Freeman Cebu Business

BPI microfinance arm launches e’Nay app

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The microfinance arm of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), BPI Direct BanKo Inc., (BanKo), has further extended its support to the thriving sari-sari store industry in the Philippines, with the introduction of a new e’Nay App.

Introduced in partnership with Innovative Research and Intelligent Solutions Corporation (INNOVARIS), the e’Nay app is aimed at empowering sari-sari store owners to quickly, easily, and conveniently order, manage and pay for their inventory through the online platform.

With the e’Nay app, our BanKo nanays would have an easier time purchasing stocks of their goods to be sold. Kung noon ay kailangan nilang bumiyahe para makabili ng supply na tinatantya-tantya lang, ngayon ay mas mapaplano nila nang mabuti ang kanilang pagbili at mas mapadadali ang kanilang pagbayad sa tulong ng BanKo dahil kayang-kaya na nilang gawin sa isang app lang,” said BanKo chairperson Jojo Ocampo.

The e’Nay app, aptly named after hardworking mothers who also run their own sari-sari stores, will connect micro-retailers to distributors and wholesalers, revolutionizing the business process and contributing to BanKo’s commitment to promoting financial inclusion in the country.

“As a trusted financial partner of the masang Pilipino, we are on a mission to provide them with affordable and easy access to financial solutions. We aim to empower sari-sari store owners through the use of technology, enabling them to have efficient order and inventory management systems, and better and faster payment transactions with distributors and wholesalers,” she added.

By using the new e’Nay app, sari-sari store owners can now order their merchandise online–including beverages, soups and noodles, home care, personal care, snacks, canned goods, seasonings and condiments, and alcohol and tobacco—without leaving their stores. They can immediately pay through their PondoKo savings account linked to the app, and it will be credited directly to the distributor who will immediately deliver the order.

The app includes basic functionalities such as ordering, inventory control, payments, delivery, and logistics. INNOVARIS developed, hosts, and manages the app, while BanKo provides the payment functionality.

According to BanKo Business head of financial inclusion and micro-finance Rod Mabiasen, the e’Nay app was created with the Nanays (mothers) in mind. “We wanted to know their pain points and discovered that sari-sari stores are disjointed and disorganized in their supply chain. They don’t usually have an inventory management system and the sari-sari store owners buy merchandise based on gut feel. We also wanted to address that through the e’Nay app which is easy and convenient to use even for those who may not be tech-savvy.”

To start using the app, one must open a BanKo PondoKo account and register in the e’Nay app. Sari-sari store owners need to list their store addresses and link PondoKo as a payment method. After selecting the items and reviewing the order details, they can then check out and enter their PondoKo MPIN to authorize the payment. The goods will be delivered within the same day for orders made before the 2:00 PM deadline from partner distributors located within an 8-10 kilometer radius.

It is initially available in Bulacan and Cavite and will soon be offered in Pampanga and Laguna. It will continue to expand its coverage to other areas in the country as more distributors and wholesalers are enrolled as e’Nay app partners.

“In BPI, we continue to develop financial products that can help uplift the lives and nurture the future of self-employed microentrepreneurs in the country. With its recent initiatives, BanKo demonstrates that it is maaasahan, malalapitan, and mapagkakatiwalaan. We hope that this new app will be able to better transform the lives of our sari-sari store owners,” said BPI President and CEO TG Limcaoco.

To date, BanKo has 319 branches present in 75 provinces. Since 2016, it has supported over 290,000 self-employed microentrepreneurs (SEMEs), informal workers, and the unbanked and underbanked segment through over Php 40 billion in cumulative microfinance loans.

Currently, nearly 32,000 sari-sari store owners have BanKo loans. BPI’s microfinance subsidiary also serves more than 630,000 depositors, highlighting BanKo’s dedication to driving financial inclusion and providing a tangible and positive impact on this sector. — (FREEMAN)

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