Financial inclusion still lacking in PH

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Consumer access to financing remains in issue in the Philippines despite inclusion advances, an official of a micropayment services firm said.

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Albert Tinio, president of GCash, said that 70 percent of the population had no bank accounts and 90 percent had no credit score, making it hard for them to access lending and credit services.

GCash is micro-payment service company of Mynt, the financial technology arm of Globe Telecom.

“It also forces some individuals to turn to informal lenders which charge interest rates of as high as 20 percent,” Tinio said in a statement.

“Moreover, 40 percent of cities and municipalities do not have physical banks, thus, residents have to spend a lot of time, effort, and money to get to the nearest bank,” he added.

Tinio said that telcos were making use of their infrastructure to reach consumers and provide a more inclusive financial ecosystem.

“Since telecommunication companies are in a unique position to penetrate even far-flung areas through mobile services, Mynt was able to leverage on the capability and infrastructure of Globe to offer fintech to anyone, anytime and anywhere,” he said.

He noted that another Mynt subsidiary unit, Fuse, allows individuals and small businesses to secure funding.

“Our loans platform through Fuse creates credit scores for Filipinos using telco data, where the profile of a loan applicant can be determined to know if the person has the ability to pay for a loan,” Tinio said.

Globe also recently partnered with Makati City and the province of Davao del Norte for an ID system that can be used in cashless transactions.

“It eliminates the old practice of face-to-face transactions and even old policies in disbursing allowances, wages, stipends, and others. The citizen ID card functions as a valid government-issued ID card and can be used to avail various social services, transact with government and purchase goods and services,” the company said.

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