CONSUMER FINANCE app BillEase wants to increase its net income by 50% this year as it looks to further expand its customer base, an official said.

The company recorded a net income of about P250 million in 2023, BillEase Chief Financial Officer Garret Go told reporters on the sidelines of an event on Tuesday.

The company earlier said its revenues doubled year on year in 2023.

Mr. Go said their 2023 performance was driven by repeat customers’ continued use of their app.

About “90% of our business is from repeat customers. These are customers we’ve onboarded even before 2023, and the longer they stay with us, the better our customers may become, so they have a bigger credit limit. And of course, their default rates are better,” he said.

BillEase onboarded 500,000 new users in 2023, Mr. Go said, adding the company recorded 1.3 million customers as of May.

The company aims to hit two million users by the end of this year, he said, with their monthly active users currently at around 400,000 to 500,000.

“We’re still at the phase where we know we can grow a lot. We only have a million users today, and that’s out of a population of 110 million in the country. I’m sure there’s a lot who are still unserved or underserved. So, we want to really target them. We think there’s a lot of room for growth, at least in the next couple of years,” Mr. Go said.

BillEase also aims to grow its loan portfolio by 50% this year from around P4 billion currently, he said.

“We continually improve our credit model to make sure we underwrite the right customers. We give customers who can afford installments the right credit limit… There’s a lot of people who want to borrow money, but we only want to give them enough so that it’s useful for them,” Mr. Go said.

“I think that’s one key difference with us and credit cards… That is better in terms of financial education for someone who’s new to borrowing money, because they can handle their finances better,” he said.

Mr. Go added that they have seen steady consumer demand despite the high interest rate environment as inflation is already slowing down.

He said their overall nonperforming loan ratio is currently at around 7-8%, adding that they expect better asset quality as inflation continues to ease.

“I think we have one of the best collections among the players in the industry. Collections have been good. That’s also why we have been profitable,” he said.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has kept its policy rate at a 17-year high of 6.5% since October 2023 following cumulative hikes worth 450 basis points to help tame elevated inflation.

Headline inflation picked up to 3.9% year on year in May from 3.8% in April, but marked the sixth straight month that inflation settled within the BSP’s 2-4% target band. From January to May, the consumer price index averaged 3.5%, matching the central bank’s full-year forecast.

BillEase recently received $5 million in fresh capital from Saison Investment Management Private Ltd. for the expansion of its Helicap-led credit facility to $40 million. — AMCS