BanKo ramps up digitalization efforts

Lawrence Agcaoili - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The microfinance arm of Ayala-led Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) aims to disburse more loans to self-employed micro-entrepreneurs (SEMEs) to help them fully recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

BanKo senior vice president Rod Mabiasen told reporters during the bank’s monthly media roundtable series that 2021 was a strong year for the bank as it extended P9 billion in loans to micro-entrepreneurs, demonstrating the bank’s commitment to help small business owners recover from the adverse effects of the pandemic.

Mabiasen, who is also heads financial inclusion and microfinance at BanKO, said existing borrowers were forced to close in 2020, affecting their ability to pay their loans.

With the further reopening of the economy, Mabiasen said businesses are now continuing to recover.

“In terms of the lingering effects of the pandemic, most of them have recovered, if not fully recovering from the effects of the health crisis,” Mabiasen said.

By strengthening the financial capacities of its clients, BanKo aims to create a positive impact on their quality of life, and ultimately, contribute to the country’s economic growth.

Mabiasen said BanKo released P32 billion in loans and served more than 200,000 SEMEs since it was launched in 2016. It now has 309 BPI BanKo branches and branch lite units with a 20 percent market share.

The bank was previously known as BPI Direct BanKo established in 2009 as a partnership among BPI, Globe Telecom, and conglomerate Ayala Corp. In 2016, BPI took full ownership and merged it with BPI Direct Savings Bank.

BanKo Mobile is designed as a convenient mobile app that allows clients to fulfill their banking needs – including opening an account; applying, monitoring and paying loans; buying load; paying bills; and sending money – anytime and anywhere.

The BanKo app also houses competitive products and services such as TODO Savings, a high-interest earning digital savings account; and NegosyoKo Lite for business loans as low as P10,000 with simple requirements.

With its digital onboarding, clients can now quickly open a TODO savings account online with one valid ID. There are also no deposit and maintaining balance requirements, and no dormancy fees. TODO also comes with a four percent interest rate per anum to maximize savings.

Applying for a loan is also made easier with BanKo’s digitally assisted lending feature, NegosyoKo Lite, where clients can apply for a loan for as low as P10,000.

“With our increasing digital capabilities, we are able to make everyday banking easier and more accessible to SEMEs and the masang Pilipino. We aim to uplift the lives of more Filipinos and, ultimately, share in the mission of building a better Philippines,” Mabiasen said.


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