More and more women are turning to financial technology, or simply “FinTech,” to advance economically. They are granted easier means to payments, insurance, savings, investments, and loans, empowering them in their business ventures.
“Financial inclusion is gender neutral, but we recognize the important role of women as head of households and drivers of microbusinesses. Pushing for financial inclusion is key in empowering women, especially Filipina entrepreneurs. Towards this end, KasamaKA is providing women with more opportunities in terms of better access to financial services ,” said FINTQ managing director Lito Villanueva at a panel during the 10th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit organized by GoNegosyo.
Villanueva shared that about 64-percent of Lendr’s borrowers, FINTQ’s digital lending platform, are female. This reflects recent data from the World Bank Global Findex, which showed that the percentage of formal account ownership—including both bank accounts and mobile money wallet— in the country is still dominated by women at 37.9% than men (24.4%).
A Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas data, meanwhile reveals, microenterprises constitute nearly 85 percent of bank microfinance loans as of end-September 2017, majority of which are owned by women.
Having a full ‘financial armament’ is key to growing business
Villanueva underscored the need for “financial armament” for businesses to grow: “Women entrepreneurs should not only focus on having access to loans when growing their business, they should also know and have other financial products such as savings, insurance, and investments to ensure they have other sources of cash flow to expand their business.”
Apart from this, Villanueva pointed out that business owners should be keen on all details and aspects of the financial products they are availing. It is imperative to thoroughly read and understand the terms and conditions for financing, as well as avail of services through reputable financial institutions.
FINTQ’s currently has over 70 bank and non-bank institution partners. It is also now working with CoopHub to make digital lending more accessible to over 26,000 cooperatives nationwide.
Lendr has the most expansive loan offerings: mSME loans, traditional salary, personal, home and auto loan products, mobile crop loan, medicine loan, overseas Filipino loan, truck and equipment loan, and more. This lending platform has also partnered with over five insurance companies for its digital insurance initiative.
Growing movement for financial inclusion
To further empower Filipina entrepreneurs, including those in the rural areas, FINTQ through KasamaKA—a grassroots-based, self-help, and digital-enabled social intervention and last mile solution to promote financial literacy and inclusive growth—will be introducing a slew of programs this year. The programs include KasamaKA Microsavings; KasamaKA Microinsurance; KasamaKA Lending via Lendr; and KasamaKA Microinvestments, which enable Filipina business owners to open a deposit account for PHP 20, get a three-month microinsurance for PHP 25, or make an investment for PHP 50.
Voyager aims to include 30 million Filipinos in the formal financial system by 2020 through its digital platforms, which is in line with the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion.