US-based firm offers microfinancing to 'unbanked, underserved' Filipinos

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 16 2018 07:29 PM | Updated as of Jan 24 2020 01:01 PM

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MANILA - An app-based global firm is offering microfinancing to the country's unbanked population through alternative credit scoring and flexible payment solutions, its CEO said Friday. 

Speaking to ANC, Tala's global CEO Shivani Siroya said the company has gained a 100,000 user base over the last 6 months. 

The Philippines is Tala's first market in Southeast Asia, she said.

"What excited us about this market was really the fact that there’s a massive underserved and under-banked population. We see that as an incredible opportunity," Siroya said. 

Loans are approved based on bills payment, mobile transactions, employment history, small business records and social network information instead of bank data, she said.

"We’re not focused on the bank data. Rather, we’re thinking about who are you as a person, what is your capacity, what’s your character," she said.

Siroya said clients can pay their loans through banks, remittance centers and mobile wallets.

"We’re building by understanding our customers. So it's really about meeting the customer where they are," she said.

Siroya said 95 percent of loan applications were accepted with a 92 percent repeat transaction rate.