.
- Rate 750 Indonesian MFIs to assess their capacity to utilize bank products and services.
- Provide training and technical assistance services to 500 MFIs in Indonesia.
- Establish a successful and sustainable MICRA replication in the Philippines to provide all relevant MICRA services to Filipino MFIs.
- Provide services to 500 Filipino MFIs.
- Implement appropriate adaptations of the wholesale bank model in the Philippines after thorough market and demand analysis.
By the end of project duration, measures of success include:
- Support given to 1,000 microfinance institutions.
- Improved ability of 12 million individuals in gaining access to capital and financial services (i.e. micro-credit, health insurance, crop insurance, housing finance.)
- Support 12 million individuals in obtaining access to information and communication technology (i.e. cell phones, mobile banking, internet.)