Education key to online trust in fintech platform
(The Philippine Star) - January 20, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — In a consumer culture where trust in products and brands are often built over years of face-to-face interactions and even personalized customer service, persuading suki-loving Filipinos to develop a meaningful understanding of the value of financial technologies or “fintech” platforms can be challenging.

Since a fintech service provider’s reliability and honesty is rooted in its ability to keep customers’ personal information secure while delivering its unique benefits, this data must be safeguarded and maintained with educational campaigns designed to protect, educate, and reassure user communities.

According to fintech platform Cashalo, recent events involving a number of digital lenders that have misused clients’ information underscored the importance of educational campaigns to drive greater awareness and understanding.

The impact of nefarious actions by a number of bad actors that took to social media to publicly shame their delinquent clients is unacceptable, Cashalo said. Government and industry in our collective responsibility to accelerate enforcement efforts and establish a new gold standard for the industry that puts customer protection first.

“These events highlight the need for greater transparency and supervision in the emerging industry to eliminate predatory behaviour that exploits financially illiterate Filipinos for profit. It is a wakeup call for the private sector to do more to educate Filipinos and empower them to be more vigilant in building a stronger financial future,” Cashalo general manager Hamilton Angluben said.

Recognizing this responsibility, Cashalo recently rolled out its nationwide grassroots financial education initiative CashAcademy that delivers both offline courses and online modules to reach more underserved communities.

The program has been purpose-built for Filipinos to learn and understand basic financial concepts enabling them to make responsible financial choices and habits, ultimately becoming ‘Pera Experts.’

Angluben said that fintech platforms are founded on the trust consumers place in keeping their information secure and in turn providing them access to better, more reliable, transparent and honest resources and services that improve their lives. 

“Cashalo uses the strictest global standards in security, systems, and processes and pride ourselves on building every customer relationship on a strong foundation of mutual trust to create shared value. The actions of a few bad actors, as we have seen recently, have a negative impact on the reputation of the entire industry. This is detrimental to progress that companies like ours, working legitimately as part of the Fintech Alliance to serve tens of millions of Filipinos that are unbanked and preyed upon,” Angluben said.

A 2018 report by global consultancy KPMG said worldwide investment in fintech firms reached $118 billion, with those in Asia making up 20 percent at $22.7 billion. That number is expected to grow this year, along with the local fintech industry, making educational campaigns even more important to combat misperceptions that the market is rife with scammers who are exploiting Filipinos.

Over the last year, over 1.5 million previously ‘credit-invisible’ Filipinos have been able to build financial identities, access credit, and contribute to the formal economy by using the Cashalo app, a major step towards establishing trust with a new digital-first financial services infrastructure designed to serve consumers rather than simply target them.

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