BANKS can now peek into the database of more than 300,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Philippines, via a newly launched portal aimed at helping the SMEs gain access to finance.
Comprising 99.6 percent of registered businesses in the Philippines and employing 70 percent of the country’s total workforce, SMEs are usually marginalized when it comes to credit.
Lack of access to financing, technology, raw materials and markets have been a perennial problem of SMEs – with very few able to survive beyond three to five years.
The business-to-business online portal, Loanpinas.com, gives SMEs the opportunity to register and post loan requests online.
Such requests may be viewed by participating lenders, currently numbering 13, and directly offer loan products and discuss the terms with the potential SME borrowers.
“The database will be made available to banks and other lending institutions that subscribe to Loanpinas.com,” said Vic de la Dingco, executive director of FINEX Foundation for Entrepreneurship Inc. (FFEI), the group behind Loanpinas.com.
The loan portal—formerly SMEplus.com—started in 2012 as a partnership between the Department of Trade and Industry and FFEI. The department offered its registry of 20,000 SMEs, to the SME arm of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX).
It has since gone through major changes to suit the needs of lenders and SMEs, until it was formally launched as Loanpinas.com at the Dusit Thani Manila last week.
“Through the Loanpinas.com portal, we aim to help address the number one challenge that SMEs in the country face: access to finance,” said FFEI Chairman Tomas Gomez 4th.
“Beyond that, we also hope to provide SMEs access to education and access to the markets,” Gomez added.
FFEI partnered with Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) Philippines in enhancing SME access to loans.
The portal has a one-click loan request that goes straight to a lender. It also has an accessible repository of company documents. Premium members also get access to markets.
A premium member of Loanpinas automatically becomes a premium vendor of VIA, the online platform used by 54 of the country’s top conglomerates in prequalifying suppliers.
This gives them the opportunity to be prequalified to VIA buyers, as well as access to preferential prequalification rates and listing on D&B’s global database of DUNS-registered companies.