JG Summit ventures into digital lending

Iris Gonzales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines -  A subsidiary of JG Summit Holdings Inc. has formed a joint venture with China-based Oriente to set up a digital financial service company to serve underbanked consumers and micro, small and medium enterprises in the Philippines.

Specifically, the joint venture will put up a marketplace that will enable Filipinos to tap into credit facilities for their financial needs such as tuition, medical expenses or small business.

JG Summit president  Lance Gokongwei said the venture would help improve lending in the country through attractive interest rates.

“Leveraging its experience building internet giants LU.com and Skype, Oriente is using technology and data science to tap into JG Summit’s resources to enable online peer-to-peer lending and wealth management at attractive interest rates,” Gokongwei said.

Almost 90 percent of adult Filipinos are not covered by a credit bureau, leaving many people resort to informal means to borrow money, according to the World Bank.

Oriente CEO and co-founder of LU.com Hubert Tai said the joint venture would create a digital infrastructure and social ecosystem to fuel financial inclusion, enabling credit and wealth accumulation.

Geoffrey Prentice, co-founder of Oriente and Skype, added the joint venture is in response to the need to provide options to informal lending in the Philippines.

He cited Skype as an example of how technology can help improve the needs of consumers.

The joint venture is in the pre-operating and developmental stage, and is expected to launch in early 2018.

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