Santiago J. Arnaiz
Earlier today, local fintech platform Cashalo launched ‘Cash Academy’, a nationwide financial literacy program aimed towards developing a generation of more financially knowledgeable, responsible, and empowered Filipinos.
According to the latest Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Financial Inclusion Survey conducted in 2017, 77 percent of the country’s adult population remains unbanked. A 2015 Standard and Poors report shows that only 25 percent of Filipinos are financially literate. And as of last year, only 12 percent of Filipino adults borrowed from a formal financial institution.
‘Cash Academy’ comprises of eight free learning modules and training resources aimed at delivering a holistic and practical overview of sound financial management. These cover concepts like budgeting, money management, and credit through a short video series accessible on both YouTube and their dedicated microsite.
After finishing the modules, visitors take a localized version of the World Bank’s seven-point financial literacy quiz, gauging their basic understanding of the topics covered and awarding them a digital certification for completing the course. Cashalo hopes to establish in the near future this certification as a formally recognized means to increase one’s credit score.
‘Cash Academy’ also offers training on responsible and efficient use of financing for micro-entrepreneurs to start and grow their small businesses.
In addition to their online resources, Cash Academy conducts offline trainings, with roughly 30 sessions lined up to the end of the year so far.
In partnership with ASSISTAsia, Google, the Department of Trade and Industry, and Go Negosyo, Cashalo has already reached over 10,000 Filipinos through CashAcademy’s beta phase online and offline trainings.
The Cashalo team is currently looking to collaborate with government agencies willing to help expand their reach, and private partners to co-develop new learning modules.
“Millions of hard-working and underserved Filipinos are held back from building a better life because of poor financial literacy and access,” said Hamilton Angluben, general manager of Cashalo. “Through our Cash Academy financial literacy program, we strive to empower them with the skills, confidence, and opportunity to take control of their financial future.”
“Our programs are designed to be easily delivered where people are, scalable nationwide, and help drive socio-economic contribution through financial autonomy,” he said.
With the launch of Cash Academy, Cashalo intends to scale the program nationwide through strategic private and public partnerships. Over the last year, Cashalo has participated in training events with DTI’s SME Roving Academy (SMERA), while also supporting Google’s digital literacy training for women, Digiskarteng Pinay, and ASSIST’s digital empowerment movement, Digibayanihan.
“[These] partnerships are vital to achieving our goal, as we work as a collective force to drive inclusive, sustainable growth and strengthen communities across the Philippines,” said Angluben.