CASHALO has surpassed its goal to have a million clients by the first semester. — HTTPS://WWW.CASHALO.COM/

MOBILE LENDING platform Cashalo breached its target to hit a million clients in the first half of the year as the firm moves into the credit business.

Cashalo General Manager Hamilton C. Angluben said the lending firm ended the first semester with about 1.5 million registered users, greater than one million it earlier targeted.

Cashalo also had more than a million financial identities and four million application downloads as of end-June.

“Because of our two new products, we cannot have a real accurate forecast given the growth is exponential, not incremental,” Mr. Angluben told BusinessWorld in a recent interview.

He added that Cashalo is “moving more into credit business” and “not much in cash loans,” as it seeks to address the need of Filipinos for credit.

“It’s really what we see the need of Filipinos right now. Less than two percent of the population have a credit card. Imagine the problem we’re addressing and we’re trying to solve,” Mr. Angluben said.

In April, Cashalo launched in beta mode its air ticket financing, wherein customers can book domestic Cebu Pacific flights which can be paid in installments.

According to Cashalo’s website, the loan limit is P7,000 and can be paid within three or six months. Loans can be approved in as fast as four hours.

“This will move on to other e-commerce players. Once we’ve done it with Cebu Pacific, it’s easy to implement it to other retail players,” Mr. Angluben told reporters during its anniversary banquet.

Apart from this, the digital lending firm last month also launched on beta mode its micropayment financing, wherein clients can borrow starting at P200, which can be used to pay in convenience stores, groceries, and drug stores, among others.

“With this product, we will be able to approve anyone as long as you see the data you send to us is consistent. Maybe 80-90% who applied will get this one,” Mr. Angluben said.

Cashalo started operations last year as a joint venture between Hong Kong-based financial technology firm Oriente and Gokongwei-controlled JG Summit Holdings, Inc.

It offers cash loans and consumer basket financing through its mobile platform. Application is done online, requiring clients to submit documents and IDs digitally.

In December, Cashalo became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oriente after it increased its stake in the fintech firm to 100% from 50%. However, JG Summit continues to be “an important strategic partner and investor” of Oriente. — K.A.N. Vidal