TO HELP boost financial inclusion in the Philippines, Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, unveiled on Tuesday a new support program for local financial services companies.

“By leveraging Alibaba Cloud’s IT infrastructure and innovative fintech (financial technology) products, digital financial services can reach more of the country’s unbanked Filipinos,” Allen Guo, country manager for the Philippines of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, said during a virtual press briefing.

The “Fintech ONE” program hopes to further support the digital transformation journeys of financial services companies in the country, according to the technology company.

Only 29% of adult Filipinos are part of the banked population, leaving some 51.2 million individuals unbanked, the 2019 Financial Inclusion Survey showed.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas wants 70% of Filipino adults to have accounts in financial institutions by 2023.

Under Alibaba Cloud’s Fintech ONE program, participating fintech companies in the country will be offered access to advanced cloud technologies, free technical training, and professional consultations.

“Each eligible company will receive up to $10,000 in cloud coupons which can be redeemed against Alibaba Cloud products and services as well as support from Alibaba Group’s ecosystem,” the company said.

“Eligible companies will benefit from streamlined access to technology solutions from Alibaba Group’s ecosystem and its affiliated company Ant Group — including those that facilitate e-commerce and payment processes — to help participating companies maximize emerging opportunities in the Philippines,” it added.

The technology company will also help fintech companies in engaging with local and global investors and accelerators to help them grow their businesses.

The company, which offers a complete suite of cloud services to customers worldwide, currently works with various fintech players including GCash and UBX.

“Alibaba Cloud provides a mix of fintech solutions to GCash to handle large volumes of digital transactions with minimal interruption and high-cost efficiency,” it said. — Arjay L. Balinbin