Loan app backed by JG Summit, HK firm joins fintech fray

The emerging market for mobile-based micro-lending in the country welcomed yet another player as Cashalo made its formal launch in Makati City on Tuesday, October 23.

Photo shows (from left) JG Summit CEO Lance Gokongwei, Oriente co-founder Geoffrey Prentice, a BSP representative, and Cashalo general manager Hamilton Angluben

Cashalo, a mobile lending platform backed by local conglomerate JG Summit and Hong Kong-based tech firm Oriente, has P10 billion as initial lending fund for underbanked consumers and MSMEs in the Philippines.

At the event, Cashalo general manager Hamilton Angluben noted a BSP survey which showed that over 77 percent of the Philippine adult population remains unbanked.

He said existing financial systems were not designed to cope with tens of millions of new customers that came with rapidly increasing populations, or the opportunity risk that came with them. This is also a major reason why, according to the World Bank, over 90 percent of this population is not covered by a credit bureau, he added.

“We are excited to unlock greater financial freedom and opportunity for millions of Filipinos and micro entrepreneurs. We share a common mission with the BSP in accelerating financial inclusion in the Philippines. As a Filipino company, we take great pride and responsibility in developing products to achieve that goal,” Angluben said.

By leveraging mobile and data technology, he said Cashalo has empowered Filipinos to take control of their financial future since its beta-launch a few months ago.

In sum, Angluben said Cashalo allows consumers to have access to:

• Multiple purpose-based financing options (small cash loans, consumer goods financing, etc)

• Paperless, collateral-free and available 24×7 via their own mobile device

• Lowest interest rates (non-bank) on the market (as low as 3.95%) with no hidden fees

• Real-time credit-scoring

• Choice of repayment schedule

• Approval in as fast as 10 minutes

One of the app’s offerings in CashaQuick, which allows consumers to access a loan amount as small as P1,500, with just one valid ID.

Cashalo has also introduced a new O2O (offline to online) consumer financing product called Cashacart which has been in pilot since August.

This solution enables consumers to access a digital credit line for their specific shopping needs at retail stores – allowing them to purchase multiple products (electronics, appliances, household items, etc) across a retail network of 250 partners that include Oppo, Cherry Mobile, Memoxpress, Robinsons Appliances, and Robinsons Department stores.

Cashalo’s technology infrastructure is powered by Oriente, whose founders are the same people who founded the communications platform Skype.

Through Oriente’s technology, Cashalo’s own credit engine is able to collate and analyze a variety of alternative data signals including social consumer behavior, enabling it to develop reliable alternatives to risk and credit assessments in real-time.

“With Cashalo we are developing a new infrastructure that addresses the needs of underbanked Filipinos that don’t have access to essential financial services,” said Geoffrey Prentice, co-founder of Oriente.

“Our cutting-edge, proprietary technology has allowed us to build a reliable alternative to traditional credit assessment models that is purpose-built for the unbanked majority of consumers and MSMEs in the Philippines, unlocking economic potential for millions.”

Lance Gokongwei, president and CEO of JG Summit Holdings, said Cashalo aims to enable those with no credit history to build financial identities to elevate their economic well-being and participate in the global economy.

“At the core of Cashalo is a strong social purpose, designed to empower and transform the lives of every Filipino,” he said.

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