By EDD K. USMAN, SDN, Twitter @edd1819, Instagram @bluestar0910, Facebook: SDN — Science, Digital & Current News
FINANCIAL inclusion is a much-talked about phrase among providers of financial services.
Not the least in the era of the all-embracing digital.
The World Bank defines “financial inclusion” to mean that “individuals and businesses have access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs – transactions, payments, savings, credit and insurance – delivered in a responsible and sustainable way.”
It added that it is “a key enabler to reducing poverty and boosting prosperity.”
It’s in this spirit, apparently, that Cashalo launched its Cash Academy during an event in Makati City.
The financial technology (fintech) platform “serving millions of unbanked Filipinos and business, said in a statement the Cash Academy is its “nationwide financial literacy program target at every Juan.”
Its objective is developing “a generation that is more financially knowledgeable, responsible, and empower.”
Cashalo’s aim with the Cash Academy jibes with its mission of providing every Juan with the skills and services needed to be independent and more capable to improve their financial health and unlock economic potential.
The fintech firm’s general manager, Hamilto “Hamil” Angluben said the academy’s program has eight free learning modules and training resources aimed at delivering a holistic and practical overview of sound financial management to help Filipinos transform into “Pera Experts” — meaning, financially aware and responsible.
Aside from its learning modules, the academy also offers training concerning the responsible and efficient use of financing for micro-entrepreneurs to guide them in starting and growing their small businesses.
Here’s to Filipinos’ financial inclusion. (Photo: SDN)
Angluben called for partnership with the intent to provide more content to the academy.
He assured that those who undergo training with the academy and receive certificate — which is very important — will have advantage in securing loans from lending companies. “You can get 30 to 40 percent in your cash credit,” he said.
He said the government, other agencies, and other companies should work together to achieve financial inclusion for Filipinos. “We are talking about the lives of 50 million Filipinos.”
“We are working with the BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas),” the Cashalo general manager said.
Cashalo, he pointed out, already has 1.5 million users and four million downloads.
On the other hand, he said, Cashalo can’t approved all their borrowers.
Sreeni Narayanan, founder and group managing director of Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST), spoke at the Cash Academy launch event.
He noted that the use of technology to create awareness potentially can connect millions of people.
Narayanan cited Filipinos as being “one of the most online-savvy” people. ”
“Digital media is a fantastic way (to connect people),” he added.
Narayanan emphasized that “knowledge is very important in leveraging digital…life-changing…can resonate throughout their life.”
The ASSIST founder said “education is the catalyst for growth.
Even before its formal launch, Cashalo has already delivered online and offline financial literacy and business skills training through the beta phase of the Cash Academy to more than 10,000 Filipinos so far.
It partnered with ASSIST Asia, Google, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and Go Negosyo to achieve the feat.
BSP’s Financial Inclusion Survey showed that 77 percent of adult Filipinos are still unbanked.
On the other hand, Standard and Poor’s (S&P) report found out that only 25 percent of Filipinos are financially literate.
Another figure said only 12 percent Filipino adults borrowed from a formal financial institution.
Angluben blamed poor financial literacy and access for Filipinos’ lack of better life.
“Millions of hard-working and underserved Filipinos are held back from building a better life because of poor financial literacy and access.
“By equipping every Juan with a basic foundational knowledge through our Cash Academy financial literacy program, we strive to empower them with skills, confidence, and opportunity to control of their financial future.
“Our programs are designed to be easily delivered where people are, scalable nationwide, and help drive socio-economic contribution through financial autonomy,” he emphasized.
Cashalo was launched in November 2018. (SDN)