HOME CREDIT Philippines recorded a rise in in-store installment financing as more consumers purchased items due to work-from-home arrangements and changes in lifestyle resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

The firm saw a year-on-year increase in loans in the first half to P10.6 billion, Home Credit Chief Executive Officer David Minol said in a statement.

Nearly one million customers tapped their facility in the period to avail of products in their partner stores, he added.

Home Credit has presence in over 9,000 physical stores while its app has over six million downloads.

“It is another encouraging sign that people are gradually recovering from what was a very challenging year for us all,” Mr. Minol said.

The top five products purchased by consumers who tapped Home Credit for financing were smartphones, televisions, refrigerators, laptops, and sporting equipment.

Home Credit also saw higher demand for financing to buy air- conditioners, with sales rising to P296 million in the April to May period against the P132 million in the first quarter. It was attributed to consumers taking advantage of their promotional offers.

“It is an interesting best-seller list as it reflects what Filipinos’ priorities and lifestyles are in the new normal. They put great value on things that allow their families to live, work and play better,” Mr. Minol said.

He noted that although malls were closed when a two-week lockdown was imposed in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces in March, Home Credit continued to see demand for financing through their mobile app.

With restriction measures gradually being lifted, Mr. Minol said consumer traffic is expected to recover in malls, which could boost loan demand.

Filipinos’ growing ease with using mobile transactions will also help them gain more customers, he said.

“We know that Filipinos have a strong mall culture, and it still shows in this new normal. But what these past months have also shown is how digital savvy Filipinos have become, especially when it comes to e-commerce and online shopping,” Mr. Minol said.

The financing company has served over seven million customers since its launch in the Philippines in 2013. — LWTN