BUY-now-pay-later firm Mocasa is aiming to onboard more than half a million users by the end of the year, its top official said.

The company also aims to reach 300,000 monthly active users by the end of the year by partnering with more local banks and merchants, Mocasa President and Chief Executive Officer Robin Wong said in an interview with BusinessWorld earlier this month.

This is triple the 100,000 active monthly users it recorded in its first year of operations, he said.

Mr. Wong said that while the target is achievable, he sees challenges in serving their target user base.

“The policy of Mocasa for Filipinos is to serve the underserved population who have not been well served with banks… and actually, the biggest challenge in this country is that there’s no central credit bureau for that population,” he said.

He said Mocasa will have to build in-house facilities to manage a credit line for every single user in that demographic.

A lack of cashless payment facilities could also be a challenge as digital banking or e-wallets are not convenient enough to use, Mr. Wong said.

“If you buy anything from Shopee or Lazada, I think 70% of Filipinos will choose to pay by cash on delivery. And in offline stores, I think more than 80% or even 90% of transactions are paid with cash,” he said.

Meanwhile, economic growth and financial inclusion efforts will drive overall loan demand in the consumer finance industry, Mr. Wong said.

“The growth of the economy will drive growth of consumer spending, and that will drive the need for a consumer financing tool or a digital payment tool like us,” he said.

Mr. Wong added that he expects more than half of Filipinos to be part of the formal financial system in the next 10 years, which could drive the adoption of cashless payments in the industry.

Mocasa also plans to ramp up partnerships with merchants and local banks this year to be able to achieve its targets, he said.

The company hopes to reach unbanked provinces and rural areas in the country, he added. — A.M.C. Sy