Globe myBusiness organized the Business Consultation Caravan (BCC) Online, a series of webinars to help entrepreneurs thrive during the COVID 19 pandemic. The special webinar series aims to educate Business owners on how to keep their businesses afloat during this especially challenging period.  Attendees get to hear and share best practices employed by other companies and trade organizations.  BCC also aims to create awareness on the different technology solutions that Globe myBusiness can offer.

The first episode focused on the business strategies SMEs are currently implementing to cope with the impacts of ECQ. This was followed by a webinar on how female business leaders and mompreneurs are managing their home and business roles during this pandemic. The third run focused on The Financial Sector After ECQ: How to Move Towards Recovery and Continuity.

The panel included Cathlyn Pavia, Assistant Vice President of the Enterprise Team at Mynt; Spark Perreras, co-founder and CEO of PearlPay; and Edison Tsai, executive director of SeedInTechnology, Inc. and member of the Board of Directors at the Fintech Philippines Association. The webinar was facilitated by EJ Arboleda, founder and CEO of Taxumo.

Together, the panelists discussed the financial technology boom and its opportunities for inclusion. According to reports, 67% of Filipinos are internet users and 93% of Filipinos aged 16 to 64 own smartphones. The increasing smartphone adoption and high internet use could address the low banking penetration, with 66% of Filipinos not having bank accounts.

Adapting to the new normal through financial technology

The ECQ, and potentially even after the quarantine, brought a different set of solutions for businesses. There is an increase in demand for digital payments to enable peer-to-peer transactions of online sellers, or consumer-to-business services like banking, groceries, and food delivery and takeout.

In fact, GCash app registration and usage has grown exponentially since the start of ECQ. Daily registrations doubled and transactions are up +40% compared to the previous quarter. Aside from everyday transfers and payments, the platform has expanded to financial services like investments, savings, and credit. It also offers business solutions such as a disbursement platform, and payment solutions using QR codes, in-app bills payments, and online payments.

“We see adoption of digital transactions as a coping practice that is becoming the new norm of doing things. It’s just a matter of continuously educating people to make them understand and appreciate the benefits,” says Pavia. “We are creating a digital financial ecosystem through GCash. We want to build a cashless nation that leads to finance for all.”

Making financial services accessible to all

To make financial technology truly accessible, Perreras believes in including the rural bank sector. Rural banks are relatively smaller than commercial banks, but they have more branches and customers when put together. The challenge now, he says, is that they “are trapped using passbooks, which is a paper-based technology.”

“We want to solve it by empowering these thousands of rural banks with our mobile payment and mobile banking technologies,” Perreras adds.

PearlPay is an end-to-end digital banking solutions provider that empowers rural banks in the Philippines with digital transformation. By offering the latest innovations in banking solutions, they hope to enable underserved financial institutions, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to become commercially competitive.

“The investment in software, especially in digital technologies that allow us to participate in the digital economy has never been more pronounced. Digital payments will see an exponential increase because of this pandemic,” shares Perreras.

The power of crowdlending

Businesses need financing for a variety of reasons, including operating expenses, marketing and sales, expansions, and more. The challenge, especially for SMEs, is that it is difficult to get financing from the formal banking sector. This is especially true now during the pandemic when many companies will experience a gap in revenue.

Tsai explains that crowdlending happens when a group of people invests in money for a common purpose. Unlike traditional funding where businesses borrow large amounts of money from a few institutions like banks, crowdlending “decentralizes lending by giving the power to the people and allowing them to chip in.”

Both investors and business owners can experience a number of benefits when they join crowdlending programs. Individuals can invest in short-term financing projects and enjoy returns of seven to 14% per annum. Meanwhile, business owners can raise needed funds to sustain their ventures.

SeedIn is Southeast Asia’s largest business financing platform that empowers local businesses and individuals seeking short-term investments. It has a proven track record with P9.4 billion raised collectively from 450,000 investors. Together, they have raised enough funds to support 500 businesses across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Cambodia, and the Philippines.

Globe myBusiness is the trusted partner of SMEs in every step of their digitalization journey. Through the webinars, it aims to help executives be future-ready, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn more about Business Consultation Caravan and other efforts by Globe myBusiness via www.facebook.com/globemybusiness/.