Xendit eyes more partnerships in Philippines

Lawrence Agcaoili - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Silicon Valley-backed financial technology firm Xendit is open to partnering with more banks in the Philippines to help the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) achieve its financial inclusion goals.

Yang Yang Zhang, managing director at Xendit Philippines, said the Indonesia startup is willing to support the digital transformation of banks in the country to reach the underserved and unbanked areas.

“I think that we are trying to be as inclusive as possible. So we’re really open to working with anyone,” Zhang told The STAR in a virtual interview.

Zhang said Xendit continues to expand its portfolio in the Philippines while playing an active role in building meaningful partnerships to positively impact the economy.

“Just as we try to work on digital transformation journeys for our customers, we also want to do that for our partners,” she said.

She said the fintech wants to offer its assistance and skills set to banks that are embarking on their digital transformation journeys.

“I think our incentives are really aligned, they want their bank accounts to have more usability, we want to help them realize that,” Zhang said.

Xendit recently strengthened its partnership with GrabPay by further expanding its top up options.

“We are actually releasing BDO Direct debit for GrabPay. It is going to be a limited release but it will slowly roll out  over the next couple of weeks,” Zhang said.

She said direct debit would change the world for Southeast Asia as consumers would be able to link their accounts for online transactions.

Zhang explained the process would also allow merchants to allow their customers to use their bank accounts.

She said  Xendit is strongly supporting the three-year digital transformation roadmap of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) that aims to transform the Philippines into a cash-lite from a cash-heavy economy.

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno has committed to raise the share of digital transactions to total transactions to 50 percent as well as the percentage of Filipino adults with bank accounts to 70 percent by 2023.

The goal could be achieved earlier than expected due to the shift in consumer behavior amid the  coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think the pandemic has done a lot in convincing people about the value of contactless payment. Because now it is not just a matter of convenience but a matter of safety,” Zhang said.

Jonathan Bates, head of GrabPay Philippines, said there is a growing trend to digital payments and those who have embraced it cited that they enjoy the convenience, the quick transaction time and low processing fees.

Xendit Group CEO and founder Moses Lo said its suite of services is designed to make payments simple, secure, and easy for customers while enabling businesses to grow exponentially.

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