Digitalization priority of microfinance sector

·2 min read

PIVOTING to the new normal, the microfinance sector has made digitalization a major priority, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported.

Based on a rapid survey conducted in 2020, 96 percent of microfinance institutions in the country cited digital payments as a primary initiative last year. This was followed by 72 percent citing app or online platform launching.

“Our micro-entrepreneurs, nanays and tatays can approach microfinance institutions to open an account and secure credit with just their Philippine Identification System ID (Philsys ID). Onboarding will be more cost-efficient too for our service providers,” BSP Gov. Benjamin Diokno said during a recent Microfinance Council of the Philippines conference.

The rollout of the Philsys ID, a key identity document, will enable more unbanked Filipinos to gain access to the formal financial system, as well as allow them to enjoy digital payment services.

Diokno said the possibilities are endless as the BSP continues to push for digitalization of micro-entrepreneurs by actively participating in a robust digital finance infrastructure.

Technology investment

In Cebu, one of the biggest cooperatives, Cebu People’s Multi-Purpose Cooperative (People’s Coop) also invested in technology to reach existing and potential members.

Macario Quevedo, chief executive officer of People’s Coop, said they are ready to be part of and embrace various changes under the new normal of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We strengthened our members’ communication. That’s why we put up our own online office at https://new.mycoop.ph/. We strengthened our website for it to cater to their needs,” he said in an earlier interview.

The BSP is also boosting whole-of-government efforts to diversify the broadband market so that Filipinos across the country can have affordable internet connectivity and digital financial services available to them.

“We have begun with steps to encourage the adoption of satellite broadband. Microfinance institutions can save on information technology costs, automate processes and enhance delivery of financial services in the last mile through this technology,” said Diokno. (JOB)

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