Home Credit cites technology as key factor for its PH growth

By Espie Angelica A. de Leon

Annica Witschard, chief executive of Prague-based consumer finance provider Home Credit Philippines (HCPH), announced that the company has achieved a three-fold growth in receivables in 2017 and added that technology had a lot to do with it.

HCPH chief executive Annica Witschard

The company’s brilliant performance in 2017 capped a chain of increasing revenues, starting from P29 million in 2013, to P4 billion in 2016, and then jumping to P14 billion in 2017.

The company, which started operations in the Philippines in 2013, now boasts of a customer base of 2.5 million, of which 1.5 million have active loans. Meanwhile, its manpower now number to over 9,000 employees working in its various offices around the country.

“You cannot grow as quickly without technology. Without that, our business model would not be possible,” said Witschard as she presented the company’s statistics during a press briefing at Holiday Inn and Suites in Makati City on May 28.

HCPH, which provides in-store financing for mobile devices and appliances and caters largely to the unbanked and first-time borrowers, had strongly invested in its IT infrastructure and facilities including offices and call centers in the past four years.

At the forefront of the company’s technology infrastructure is its automated process which allows more than 200,000 loan applications to be processed in a month.

Another is its big data which the company systematically leverages for risk management and credit scoring and to boost customer experience.

Witschard said that HCPH’s sales agents help key information into the system so that scoring and decision [are] taken centrally.

“We use data and a good scoring method to do this,” she said. “It’s updated all the time based on new information we get and things we learn from our systems.”

HCPH chief finance officer Zdenek Jankovsky

Added HCPH chief finance officer Zdenek Jankovsky, “When I joined the company, it was just a little bit more than half of the customers that we were able to reply [to]. With the big data that we have now available, we are improving about 75% of the customers who first come to apply for the loan.”

The company also employs fingerprints for identification purposes to prevent fraud and continues to explore other biometric methods for greater efficiency with its anti-fraud measures.

Additionally, HCPH introduced its My Home Credit app early in 2018 to capture the growing online market in the Philippines and enable customers to better manage their loans and payments.

Through the app which may be downloaded for free in Google Play, customers can view their loan details, payment schedules, payment status, and be informed of payment channels and loan promotions. They can also make inquiries via the chat tool.

Said Witschard, “This company is, I think, leapfrogging in terms of mobile development. I think the mobile development we will see in the next couple of years or months, it’s gonna transform our business world.”

The company already has more than 800,000 new loans signed up in 2018. April recorded the highest number of new loans so far with a total of 190,000.

Meanwhile, Veterans Bank and Landbank recently joined HCPH’s roster of lenders, signaling the fintech company’s continued expansion in the country.

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