Lendr digitizes mSME financing
POWERING THE GROWTH OF PHILIPPINE MICROENTERPRISES THROUGH INCLUSIVE DIGITAL FINANCE. FINTQ, the Financial Technology arm of PLDT and Smart’s Voyager Innovations, is throwing its full support behind the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) program through its digital lending platform Lendr. Last April 19, FINTQ executives demonstrated to DTI officials how microentrepreneurs can apply for a loan from RadioWealth–one of the accredited conduits of DTI for the P3 program that is also one of FINTQ’s partners in the Lendr platform–through Lendr. Present during the presentation of the initiative to DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez (third from left) were Voyager Innovations President and CEO Orlando B. Vea (second from right), FINTQ Managing Director and KasamaKA Founder and Lead Convenor Lito Villanueva (rightmost), Small Business Corp. President Ma. Luna E. Cacanando (leftmost), DTI USEC Zenaida Maglaya (second from left), as well as three early beneficiaries of the P3 program (4th to 6th from left) Edgardo Waniwan, Angelyn Avila, and Judith Waniwan.
FINTQnologies Corp. (FINTQ)–the financial technology arm of Voyager Innovations–has rolled out an alternative channel for micro, small and medium enterprises (mSME) to access affordable credit through its award-winning digital lending platform, Lendr.
This initiative is in collaboration with the government’s Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) program under the Department of Trade and Industry. The P3 program is a financing initiative for mSMEs designed in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to replace “5-6” money lenders.
“We cannot overemphasize the importance of mSMEs in our economy. Yet, access to credit still remains very limited. The use of technology and innovation in creating more opportunities for them must be prioritized,” said Lito Villanueva, FINTQ Managing Director and KasamaKA Founder and Lead Convenor. Villanueva is also the chairman of the industry group FinTechAlliance.ph.
“To show our support, we will conduct financial literacy caravans for mSMEs in partnership with DTI’s Negosyo Centers and GoNegosyo in Leyte, Occidental Mindoro, and Sarangani, the first three pilot provinces of the government’s P3 program,” he added. This will be undertaken through KasamaKA, FINTQ’s social advocacy for inclusive growth.
Villanueva noted that FINTQ through its digital lending platform Lendr will also offer on-site loan application assistance for mSMEs during these caravans.
“Lendr allows microentrepreneurs to apply for business loans anytime anywhere and compare interest rates and other offers from among our partner bank and non-bank partners,” Villanueva said, adding: “Since Lendr is digital, mSMEs need not travel to go to branches or offices of lending companies to be able to access loans.”
Lendr is the country’s largest digital lending service covering 100% of provinces with over Php30 billion in loans released since it was launched in 2015. It extensive reach benefited the 20 poorest provinces accounting for 11% of loan transactions and 12% of loan volume.
It has registered double digit growth in the first quarter compared to the same period last year. It posted over 60% compounded annual growth rate. It now has almost a hundred bank and non-bank partner financing companies. On top of the traditional salary, personal, home and auto loan products, it offers mobile crop loan, medicine loan, mSME loan, Overseas Filipino loan, and truck and equipment loan, among others.
In response, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said:“At DTI, we always seek ways to improve the business environment for mSMEs and one aspect is providing immediate access to finance that is why President Duterte launched the P3 program. And now, having a technology partner that provides a digital lending platform like Lendr that is secure, efficient and easily accessible, presents more options to microenterprises with regard to their financial needs.
For his part, Victor Belgar, Project Manager, Radiowealth Finance Co., Inc. said: “Digital platforms like Lendr accelerates our mission to provide financing to microenterprises. It makes the reach of financial inclusion so much wider and I must say, that ‘exponential,’ to describe Lendr’s impact to our business is an understatement. The high influx of loan application via this digital channel compels us to level up with our backroom operations.” Radiowealth is one of accredited conduits of DTI for the P3 program that is also one of FINTQ’s partners in the Lendr platform.
“Among our initiatives include our efforts to empower mSMEs, that is why we are continuously developing digital platforms and services to make Filipino entrepreneurs globally competitive in this day and age of technology,” said Orlando B. Vea, Voyager Innovations President and CEO.