RIZAL COMMERCIAL Banking Corp. (RCBC) has disbursed over P1 billion in salary loans through its salary advance facility called RCBC Payday NOW since its launch last year, it said on Thursday.

“We created this product to enable a scalable solution to borrowing needs of employees so they can seamlessly advance a portion of their salaries especially during ‘petsa de peligro.’ We wanted to provide a much better option to loan sharks and ‘ATM sangla’ (ATM pawning) schemes, which charge very high interest rates,” RCBC Head of Credit Cards and Personal Loans Arniel Vincent B. Ong said in a statement.

The RCBC Payday NOW facility is available to prequalified RCBC payroll accountholders and allows them to tap a portion of their salaries before their payday.

It is currently available to over 200,000 employees of the bank’s partner companies.

Customers can apply for the advance through the RCBC Pulz app.

“Employees simply choose their desired amount, agree to terms and conditions and receive their funds in their payroll account in real time, all through a few taps in the mobile app,” RCBC said.

The amount withdrawn will be automatically deducted from the next salary cycle.

Employees are typically charged P125 or 3% of the advanced amount, depending on whichever is higher, but the bank has waived this fee until May 31 to promote the use of the product.

The digital salary advance facility saw close to 50% of mobile-active employees avail of the offer since its launch in September 2023, RCBC said.

“We are encouraged to see high adoption and very high repeat rates which validates our theory that by providing a digital salary advance with superior customer experience and pricing, we are able to deliver a greater benefit to our payroll customers,” Mr. Ong said. 

The bank also launched RCBC Salary Loan Now, a higher ticket and longer-term salary loan facility, in the first quarter to expand its digital lending for payroll accountholders.

RCBC aims to expand the reach of this product this year, it said.

The bank’s net income fell by 39.47% year on year to P2.2 billion in the first quarter in the absence of a one-off gain from its sale of properties recorded in the same period last year. — AMCS