HC extends 18 M loans to underserved Filipinos, mostly women

Home Credit (HC), one of the leading consumer finance companies in the Philippines, has provided more than 18 million loans, most of which were processed via digital channels, to mostly unbanked and underserved Filipinos, in the past nine years.

In a statement, Home Credit Philippines CEO David Minol reported the company has 8-million strong customer base since they started operations in the country almost nine years ago.

Minol noted that more than 70 percent of these loan applications were processed via Home Credit’s digital channels. HC did not divulge the amount of loans granted to customers.

Of total loans, HC said that 50 percent of loans or credit availed of at POS or point sales of their partners.

Notably, 52 percent of their customers were women and 60 percent of cash loans were availed of by women. In addition, 27 percent of the cash loans were availed of by women under 29 years of age. HC is also one of the borrowers’ engagement with a lending institution.

For the January-June period this year alone, HC said they have served almost half a million new customers, over half of them were women and over a quarter in the younger bracket.

This is in line with the Philippine government's strategy to widen financial inclusion to more Filipinos, HC said.

Minol said that Home Credit Philippines believes that the key to accelerating financial inclusion is making finance more accessible to more people especially for the unbanked and underserved Filipinos.

Among its key thrust for 2022 include broadening access to responsible finance, championing financial literacy and empowerment, and promoting innovation and digital inclusion.

In 2021, HC signed a ground-breaking ESG-linked loan with Deutsche Bank to reinforce the company’s digitalization efforts with 60 percent of its loans availed by customers via digital channels to enable more equitable loan rates and terms to customers regardless of their economic or social background.

In 2022, the consumer finance firm, also inked a pioneering loan facility with Citi aimed at providing access to digital financial services to women with P120 million out of the P420 million of this loan facility are dedicated to women for the purchase of basic digital devices such as smartphones and tablets.

It has also launched its flagship financial literacy in June this year and is set to launch “Wais sa Home” financial literacy microsite featuring financial literacy quizzes and other resource this month to expanding its financial literacy programs for youth across the country.

“Home Credit Philippines remains committed to support equitable post-pandemic recovery in the Philippines through our consumer finance services and solutions. We believe that our financial inclusion programs and financial literacy initiatives builds on the bigger vision of empowering more Filipinos,” said Minol.

In July 2022, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas launched the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion (NSFI) 2022-2028, the country’s first financial inclusion blueprint to transform the country into a more inclusive society with a more empowered citizenry in the next six years.

BSP’s 2020 Financial Inclusion Initiative report revealed that in 2019, only 29 percent of adult Filipinos own bank accounts and only 19 percent had formal credit.

HC also noted that 31.2 percent of local government units (LGUs) still do not have banking presence while 4.6 percent of LGUs are still considered underserved. Despite the availability of digital financial services, BSP data also revealed that while 6 percent of Filipino adult own mobile phones and 53 percent use the internet, only 12 percent of mobile phone owners and 9 percent of internet users use their devices and the internet for financial transactions.