[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.


Intensified drive

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]