Financial disruption ahead

Cover art Samantha Gonzales

Words by

Digital Reporter

“The Philippines is ready for financial disruption,” declared Jose Modesto Rubio, president and CEO of Globe Telecom‑owned fintech startup Mynt.

Mr. Rubio leads the company behind micro payment service platform GCash and personal and business loan provider Fuse.

During the Techonomy 2017 forum on July 7 at Maybank Performing Arts Theatre in BGC, Taguig City, he said the Philippine market is “ripe” for disruption as mainstream financial institutions have not provided a large majority of Filipinos with financial services.

“Technology is transforming every aspects of our lives. Unfortunately, in the Philippines technology hasn’t touched financial services yet,” he said. “But a wave of disruption driven by mobile technology is coming. Mobile technology will make financial services more accessible to Filipinos.”

He said the country’s readiness for financial disruption can be manifested through GCash and Fuse users, adding that, the two platforms have recorded 67% user growth in the past six months—doubling the number of their active users—and about 100,000 app downloads per month.

“This (financial disruption) is not impossible. This is already happening. It’s happening in China, it’s happening in India, and it’s happening in the Philippines today,” Ms. Rubio said.

The challenge he sees in making this disruption possible lies in the awareness of Filipinos and capacity of financial institutions to provide enough services.

“Financial services play an important role in the everyday lives of Filipinos. However, the biggest problem is the lack of financial access available in the market,” he said.

The results of the quadrennial Consumer Finance Survey conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas show that only two in 10 Filipino families have been saving money in banks. The survey says only 70% of those with bank accounts have interest earnings while only about two percent of households have credit cards.

“Mobile financial services present an opportunity to disrupt mainstream financial services to serve millions of financially underserved Filipinos,” he said.