FINTQ introduces “Sacheted” Banking Products to Reach Unbanked Filipinos
Bringing financial services through digital technology and sari-sari stores
Formal financial institutions can penetrate the unbanked and underserved market when financial products are offered in pocket-sized amounts and are easily accessible for consumers, a report from FINTQ, the financial technology arm of leading technology company Voyager Innovations, revealed.
The Inclusive Digital Finance Report (IDF) Vol. 2 titled Retail Financial Services in a Sachet Economy affirmed how sachet banking is fit for the Philippine market with most of the unbanked families owning a mobile phone and residing in communities where micro, small, and medium enterprises (mSMEs) such as sari-sari stores are prevalent.
This can be done through a radical innovation that can accelerate the state of financial inclusion in the Philippines as FINTQ enables banks to introduce “sacheted” banking products to communities, down to the neighborhood level through its various KasamaKA digital platforms ranging from microsavings, microinsurance, microinvestment, and digital lending via Lendr.
This agent banking model allows banks to tap mSMEs such as sari-sari stores to act as cash agents to reach unserved and underbanked Filipinos, through FINTQ’s platforms and network.
“We have a bold goal of including 30 million Filipinos in the formal financial system by 2020. This may be a long shot for an economy that is still cash-heavy, but we know from the very start that unbanked families could be served better when banks tap the most ubiquitous device – the mobile phone – and the most pervasive touchpoint in the country – sari-sari stores,” said Orlando B. Vea, President of FINTQ and President and CEO of Voyager Innovations, the digital innovations arm of PLDT and Smart.
Sachet banking: The last mile solution
The second IDF Report, which is based on the 2015 Family Income Expenditure Survey conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority, also revealed that about 70% of Filipino families have no savings account, effectively tagging them “unbanked” under the survey’s definition. However, this segment earns ample income and owns assets that can help banks and non-banks to design financial products that are affordable for the majority of the unbanked segment.
Against this backdrop, FINTQ reignited the sachet banking model to allow partner banks and non-bank institutions to promote financial inclusivity and accommodate the less affluent segments.
For this year, under the sachet banking model, banks and non-banks can now offer financial products and services at a lower price and through FINTQ’s KasamaKA platforms: KasamaKA Microsavings, KasamaKA Microinsurance, KasamaKA Microinvestment, and KasamaKA Lending (Lendr).
“Sachet banking is the last mile solution, and FINTQ is putting this innovation to scale. In the months to come, our products will allow consumers to deposit in their bank accounts small amounts, not directly at a bank branch, but through sari-sari stores and other mSMEs. We are doing this to enable our partners in the banking and finance industry so we can all accelerate the state of financial inclusion in the country,” said Lito Villanueva, managing director of FINTQ.
By transforming sari-sari stores into cash agents, banks could sustainably operate in low-density communities. By turning mobile phones into a “digital bank,” unbanked and underserved Filipinos could now open a savings account, apply for a loan, find affordable insurance, and make an investment without having to visit a bank branch.
Meanwhile, consumers can access the KasamaKA platforms through a mobile device any time of the day and wherever they are. Should they need to do banking transactions, they can now transact within their neighborhood through sari-sari stores tapped by their bank to serve as its cash agents.
“Accessing bank products and services will be as easy as loading up your prepaid mobile number or buying a shampoo sachet. Thanks to the BSP for the recent release of the enabling regulation to promote basic deposit account,” Villanueva said.
“Banking products and services have long been considered necessities that only the few well-to-do can afford. Today, FINTQ’s KasamaKa carries to the farthest reaches of our archipelago, savings, loans, insurance, and investment products — and with those instruments the capacity for every Filipino to aspire beyond their present circumstances,” he added.
FINTQ is the leader and award-winning financial technology provider of customer-centric, demand-driven, mobile-first, value-creating, and inclusive digital financial innovations. It is the largest and the only FinTech business in the country with diverse digital banking and finance portfolio of platforms including lending, security, micro-savings, micro-investments, insurance, disbursements, micro-credit and virtual banking, among others.
For more information about FINTQ and all of its products and services, please visit www.fintq.com.