By Melissa Luz T. Lopez
Senior Reporter
HOME CREDIT Philippines is looking to expand its customer base by 70% in 2019 as it plans to rev up traffic from online channels.
The consumer finance firm is expecting a surge in new borrowers over the coming year, starting with a four million target by end-December, as they roll out a mobile app for gadget financing and pure cash loans.
“Our plan is to grow number of customers by roughly 70% next year. However, our customer service will stay the same as today,” Home Credit chief IT and Operations Officer Petr Brunclik said in an interview.
The Prague-based company started with a client base of 100,000 in 2015, which grew to roughly 2 million customers as of end-2017. The figure has grown to 3.64 million as of Nov. 23, according to latest available data.
Total receivables stand at P18.8 billion, short of the P25 billion projected by end-2018.
Home Credit currently secures clients through their partner stores, primarily for smartphone purchases. Loans were eventually made available to those buying new furniture, sporting goods, musical instruments and other electronics.
However, Mr. Brunclik added that they are looking to raise the share of online-based borrowings to 20% of new customers, coming from their My Home Credit App which went live in September plus applications filed on the firm’s website.
“Our strategy is to take all of our processes and get it on the mobile phone,” Mr. Brunclik said, which is suited to young and tech-savvy Filipinos.
Home Credit is looking to keep the headcount of its customer service and telesales agents. This can be seen in the number of vacant workspaces at their three-floor office in Vertis North in Quezon City, with only 400 desks occupied versus the 800 initially projected.
On the other hand, the company official said Home Credit is “heavily investing” in IT, as it is targeting to double its technology development staff by next year.
The firm pledges loan approvals for in-store applications in less than 10 minutes, Mr. Brunclik said, while customer calls are picked up in under 20 seconds.
Home Credit offers in-store financing services for gadgets, appliances, and similar goods to those without credit cards and even to first-time borrowers. The nonbank lender has signed up with the Credit Information Corp. to provide client data in building a national credit bureau.