PH ready for ‘Finance 2.0’ but needs better internet, change of ‘mindset’

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 23 2019 01:50 AM

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MANILA—The country is ready to leapfrog into mobile-led banking and finance dubbed "Finance 2.0", an official of financial services company Fiserv said Monday. 

Fiserv senior vice-president Marc Mathenz said the Philippines is at an "inflection point," where digital financial services can be adopted at a very rapid pace.

Mathenz, also Fiserv's managing director for Asia, said regulatory support from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas was crucial as the BSP aims to use digital means to provide banking services to 70 percent of the population who still don't have a bank account. 

Another positive development, Mathenz said, was the entry of a third telco player, which is expected to improve internet access and speed across the country. 

He said internet reliability was "an issue in terms of digitalization."

But Mathenz also acknowledged that mobile-led finance was still facing challenges in terms of widespread adoption.

"What has been lacking a bit other than the internet infrastructure has been also, a little bit, the mindset of the people," Mathenz said in an interview with ANC. 

Part of this mindset, he said, was the low importance given by some people to having a bank account, and the belief that only well-to-do people needed banks.

He said the Asia Pacific region is a "clear market leader when it comes to fintech" and that the Philippines was well-placed to benefit from tech-driven financial services. 

"The Philippines is in a wonderful position to do a mobile-led growth and development of Finance 2.0," he said.