The Philippines’ population growth is among the highest of all Southeast Asian countries and its economic performance has remained strong, despite the overall slow growth worldwide.
According to HSBC’s estimations, the Philippines will be the 16th biggest economy globally; the biggest in Southeast Asia and the 5th biggest in Asia by 2050.
And with such a rapid growing economy, the country’s future is promising. However, there are several issues within its financial industry that need to be addressed to drive its economic growth. For example, the World Bank shows that 69% of the adult population in the Philippines is not banked.
According to Malik Khan Kotadia, senior vice president of Global Banking Group, fintech firms have a key role to play in the financial industry. This role is vital, especially since these firms complement various services and products being offered by banks as a way of enhancing financial inclusion.
While commenting on how fintech firms can be an added feature to bank products and services, Kotadia, said, “Things have changed around us … banking environment has been changing too. We see banks moving, but moving slow. With the growth in mobile penetration, FinTech becomes an enabler [for the banks] to help expand and attract other markets, tapping into other segments that banks would otherwise have difficulty [going after].”
There are several new challengers and enablers that are potentially poised to revolutionize the Philippines’ financial industry. The leading 12 fintech startup companies to watch out for in the Philippines are:
A company that offers relevant, accessible and affordable digital financial products and services specifically to the unbanked population. It makes mobile and online financial transactions hassle-free. The company operates Sendah, Sendah Direct and Sendah Remit.
A Hong Kong-based firm that obtains and analyzes non-traditional data from social media networks to establish applicants’ credit scoring (worthiness) and social verification. It now covers 15 countries. Early this year, the company signed a deal with FK BCG – a consultancy company, to launch its operations in South Korea.
A Manila-based money transfer company that uses blockchain technology to facilitate cheap, secure and convenient remittances to and from Southern Asia.
A Singapore-based firm that uses proprietary technology of artificial intelligence in its specialized financial analytics solutions. This global company enables businesses to develop customized credit analytics reports that can be used for making better financial decisions.
A mobile app that allows users to purchase credit upfront from different online stores, as well as partner businesses which are listed on the app, in exchange for exclusive rewards, freebies and discounts. It contains a payment functionality, which allows the registration of users’ credit cards and also lets them make orders prior to picking them up.
A peer-to-peer (P2P) invoice company that helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) convert their unclaimed receivables into cash.
An online platform that facilitates cashless transactions. It has a combination of payment functionalities and social media, allowing customers to buy products and services, as well as share “moments”.
An e-commerce portal that allows Filipinos within and outside the country to purchase various life’s essentials such as health care, supplies, groceries, education, insurance, prescription medicine, electronics, special packages and bill payments for their families and friends in the Philippines.
An online loans marketplace that offers loans origination and management services to credit providers and financial institutions. In February of this year, the firm inked a deal with UnionBank to increase the bank’s retail loans.
An advising platform for home, business, vehicle and personal loans. The platform scrutinizes users’ needs to determine loan products that best suits them.
The first online pawnshop in the Southeast Asian region. It allows users to sell and/or pawn their personal items online in exchange for money.
This startup is yet to be launched. It will focus on providing financial services to underserved and unbanked customers. Its main aim is to increase financial inclusion in the Philippines.