Consumers, not “fintechs”, are disrupting financial services industry. Speaking at the IDC Financial Services Summit, Lito Villanueva, Managing Director of Voyager’s FINTQ, underscores the need for banks and other financial institutions to embark on digital transformation to address consumer needs.


[29 NOVEMBER 2016] This was highlighted by an executive of Voyager Innovations, PLDT and Smart’s digital innovations arm, at the recently held IDC Financial Services Summit at the Shangri-la at the Fort in Manila.

In his session, Lito Villanueva, managing director of Voyager’s financial technology arm FINTQ, zeroed-in on the current fast pace of financial services forcing banks to re-think, re-calibrate and reconsider a digital pivot.

“Consumers are the ones dictating the pace of change, and they themselves are the ones disrupting all industries, banks included. We must be agile with an open framework to address the changing needs of customers and requirements of regulators,” said Villanueva, the only Filipino fintech expert invited to speak at the plenary on moving banking to an innovations platform.

He further emphasized that while banking can be at the center of the digital transformation, financial organizations must evolve from the traditional closed-loop systems to an open architecture to keep up with market challenges, as well as enable integration from third parties and facilitate faster time to market execution with new differentiating products and services.

“Knowing who the customer is defines your business but understanding the customer’s needs fully well defines your business success,” Villanueva stressed.

Banks’ digital transformation is a “must” to respond to the increasingly demanding digital consumer. “Every enterprise or business endeavor must be on the ‘front screen’ of every customer’s smartphone with a promise of a delightful user experience,” Villanueva added.

Villanueva presented data from FINTQ’s successful deployment of its pioneering digital lending platforms such as the LANDBANK Mobile Loan Saver and Lendr. Aside from exponentially growing its volume and base, FINTQ’s digital lending platforms are expected to close the year with over P10.4 billion in loans disbursed and more than 100,000 borrowers.

FINTQ’s digital lending platforms have extended the reach of partner financial institutions, leveraging on mobile devices as the pervasive customer touchpoint. Almost 50% of borrowers lodged their loan applications outside office hours.

Around seven out of ten borrowers were from the provinces and as much as 35% of them are from low-income cities and municipalities. Over the past ten months, the growth of the loan portfolio running on the digital platform  showed very encouraging figures contributing to government efforts in promoting financial inclusion in the countryside. Loan portfolio growths in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao were registered at over 400%, almost 150% and over 250%, respectively.

The IDC Financial Services Summit was presented by the FIS and the IDC Financial Insights of Singapore. The event focused on exploring the era of digital transformation in the banking industry. It highlighted the need for financial institutions to be bold in their approach to architect infrastructure and systems with a digital transformation mindset and embrace collaboration with new partners. It gathered key executives from various financial institutions in the country. Among the speakers include leaders from Samsung Pay, OCBC, FIS, Capco and BSP.

Villanueva was among the Top 100 Asian Fintech Leaders, the first and only Filipino included in the list. FINTQ is part of Voyager Innovations, the digital innovations arm of PLDT and Smart, that creates platforms and services for emerging markets. Aside from financial technology, some of the areas of its focus include digital financial services, digital payments, digital commerce, sponsored internet access, communications technology, and digital marketing. END