BACKED by Oriente and JG Summit Holdings, Inc., a new fintech company — Cashalo — is now fully open for business.

All transaction processes are done digitally as the Filipino technology and financial services organization leverages Filipinos’ huge mobile penetration as it commits to accelerating financial inclusion in the Philippines.

Cashalo group b

From left, Lance Gokongwei, president and CEO, JG Summit Holdings, Inc.; Geoffrey Prentice, co-founder, Oriente; Joyce Suficiencia, acting deputy director, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP); and Hamilton Angluben, general manager, Cashalo mobile app. (EKU)

Cashalo is a “standalone mobile app that delivers access to affordable and secure credit for millions of unbanked consumers and MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) in the Philippines who need access to reliable and trusted financing options.”

Unlocking financial access for all Filipinos is Cashalo’s avowed mission.

In a nutshell, here’s the “new kid” on the digital block:

  • To provide on-demand lending and other personalized financial services to millions of unbanked Filipinos and underbanked consumers and MSMEs across the Philippines.
  • Proprietary technology provides robust alternatives to traditional credit scoring.
  • Extensive offline retail partner network of 250 stores to drive O2O (online to offline) offering for consumers.
  • Strong partnership ecosystem in development to accelerate financial literacy and inclusion in the Philippines in support of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

JG Summit’s unifying vision

Present at the event included Hamilton Angluben, general manager, Cashalo, who led the launch; Geoffrey Prentice, co-founder, Oriente; Lance Gokongwei, president and CEO, JG Summit Holdings, Inc.; and Joyce Suficiencia, acting deputy director, Inclusive finance Advocacy Office, BSP; partner organizations, and business leaders.

Gokongwei, in his brief speech at the event held at One Canvas Events Place in Makati City, reiterated the “unifying vision” of JG Summit Holdings.

“To lead our country to global competitiveness, and make life better for every Filipino. Our businesses range from food and beverage manufacturing to retail and real estate, aviation, petrochemicals, power generation, and financial services attest to our sharp focus to helping every Juan,” he emphasized.

One of the country’s top business leaders, Gokongwei said the partnership with Oriente in developing Cashalo manifested JG Summit Holdings, Inc.’s “singular drive.”

Gokognwei noted that over 40 million Filipinos are still underserved by financial institutions, and have yet to experience access to essential and affordable financial services and the benefits that come with it.

“A better life for every Juan. This is what we aim to provide through Cashalo,” he said.

He pointed out the tireless efforts of the Cashalo team in developing, testing and refining the product, but after its beta launch some months ago, it is already generating exciting numbers.

“JG Summit is excited to support Cashalo as it starts to roll out its financial literacy programs that will touch the lives of millions of Filipinos nationwide and ensure they become informed more informed of financial decision markets,” said Gokongwei.

Tool for progress and opportunity

As for Prentice, one of the guys behind Skype, he recalled how they came up with Cashalo, saying it was a “simple idea — to build a better, more equitable financial system powered by mobile technology for under-served consumers in emerging Asia’s fast growing economies.”

That was also two years ago, he said.

“We believe that credit should be used as a tool for progress and opportunity, and not become an obstacle to personal financial growth. Unlike most companies we’ve taken a hyper-local approach to cater to specific needs of under-served customers across emerging Asia,” said the Oriente co-founder.

Success in this market (Philippines), he pointed out, or any part of Southeast Asia, Prentice said it is required “to build local solutions, ground-up, in the market, to meet local consumer needs and unlock their untapped economic potential.”

He added that Cashalo as of the official launch already has 650 Filipino workers plus quickly increasing offline retail network for its ground-breaking O2O consumer financing product.

Prentice cited Oriente’s partnership with JG Summit Holdings which provided the local knowledge, vast resources, and access to its large network of employees, customers and infrastructue.

US$200 million investment

“In June, we jointly funded an investment of US$200 million (Php10 billion) over the next three years to Cashalo to fund the development, operations, and expansion of financially inclusive products for all Filipinos,” he said.

Angluben mentioned the company’s mission of unlocking greater financial freedom and opportunity for millions of Filipinos and micro entrepreneurs.

“We share a common mission with the BSP in accelerating financial inclusion in the Philippines. As a Filipino company, we take great pride and responsibility in developing products to achieve that goal,” the Cashalo general manager said.

With the mobile app that is available on the Apple and Google Play mobile app stores, consumers have the access to:

Multiple purpose-based financing options; a paper-less service and collateral-free they can access 24/7; lowest interest rates for non-bank on the market at 3.95  percent and no hidden fees; real-time credit scoring; choice of repayment schedule; and approval in as fast as 10 minutes.

Angluben said they will also provide financial literacy education and information campaign (EIC) for Filipinos to equip them with the knowledge on how to take care of their finances.

The Cashalo executive assured security for customers’ data, citing Oriente and Skype’s founders who have been keeping the two companies safe and secure from cybercriminals. (EKU)