THERE is a new financial technology (fintech) company in the country, and is seeking to give Filipinos without bank accounts an opportunity to secure funds.

It provides an opportunity for either individuals or MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) that are left out simply because they cannot transact with a bank.

Geoffrey PrenticeOriente Co-founder Geoffrey Prentice. (Photo: courtesy of Oriente)

The fintech firm goes by the name Cashalo, “a mobile app designed to unlock financial freedom and opportunity for all Filipinos.”

Behind Cashalo, crafted with an eye for inclusion and innovation, are Oriente and Express Holdings, Inc. in a joint venture.

Of course, the founders of Oriente are the people behind internet titan Skype and LU.com;  Express Holdings, Inc. is a subsidiary of JG Summit Holdings, Inc.

As late as February 2018, Cashalo was still in its beta version, but on Tuesday, October 23, the people behind the fintech app will formally press-launched Cashalo, with Geoffrey Prentice, co-founder of Oriente; Lance Gokongwei, CEO of JG Summit Holdings; and Hamilton Angluben, general manager of Cashalo in attendance.

The press conference will be held at One Canvas Events Place, 2235 Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City.

Lance GokongweiJG Summit Holdings, Inc. CEO Lance Gokongwei. (Photo: Youtube)

Below is a news release:

Cashalo, the Filipino technology and financial services company committed to building a more equitable future for all Filipinos, is excited to support the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in its mission to provide more financial access and choice for under-served communities and MSMEs.Cashalo logo
Although the Philippine economy grew by 6.7% last year, the fastest among across all ASEAN nations, the country still ranked among the highest in income inequality. Furthermore, according to the BSP’s Financial Inclusion Survey 2017, over 77 percent of the Philippine adult population remains unbanked. An alarmingly high number, that calls for an immediate evolution of existing financial systems to help bridge these gaps that continue to be major roadblocks to the growth of the Philippine economy.

According to Hamilton Angluben, General Manager of Cashalo, “Cashalo was founded on the principles of inclusion and innovation. We have a significant opportunity to not only transform the lives of millions of Filipinos, but to also deliver lasting, positive social impact through proprietary technology that helps unlock greater financial access, freedom and opportunity.”

While financial inclusion does not automatically come with economic growth, there are clear and compelling socio-economic reasons to work toward a more financially inclusive future. “World Bank estimates indicate that the country’s GDP could rise by more than 14 percent if the financial inclusion gap were closed. Cashalo sees this as a significant opportunity that we believe can be achieved through collaboration between the public and private sector,” says Angluben.

Hamilton AnglubenHamilton Angluben, general manager, Cashalo. (Photo: Gadgets Magazine)

BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. has emphasized that digital technologies and the mobile platform spark the emergence of a new competitive space where there is room to innovate, diversify and widen the reach of financial services that would better address the evolving needs of consumers while mitigating risk.

Cashalo’s mobile app is designed to complement existing systems and bring greater benefits to more individuals and MSMEs by using next generation mobile and data technology. Cashalo has spent months to develop a proprietary infrastructure that analyes mobile, social and behavioral data, proprietary credit engine and risk models to develop an alternative credit assessment and financial identity for customers. To put into context, almost 90% of Filipino adults have no formal credit score and are considered financially under-served.

“We look to empower millions of Filipinos with no credit history to build financial identities and allow them to participate in the global economy,” says Angluben.

With the country’s huge untapped potential and a significant number of un-banked and under-served Filipinos, Cashalo states that digital consumer finance platforms tailored to meet the specific needs of average Filipinos and MSME, offers vast improvements in security, transparency and control, allowing millions of Filipinos access to the financial services they need with lesser requirements and lower fees.

Since its beta launch a few months ago, Cashalo has elevated the economic well-being of tens of thousands of Filipinos. In keeping with its commitment to serve more communities, it is actively seeking strategic partners to add to its existing list that includes Vivo, IMI Global, Philippine Airport Group Support Solutions, Inc., and those under JG Summit Holdings, Inc, including Cebu Pacific.

As a founding member of the Fintech Alliance Philippines, Cashalo is also deeply committed to development of grassroots community engagement programs that drives awareness and fosters financially responsible behavior. Currently, Cashalo operates a “Train the Trainers” program that will deploy Cashalo advocates who will lead financial education seminars for employees, students, teachers, and communities. (from Cashalo)