MANILA, Philippines– Leading payments and remittance network TrueMoney rolls out its award-winning Dagdag Puhunan program for the benefit of local communities amid the pandemic. In partnership with Unilever, it enables cashless payment for purchase of essential food and non-food products.
“Instead of paying products in cash, sari-sari store owners can transact through the secure Dagdag Puhunan platform, using their Unionbank credit line to directly purchase stocks from Truemoney’s FMCG partner. It eliminates the need for physical cash transactions and ensures the safety of retailers and distributors on the road,” shared Rocio-An Rentuza, TrueMoney Loans BU Head.
Amy Garcia, a sari-sari store owner for more than two decades recognizes the low touch economy innovations of Dagdag Puhunan. She cited the convenience of having a fixed retail budget and direct access to big FMCGs like Unilever.
“There is no need to go out and close my store to stock up on goods.” Garcia adds.
At present, sari-sari store customers of Unilever’s distributors can purchase additional stocks on affordable credit and do not have to worry about running out stock before the next Unilever salesman’s visit or the inconvenience and cost of replenishing stock at the wholesaler.
“This partnership with TrueMoney is about bridging the gap and providing our customers access to financial solutions that otherwise could not be provided by the traditional banking industry,” Val Gran, Unilever iDT Executive said. “This is attributed to stringent documentary requirements and other barriers in accessing capital.”
In the course of the two-year partnership, the TrueMoney platform comprises 77% Unilever loyalty program customer base, made up of its distributors and their sari-sari store customers. The inclusion of the Dagdag Puhunan credit facility expanded this partnership.
To date, TrueMoney has 11,000 active stores and targets to acquire 120,000 unique sari-sari stores by the end of the year. The maximum short term working capital amount for sari-sari stores is P10,000, which may increase over time depending on the retailer’s usage or credit standing.
“Through Dagdag Puhunan, we hope to enable sari-sari stores access to innovative financial services that would lead to better lives,” Rocio-An Rentuza, TrueMoney Loans Business Unit Head, said. “With the program, TrueMoney hopes to bridge access of sari-sari stores to Unionbank’s affordable credit in order to give them an alternative to the usurious rates of the informal lenders.”
Last year, the Dagdag Puhunan program won the Social, Sustainable & Responsible Banking award at the 2019 Efma Retail Banking Summit Asia Awards. The category recognizes innovations that address social concerns, support SME growth, and help promote environment-friendly policies.
TrueMoney’s goal to grow the sari-sari store segment through the capabilities of FMCG partners builds long-term relationships like Garcia’s more than 20-year-old Amy Store that will benefit and trickle down to the rest of the community.
TrueMoney Philippines, which operates under Ascend Money, is the largest Fintech company in Southeast Asia and a digital finance joint venture of the C.P. Group and Ant Financial. The company has over 70,000 financial services locations in Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines. TrueMoney aims to drive financial inclusion across the various countries by offering innovative and affordable financial services to the masses.
Unilever has the biggest volume of retailers, with 8,000 out of 11,000 active store members in the TrueMoney platform.