Online lender sees ‘a lot of space’ in open banking

EXECUTIVES of Digido Finance Corp., operator of mobile finance app “UnaCash”, are unimpressed with slow internet connectivity in the country due to “open banking” opportunities.

“Internet connectivity is a big problem; but there is a lot of room for improvement in open banking,” said Nikita Saigutin, CEO of Digido Finance, at a recent press conference in Makati City. “Certainly it affects transactions; but it is the reality.

“Open banking” is the system of using third-party applications for accessing and managing consumers’ banking and financial accounts.

Saigutin said the company aims to capture the informal lending industry, popularly known as “5-6” money lending. He explained that the move was part of the company’s plan to expand its presence in the country and reach out to the unbanked sector.

Although a large number of the unbanked population does not use smartphones, Saigutin said he is confident that the company can enter this sector as the digitalization of markets is in full swing.

Currently, the financial inclusion gap remains a major challenge in the banking sector in the Philippines, he added. In response, Digido Finance has partnered with over a hundred merchants, he added.

huge demand

SAIGUTIN believes that Filipinos have become one of the pioneers in adopting and mastering digital financial solutions “despite earlier lagging behind their peers in Southeast Asia.”

He said that to meet this demand, Digido would focus on diversifying the financial products and services it offers to tap into new markets.

“In doing so, we will work to build new partnerships while strengthening old ones. It allows us to go further and offer more to the community,” he added. “To go further, we are reaching out to the offline market and presenting them with a safer, more technology-driven financial service.”

Saigutin said they see “huge demand for quality financial services”.

“That becomes our driving force. This encourages us to work tirelessly on UnaCash, improving existing services and introducing new ones,” he added.

Through a strong technical foundation and an expert finance mobile app that provides seamless access to digital finance and online installment purchase options. Saigutin said UnaCash can provide underbanked Filipinos with financial services that they could use for their daily activities.

Currently, Digido Finance offers via the UnaCash application cash loans and revolving credits for the purchase of goods under a “buy now, pay later” plan from partner merchants.

“Moving forward, we have to hope things will get better,” he said.

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