BanKo readies micro-entrepreneurs for digital shift in financial services
BPI Direct BanKo, the microfinance arm of the Bank of the Philippines Islands (BPI), continues to reach out to its self-employed microentrepreneur (SEME) clients, urging them to go digital in conducting financial transactions.
Mr. Rod Mabiasen Jr., BanKo’s head of financial inclusion and microfinance solutions, said they are continuously engaging with old and new clients, as part of their efforts to build client trust and make them comfortable with using BanKo’s digital platforms.
“The key is to first introduce the functionalities that are most relevant to them. For our borrowers, we let them know that they can access their loan accounts in the app to verify that their payments are reflected in the loan balance. Once they get comfortable with the platform, we show them its other functionalities,” said Mr. Mabiasen.
BanKo is adding more app features this year to elevate its clients’ digital banking experience. These include innovations that will allow SEMEs to apply for loans and other financial solutions to support their business operations and enable existing borrowers to view their amortizations and payment schedules.
BanKo is also fine tuning the capabilities of the QR code system to allow more seamless inter-bank transfers and payments.
To reach more SEMEs across the country, BanKo will continue to seek partnerships that can help advance financial literacy programs that complement the bank’s digitalization initiatives.
“We shall continue our partnerships with LGUs, DTI, and organizations to reach out to the microentrepreneurs. We will cover topics such as financial wellness, cash flow management, managing loans, as well as the holistic needs of clients that go beyond finances and loans,” said Mr. Mabiasen.
These measures heed the call for greater collaboration among relevant sectors in the society, as recommended by the CASTER scoping study, to help MSMEs adapt to digital banking. The study found that microentrepreneurs are falling behind in terms of ability to conduct financial transactions digitally.
The Collective Action Secretariat to Enhance Resilience among MFIs and MSMEs (CASTER) Scoping Study was conducted to evaluate opportunities, challenges, and solutions that may assist MSME and microfinancing institutions in their business recovery efforts. The study was a joint undertaking between Restart Me, BPI and BanKo.
On top of these efforts, Mr. Mabiasen said the bank will continue accrediting cash agents to accept loan repayments of clients from other parts of the country. This provides an accessible option for clients in more remote areas and ensure that nobody gets left behind amid the digital onboarding mission.
Published on June 2021