[15 JUNE 2017] To realize the vision of financial inclusion across the country, regulators and industry players must work together to fast-track the digital transformation of rural banks, which play a key role in developing the countryside, an executive from financial technology firm FINTQ remarked during a conference recently.
Speaking during the annual convention of the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP) in Baguio City recently, FINTQ Managing Director Lito Villanueva likewise stressed how digital can level the playing field and enable rural banks to compete with the bigger commercial banks.
“Just recently, FINTQ launched the first rural bank on Lendr through Camalig Bank in Bicol, which will help borrowers from around the region to lessen travel time and have their salary loan applications approved in as fast as 24 hours. Providing access to finance to the farthest reaches of the country is really where digital can help bridge critical gaps toward a more inclusive Philippine economy,” Villanueva said. FINTQ is the financial technology arm of PLDT and Smart’s Voyager Innovations.
Aside from Camalig Bank, Lendr also recently launched the country’s first digital agri crop loan on Lendr in partnership with Producers Bank, which helps farmers gain access to finance for purchase of various crops and seeds.
One of the keys to unlocking inclusive finance, he added, is disrupting the high cost of credit assessment and verification for borrowers, which can only be realized if banks are able to digitize their processes and turn customers’ digital trails into financial track records.
To help rural banks embark on this digital journey, FINTQ through its pioneering and award-winning digital lending platform Lendr has launched a shared-services program in partnership with RBAP, which will help small rural banks gain access to game-changing technology platforms at a much lower cost and investment.
By engaging on a shared-services agreement with the industry group, Lendr is able to easily onboard rural banks onto its platform–eliminating the costly and sometimes lengthy process and having the banks’ loan products available on Lendr in as fast as three weeks.
“Our collective objective is to determine how stakeholders could leverage on mobile technology in parallel with a proactive and dynamic regulator, which will help in accelerating the digitization of financial transactions in line with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ goal of having 20% of all financial transactions to be done via electronic means by the year 2020,”Villanueva added.
Through Lendr, rural banks will be able to offer a variety of loan products to customers wherever they are in the country, and easily evaluate and decide on their loan applications since every step of the loan application process–from selection of loan, to filling out of forms, to uploading of documentary requirements–is done via a mobile phone or online.
To date, Lendr has signed up close to 40 banks and non-bank financial institutions on its platforms. Since launch, FINTQ’s various digital lending platforms–including Lendr, LANDBANK Mobile Loan Saver (with LANDBANK), and Pera Agad (with Cash Credit)–have helped disbursed close to P20 billion in loans to borrowers, around 70% of which reside outside Metro Manila.
“BSP welcomes this development in starting the journey towards digitizing bank lending. This is well aligned with the government’s thrust of promoting responsive and responsible banking. Ultimately, technology will not just level the playing field, but also will bring speed, convenience, cost efficiencies and transparency benefiting customers,” said Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. Deputy Governor and incoming Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
Through its platforms, FINTQ currently has the most extensive digital lending footprint in the country today, with loan transactions coming from all 81 provinces, 90% of the 145 cities and 8% of the 1,490 municipalities. Lendr, FINTQ’s pioneer product, has partnered with more than 30 banks and non-bank financial institutions that are in various stages of onboarding
To know more about Lendr, visit www.lendr.com.ph. [END]