As part of the Journey to Formation Learning Series, we were delighted to feature the successes of FinTech Alliance Philippines, and special thanks to their Chair, Lito Villanueva. You can watch the recording of the discussion here and can download Lito’s presentation here.

There is a lot to learn from the session and I encourage you to watch the recording to digest and be inspired. Below are highlight some of the key messages from the discussions in terms of growth and impact.

How to welcome and manage members?

  • Have different categories of membership with different rights and fees
  • Membership fees can be a good source of revenue
  • Have a robust criteria for membership, you do not need to accept everyone who applies to be a member
  • Have a code of conduct and code of ethics that members agree to upon joining
  • Use these codes to remove members whose behaviours are not in alignment with the code(s)
  • Have a process for onboarding and welcoming new members so they feel part of the organisation and understand expectations and benefits of membership


What attracts members to join?

The value-add the association makes is crucial. The value proposition will differ from member to member, some key things to consider for the association:

  • Be a collective voice – there is strength in numbers to bring change
  • Bring about change and make an impact, for example
    • Influencing regulation and policy
    • Recognition and promotion of member achievements (new products/services)
    • Contributions to increase financial inclusion
  • Bring/give benefits of members
    • Influencing regulation helps member’s businesses thrive
    • Access to training / events
    • Discounts for services
  • Be credible and informative – this can be demonstrated through papers, thought leadership and events for example
  • Partner and collaborate with key industry players both locally and internationally, such as regulators and government bodies, development sector, and research / academic partners
  • Be seen as fair and representative by its members – things to consider here are listing members alphabetically, consideration of sponsors and partners. The interest of the collective and industry should be seen above the individual
  • Promotes its achievements regularly and ensure they are seen by members and others


What activities can an association do?

  • Write Thought Leadership pieces – papers, articles, blogs or press statements
  • Produce reports on key issues or industry players in the country
  • Author position papers and white papers
  • Choose current issues or pertinent issues, something that is relevant and useful
  • Regulatory engagement and contribute to regulation and policy with
    • Central bank / regulatory authorities and government
    • International agencies, e.g. UNDP
  • Organise or participate in events, programs and webinars
  • Form partnerships, both locally & globally and work on projects/paper/advocacy etc together
  • Conduct and publish research
  • Advocate for financial inclusion and responsible digital financial services
  • Develop and promote codes of ethics and conduct for the industry and its professionals (e.g. consumer protection, data privacy, AML-CFT, digital literacy…)


Lito’s personal words of advice for those forming and leading digital finance associations are:

  • Be seen as a credible resource, fair and knowledgeable voice
  • Bring unity and collaboration with a cohesive industry view
  • Remember, this is not a social club, but serious business with the best intention for the industry