Fintech company launches platform for MSMEs

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By Krista A. M. Montealegre,
National Correspondent

FINANCIAL TECHNOLOGY firm formally launched its platform that aims to empower micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in an effort to establish the biggest community-based digital transactions network in the country.

Founded two years ago, offers more than 300 digital services to over a million Filipino consumers through its network of over 1,600 retailers, generating close to P2 billion worth of transactions.

“Our end goal is to be present in all barangays — all 42,000 of them. For 2018, we just want to accelerate our deployment,” President and CEO John Joseph Gabriel C. Puzon said in a briefing in Makati City on Tuesday.’s services include utility bills payment, select government fees, money services, micro-insurance, mobile loading, online gaming credits and ticketing. It is working on adding credit card and airline payments to its services.

Anchored on innovation and technology, the company came up with an affordable and user-friendly front-end system designed for community-based agent partners such as sari-sari stores, laundromats, bakeries and barber shops, Mr. Puzon said.

He added that the platform allows consumers to conveniently participate in the digital financial ecosystem, while service providers can establish touchpoints in the community at a fraction of the cost of establishing a traditional outlet.

Mr. Puzon believes plays an important role in breaking barriers to financial inclusion and bring digital transactions closer to communities.

About 34% of towns and cities in the Philippines still do not have access to banks, but this goes down to 10% if non-banking institutions such as pawnshops will be factored in, Jenny A. Romero, bank officer at the BSP’s Inclusive Finance Advocacy Office, said in the same briefing.

“The BSP has been looking at digital means to fast-track and expand our financial reach,” Ms. Romero said.

“It is a good business model for someone who wants to start a business and for those with an existing one, it is a good way of enhancing what a small entrepreneur is earning,” Trade Undersecretary Zenaida C. Maglaya said.

Consumers can avail of the business starter kit inclusive of an agnostic point-of-sale device for a one-time fee of P35,000, with an additional P15,000 as starting operating fund to process transactions.