Targeting the ‘unbanked’

By: Victor Anthony V. Silva September 28,2017 - 10:23 PM

Albert Antig, TrueMoney corporate sales head, and Macario Quevedo, Cebu People’s Multi-Purpose Cooperative chief executive officer, sign the partnership agreement at the Ayala Garden Cafe at the Cebu Business Park in Cebu City.
CDN PHOTO/VICTOR SILVA

Remittance firm ties up with co-op to bring service to individuals without bank accounts

A money remittance firm has partnered with a local cooperative to strengthen its presence in Cebu and reach out to more “unbanked” individuals in need of remittance services.

Albert Antig, head of corporate sales at TrueMoney Philippines, said their partnership with the Cebu People’s Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CPMPC) is based on the same core mission.

“We both want to help those who are in need. For one, TrueMoney can help entrepreneurs who have no access to immediate capital,” he said in a press conference announcing the partnership on Thursday.

Antig said the goal of TrueMoney is to put one TrueMoney Center in each of the country’s more than 42,000 barangays to serve those who need a remittance network but have no bank accounts.

To meet this goal, the firm is teaming up with cooperatives and other groups in different regions in the Philippines.

Its latest partnership is with CPMPC, a community-based savings and credit cooperative with over 55,000 members to date.

Antig said the partnership will transform the cooperatives’ micro-entrepreneurs into owners of TrueMoney Financial Centers, which offer remittance, bills payments, as well as telco and gaming load top-up services.

The partnership will also allow co-op members to pay their dues through the money centers while also allowing the coop to pay out loans to its members through TrueMoney’s online disbursement facility.

“Our mission is to provide access to financial services, particularly to the unbanked,” said Antig.

“Unbanked” refers to individuals who do not have their own bank accounts and need to rely on alternative financial services for their financial needs, particularly sending and receiving remittances.

Based on the results of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) latest Consumer Finance Survey (CFS), majority of Filipino families remained unbanked in 2014.

The survey showed that only two in 10 families save their money in banks, with more unbanked Filipinos in the provinces than in Metro Manila.

While money remittance has grown to be a very competitive industry in the Philippines, a new player still sees a lot of room for growth.

Antig recognized that competition is tough here, but they have a lot to offer that most players present in the country do not.

Among these are on-the-spot printing of receipts, text notifications, and “very competitive” remittance fees.

To date, the company has transacted with one million unique individuals in the Philippines.

According to Ken Research, an Indian market research company, the growth of the Philippine domestic and international money transfer industry will be hinged on mobile money transfers as well as OFW (overseas Filipino worker) remittances.

The research firm projects the international remittance market to reach $36 billion while the domestic remittance market will grow to $8.81 billion by 2019.

TrueMoney, whose mother company is Thailand-based True Telecom, entered the Philippine market in 2016.

Since, it was able to establish 5,000 agent networks or payments centers across the country, more than 300 of which are spread all over Cebu province.

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