MOBILE LENDING platform Cashalo introduced a consumer purchase loan product allowing customers to borrow funds for their specific shopping needs, in line with its financial inclusion push.
In a press briefing on Tuesday, the digital lending firm introduced Cashacart, a basket financing solution which enables clients to borrow between P2,000 and P19,999 to purchase items from Cashalo’s 250 retail partners.
The loan, which can be approved in as fast as 10 minutes, is payable up to nine months and carries an interest rate for as low as 3.99% per month. The service is paperless and does not require collateral.
“Unlike traditional consumer financing solutions that are restrictive, Cashacart gives consumers the freedom and flexibility to purchase multiple products that they need…” Cashalo said.
To mitigate bad loans, Cashalo Head of Sales Gerard M. Betita said the firm starts at the store level where its agents are trained to screen the customers.
“Our sales officers are trained and equipped to explain all the loans, the parameters and the details,” Mr. Betita told BusinessWorld in an interview. “Mitigating risk is part of the risk management system, and we start it at the store level thorough our sales officers.”
Hamilton C. Angluben, Cashalo general manager, added that the lending firm is leveraging on advanced data science to assess risks and mitigate fraud.
“After the store level, that’s when we leverage on technology. We’re doing [artificial intelligence], machine learning, facial recognition and all these anti-fraud algorithms, so it’s coupled with advanced data science,” he said.
Moving forward, Mr. Angluben said it is “more prudent” to expand the basket financing service by saturating high-density areas first before going into rural areas.
“If you look at the retail industry…they’re having deeper penetration in the rural areas. In the same way, if they’re going to be there, we are also going to be there in the future,” he said.
Currently, Mr. Betita said Cashacart can only go “as rural as” areas near Metro Manila such as Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, Cavite, and Batangas.
Cashalo is a joint venture between Gokongwei-controlled JG Summit Holdings and Hong Kong-based financial technology firm Oriente.
It lends money between P1,500 and P10,000 through its mobile platform. Application is done online, requiring clients to submit documents and IDs digitally.
In a previous interview, Mr. Angluben said the financing company aims to have a million clients by the first half of 2019 as it eyes to serve unbanked and underserved Filipinos through technology. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal