by Sonia Vasquez | Sep 21, 2016 | Uncategorized
IMPROVING PHILIPPINE HEALTHCARE THROUGH DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY. LANDBANK, Unilab’s RiteMed, and Voyager Innovations forge a groundbreaking partnership that will give wider access to generic medicines with the help of mobile-based lending service LANDBANK Mobile Loan Saver. Present during the partnership launch are (from left) Vincent Guerrero, General Manager, RiteMed; Liduvino S. Geron, SVP and Branch Banking Sector Head, LANDBANK; Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman, PLDT, Smart, and Voyager; Cecilia C. Borromeo, Officer-In-Charge, LANDBANK; Clinton Campos Hess, President and CEO, Unilab; Jose Maria Ochave, Senior Vice President for Social Partnerships, Unilab; Orlando B. Vea, President and CEO, Voyager Innovations; and Lito M. Villanueva, Managing Director, FINTQ.
[September 16, 2016] The LANDBANK Mobile Loan Saver (LMLS) once again breaks new ground with another first in digital banking as it ties up with the leading branded generics company in the country, RiteMed, for the Tamang Alaga TxTMED program: “Kapag kailangan ng gamot, dapat may gamot.” The pioneering and award-winning LMLS is powered by FINTQ, the financial technology arm of Voyager Innovations.
The Tamang Alaga partnership further expands the coverage of LMLS, allowing borrowers to allocate a portion of their approved net loan proceeds for the purchase of medicines. RiteMed, will make available a range of maintenance medicines at special discounted prices.
TxTMED, which will be available within the last quarter of the year, will enable government employees and private sector workers with payroll accounts with LANDBANK to seamlessly order and purchase medicines through their mobile phones, without the hassle of outright cash payment. The program, however, does not cover teachers, military and police personnel. Medicines ordered via LMLS will also be delivered for free in sealed packs to the concerned government agency or company office where the borrower is employed, within a week from the time of loan approval and release.
“We understand the financial burden of high medicine costs on many Filipinos, which is why through this initiative, we hope to provide LMLS borrowers with access to affordable and quality medicines. This is yet another showcase of the endless possibilities in terms of financial technology and digital lending, especially as we hope to reach out and provide financial and other services to more Filipinos across the country,” said LANDBANK Officer-in-Charge and Executive Vice President Cecilia C. Borromeo.
“Initially, over 700,000 government employees will benefit from the partnership of RiteMed with LANDBANK and Voyager Innovations’ FINTQ, an unprecedented collaboration of public and private organizations to champion the rights of the Filipinos to quality and affordable healthcare. The burden of coping with the daily cost of maintenance medicines, not to mention certain catastrophic diseases, have caused much physical, emotional and economic strains to Filipino families most especially to the public sector who have limited earning capacities,” says Vincent Patrick Guerrero, General Manager of RiteMed. “We are quite optimistic that with the technology of FINTQ and the nationwide network of LANDBANK, we would be able to fulfill the objective of RiteMed’s Tamang Alaga program of providing access to quality healthcare for all Filipinos.”
“Enabling digital technology ultimately levels the playing field where our underserved Filipinos with little or no access to quality and cheaper medicines would now have the chance to enjoy its benefits through our award-winning digital lending platform,” said Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman of Voyager Innovations and FINTQ. Both Voyager and FINTQ are digital innovation units of PLDT and Smart Communications.
This new partnership takes the LMLS to another level, following its successful roll-out among government employees, with loan releases amounting to over P12 billion as of August 2016 since it started. This has benefited more than 80,000 employees from over 1,200 participating agencies since the program’s commercial launch in January 2015.
The LMLS is now also telco-agnostic, making it available across all telco providers and has been expanded to include private sector employees. The inclusion of small farmers and fishers, microenterprises and SMEs, and Overseas Filipinos is also underway, making it more expansive to promote inclusive growth and digital financial inclusion.
“This is another first as we are helping provide access to healthcare through this digital channel. This is an initiative that promotes universal health care and social support access among Filipinos even at the grassroots, which is a basic human right,” said Lito Villanueva, Managing Director of FINTQ.
The LMLS has been recognized by the GSMA Mobile Money Programme as the first of its kind in the world for being a three-in-one mobile loan application service with auto-savings build-up features. It has also garnered seven global awards and recognition for the revolutionary and successful leverage of digital lending in an emerging market in less than two years. It has been featured by international publications as among the best practice models. [END]
by Sonia Vasquez | Sep 21, 2016 | Uncategorized
Voyager Innovations was recently tapped by the Anti-Money Laundering Council Secretariat for its first Fintech Briefing held at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), which focused on trends around financial technology, its corresponding challenges and opportunities, and appropriate regulatory responses to emerging innovations. This is in line with stakeholder collaboration efforts for better understanding and enablement of appropriate policies and regulatory frameworks needed by the industry. Invited as resource persons were executives from Voyager Innovations led by Lito Villanueva, CEO of FINTQ, the recently spun-off digital financial services entity of Voyager Innovations and Julie Reyes, head of compliance and regulations for Voyager Innovations and PayMaya Philippines. Photo shows Villanueva (second from right) and Reyes (rightmost) with Secretariat Executive Director Atty. Julia C. Bacay-Abad (second from left) and Deputy Director George Tan (leftmost). END
by Sonia Vasquez | Sep 21, 2016 | Uncategorized[JULY 22 2016] TNT, the country’s largest prepaid mainstream mobile brand under Smart Communications, in cooperation with Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) and FINTQ, the financial technology unit of PLDT and Smart’s digital innovations arm Voyager Innovations, has expanded its financial inclusion and livelihood drive among Filipinos through its Panalo SIKAP program targeting beneficiaries of the government’s conditional cash transfer program.
Rolled out in conjunction with LANDBANK’s recent “Ipon at Kabuhayan para sa mga Kababayan” financial inclusion caravan held simultaneously in nine third- to fifth-class municipalities all over the country, the “Panalo Sa Ipon at Kabuhayan Aasenso ka Pinoy (SIKAP)” program provides an incentivized credit and voluntary savings-linked program initially targeting beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
“Smart and TNT are one with LANDBANK and FINTQ in promoting financial inclusion nationwide through unique partnerships such as the Panalo SIKAP program. With the help of mobile technology, we are able to reach more of those in need and empower them with the right services and opportunities to improve their lives,” said Kat Luna-Abelarde, Smart Wireless Consumer Operations Head.
“Through the Panalo SIKAP program, financial inclusion of unbanked and underserved citizens in the country is accelerated by giving them the option to save and, eventually, put up their own business. This leads to true inclusive growth that empowers each and every member of society to have sustainable livelihood,” explained Lito Villanueva, CEO at FINTQ, country’s leading, most diversified and pioneering FinTech company.
Through the program, 4Ps beneficiaries are given the chance to enroll and choose a fixed amount of P50 or P100 that will be automatically deducted from their monthly 4Ps cash benefit.
LANDBANK will then provide a loan to the beneficiary equivalent to 50% of the projected savings build-up for five years at a socialized rate of 2% annually, which can be used initially to start a Smart and TNT airtime load retailer business or any micro-enterprise eventually forming a cooperative.
“Airtime reloading is a lucrative micro-business especially in small communities that have little to no access to bigger enterprises. TNT is proud to be part of the Panalo SIKAP program providing livelihood opportunities to Filipinos nationwide, so they can graduate from mere users of mobile technology to business owners earning from sustainable livelihood,” added Miriam Choa, TNT Brand Head.
Once the loan has been fully paid and the beneficiary has established their credit-worthiness, they can opt to apply for livelihood assistance at a much higher value. During the nationwide caravans, at least 4,000 unbanked Filipinos were able to open savings accounts on the spot and had the option to enroll their accounts to the Panalo SIKAP program.
The program is seen to ramp up the financial inclusion drive of various entities in the government and private sector in support of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) National Strategy for Financial Inclusion (NSFI), as it gives Filipinos a chance to be part of the formal banking and lending system in the country.
To date, only 3 out of 10 adult Filipinos have a bank account, with only 4.4% of the population having taken out a loan from banks and other financial institutions, according to latest BSP data from the NSFI study.
Mobile technology for financial inclusion
The program is just the latest in FINTQ’s efforts to utilize the power of digital and mobile technologies for financial inclusion, particularly among unbanked and underserved segments of the population.
Also in partnership with LANDBANK, it earlier launched the telco-agnostic Mobile Loan Saver platform, which digitizes the salary loan application process for government and private-sector employees using only their mobile devices.
For the past 18 months since LMLS was launched in January 2015, LANDBANK’s digital loan facility has already disbursed in excess of P9.40 Billion with over 1,100 participating government agencies.
Banking on the success of LMLS, FINTQ also recently launched Lendr, a digital loans origination and loans management platform accessible via the Web and on mobile devices. The platform has since signed up close to 20 commercial, rural, and thrift banks to date, with China Bank Savings and PNB Savings Bank as initial partners offering products via the platform.
Just recently, the unit likewise announced the launch of the “PISO (Personal Insurance and Savings Option) sa Kinabukasan” program targeted at public-school K to 12 students across the country, in partnership with the Department of Education, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Insurance Commission, LANDBANK, as well as PLDT Alpha Enterprise, Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), Philippine Business for Social Progress, PLDT-Smart Foundation, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Sun Life of Canada (Philippines), Inc.
For more information about FINTQ and its digital financial offerings, visit www.fintq.com. [END]
by Sonia Vasquez | Sep 21, 2016 | Uncategorized
Representatives from the public and private sector come together to formally launch a groundbreaking initiative that will provide micro-savings and personal accident insurance for public schoolchildren dubbed “PISO (Personal Insurance and Savings Option) sa Kinabukasan.” Present during the partnership ceremony held at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas were (seated, from left) FINTQ CEO Lito M. Villanueva, Sun Life of Canada (Philippines), Inc. President and CEO Riza Mantaring, LANDBANK President and CEO Gilda E. Pico, PLDT, Smart, and Voyager Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, Department of Education Sec. Bro. Armin Luistro FSC, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Insurance Commission Commissioner Emmanuel Dooc, and Voyager Innovations President and CEO Orlando B. Vea. They are joined by (standing, from left) BSP Head of the Inclusive Advocacy Staff Pia Roman Tayag, LANDBANK Branch Banking Sector Head EVP Jocelyn DG Cabreza, Sun Life Financial Asia President Kevin Strain, and DepEd External Partnership Service Head Dir. Margarita Ballesteros.
[16 JUNE 2016] Several government agencies led by the Department of Education (DepEd), in partnership with private sector companies, recently launched the first and biggest public-private partnership initiative that will help brighten the future of public-school K to 12 students through a tech-enabled early-stage micro-savings and personal accident insurance program.
The broad coalition, dubbed “PISO (Personal Insurance and Savings Option) sa Kinabukasan” is spearheaded by PLDT and Voyager Innovations’ financial technology unit FINTQ and supported by DepEd, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Insurance Commission, the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK), as well as PLDT Alpha Enterprise, Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), Philippine Business for Social Progress, PLDT-Smart Foundation, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Sun Life of Canada (Philippines), Inc.
At least 24 million K to 12 public school students nationwide are expected to benefit from the groundbreaking program – the first of its kind in the world – which will give them a convenient and accessible way to save money with as little as P1 per day, while also having a personal accident insurance coverage as well.
“We are proud to be part of this initiative that seeks to empower and embolden young Filipino students to take charge of their future early on,” said outgoing DepEd Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC. “We have integrated financial literacy in the K to 12 curriculum in partnership with the BSP in the past, but I believe these lessons will make more sense when put into practice and eventually turned into a habit, something which the PISO initiative will help them achieve.”
“The importance of starting young when it comes to saving money cannot be overstated, as savings act as an important backbone of the Philippine economy. PLDT, Smart and Voyager, through FINTQ, are excited to be part of this groundbreaking initiative as digital enablers of the PISO project, which hopes to inculcate the values of savings and insurance among the young generation,” said PLDT, Smart and Voyager Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan.
In pursuit of financial inclusion
The initiative is also in support of the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion (NSFI), which aims to provide effective access to a wide range of financial services and products to all citizens nationwide to promote inclusive growth. This comes a month ahead of the first year anniversary of the government’s launch of the NSFI in July last year with Queen Maxima, United Nation’s Secretary General Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development.
“This revolutionary multi-stakeholder initiative will open doors for public school K to12 students to broaden their horizons by underscoring the importance of savings and insurance with the help of digital technology. Its ripple effect encompasses the schoolchildren’s parents, guardians, teachers and even the community leaders within their localities. It’s just like making the concept and value of savings and insurance among our children simple and easy to understand, and fun to have. Our aim is to make these social protection tools viral as a unique initiative towards financial inclusion,” added Lito Villanueva, CEO of FINTQ, the financial technology unit of Voyager under the PLDT Group.
“Building the habit of savings among young children is critical in developing their financial well-being, because when they start young, saving money will eventually come naturally for them when they grow up and generate their own income,” said BSP Deputy Governor Nestor A. Espenilla. “At the same time, this initiative will help address the unbanked and underserved population of the country and eventually enable the youth to participate in the growing economy.”
Representatives from the public and private sector come together to formally launch a groundbreaking initiative that will provide micro-savings and personal accident insurance for public schoolchildren dubbed “PISO (Personal Insurance and Savings Option) sa Kinabukasan.” Present during the partnership ceremony held at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas were (standing, back, from left) Sun Life Chief Business Development Officer Michael Manuel, DepEd External Partnership Service Head Dir. Margarita Ballesteros, LANDBANK Branch Banking Sector Head EVP Jocelyn DG Cabreza, FINTQ CEO Lito M. Villanueva, Sun Life of Canada (Philippines), Inc. President and CEO Riza Mantaring, PLDT, Smart, and Voyager Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Department of Education Sec. Bro. Armin Luistro FSC, Sun Life Financial Asia President Kevin Strain, LANDBANK President and CEO Gilda E. Pico, Voyager Innovations President and CEO Orlando B. Vea, and Insurance Commission Commissioner Emmanuel Dooc. They were joined by public-school elementary students from various schools in Sampaloc, Manila.
This program also supports the BSP’s coin recirculation program which was launched as early as March 2005. The perceived shortage of coins is brought about by non recirculation of these coins. Coins are kept inside bank vaults, in piggy banks, inside drawers, used as washers, or thrown away as inconvenience. As of March 2016, the BSP has 24.5 billion pieces of coins in circulation valued at P27.6 billion. The number of coins in circulation is equivalent to 238 pieces per Filipino
The low regard towards lower-denominated coins is one of the main reasons coins are not circulating efficiently. Schoolchildren as agents of change in their homes and communities, however, can generate better appreciation of the use of coins.
“Financial inclusion is almost second-nature to LANDBANK, because countryside banking is at the center of our operations. This program is very timely because it will give us an opportunity to provide the youth an avenue to save money and give them the skills needed so that later on, they will know how to manage their own money in the future,” added LANDBANK President and CEO Gilda E. Pico
Protecting the future
By including personal accident insurance coverage for students in the program, parents will have to worry less about out-of-pocket expenses in times of emergencies, which tend to often affect their day-to-day finances.
“This is a very laudable project, the result of a collaboration between the government and private sector. Savings and insurance play important roles in the life of Filipinos, and starting them young is the key so that as they grow old, they are able to answer for any contingencies that may come their way,” said Insurance Commissioner Emmanuel Dooc.
“In the next five years, Sun Life will strive to reach five million Filipinos with insurance coverage in our collaborative pursuit of financial inclusion along with the government. Teaching students how to set aside money early on is a crucial first step toward achieving that objective. We believe that no country can truly sustain progress unless it takes care of every sector of society,” added Sun Life of Canada (Philippines) President and CEO Riza Mantaring.
Digital innovations for development
With only 4 in 10 Filipinos saving money and a low insurance penetration of just 1.84% in the country, leveraging digital technology becomes key to building a digitally and financially inclusive society.
“Voyager is a proud partner of the PISO initiative that is wholly in line with our mission of developing breakthrough digital initiatives for emerging markets like the Philippines,” said Orlando B. Vea, President and CEO of Voyager Innovations, the digital innovations arm of PLDT and Smart. [END]
by Sonia Vasquez | Sep 21, 2016 | Uncategorized
Speaking before officials from banks and financial institutions around the region during the BankTechAsia 2016 Conference held recently in Manila, FINTQ CEO Lito M. Villanueva emphasized the need for collaboration among financial institutions and financial technology firms in order to sustain growth in the industry.
[09 JUNE 2016] More opportunities for collaboration are opening up for banks and other financial institutions with financial technology or “fintech” firms in the Philippines as way of driving their growth and addressing financial inclusion gaps nationwide, a local fintech executive remarked during the recent BankTechAsia 2016 conference held in Manila.
While fintech firms have ushered an age of disruption in the banking and finance industry in developed markets such as the United States and European countries, the situation is starkly different in emerging economies such as the Philippines.
“Fintechs in emerging markets are not the enemy, but a strategic ally of financial institutions. I call it ‘finbiosis’, or a mutual co-existence that leverages on each of our strengths–technology and innovation for fintechs and financial expertise and capacity for banks,” explained Lito M. Villanueva, CEO at FINTQ, the financial technology unit of Voyager Innovations, the digital innovations arm of PLDT and Smart.
‘Finbiosis’ the way to go
In emerging markets such as the Philippines, fintechs do not aim to disrupt. Instead, fintechs here enable cost and service efficiencies for partners, engage with regulators to adapt to the emerging digital landscape, and empower consumers with frictionless experiences leveraging on mobile, Villanueva said.
Collaborating with fintechs also helps in addressing financial inclusion gaps besetting the country today, as 69% of the population remains unbanked and only 1% of payments are done electronically.
“There is a huge opportunity for fintech players to push their platforms that will address these gaps, and likewise, for banks to expand the reach of their products and services without heavy capital expenditures,” Villanueva noted.
Such is the case for current FINTQ bank partner Land Bank of the Philippines, which has deployed the LANDBANK Mobile Loan Saver (LMLS) solution to digitize the salary loan application process for government employees. Using only their mobile phones, employees can apply for a salary loan and get quick approval updates within hours.
Through LMLS and mobile technology, LANDBANK significantly accelerated its salary-based lending velocity by as much as seven times, allowed 20% of applicants to apply for a loan outside banking hours, and reached 23% of borrowers in low-income cities and municipalities where no brick-and-mortar branch is present.
For the past 17 months since LMLS was launched in January 2015, LANDBANK’s digital loan facility has already disbursed in excess of P8.72 Billion with over 1,100 participating government agencies. It has since expanded to cover employees in the private sector and even Globe subscribers, making it a telco-agnostic digital lending facility.
Addressing millennial habits
In the same vein, financial institutions face a growing challenge to accelerate their digital transfromation in light of tectonic changes in the consumer landscape, driven by digital-savvy “millennials,” a third of which do not believe they need a bank at all, according to the 2015 Millennial Disruption Index, putting banks at the highest risk of consumer disruption.
“At the end of the day, financial institutions must embrace the challenge of digital evolution to keep their relevance in the market. And the good news is, Philippine fintech companies are ripe and ready to collaborate,” Villanueva added.
FINTQ provides consumer-centric and demand-driven innovative digital platforms, products and services for financial and non-financial institutions across underserved, unserved and banked customers. These cover digital lending, disbursements, micro-savings, micro-insurance, NFC contactless and online payments, and, anti-fraud and card control solution, among others.
For more information about FINTQ and its suite of platform and services, visit www.fintq.com. [END]