4M un­banked Filipinos to ben­e­fit from PH Credit Scor­ing In­dus­try

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - BUSI­NESS -

Four mil­lion un­banked Filipinos are seen to ben­e­fit from the nascent credit scor­ing in­dus­try, a de­vel­op­ment that is seen to pro­vide those at the bot­tom of the econ­omy an easy ac­cess to credit once the ser­vice is avail­able to the pub­lic.

Marlo R. Cruz, Pres­i­dent and Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of CIBI In­for­ma­tion, Inc. (CIBI), high­lighted that this is ex­pected to un­lock much eco­nomic po­ten­tial in sec­tors of the econ­omy that are cru­cial for in­clu­sive growth.

Re­cently, three new ac­cess­ing en­ti­ties have been ac­cred­ited by the Credit In­for­ma­tion Cor­po­ra­tion (CIC); to ac­cess data from the sub­mit­ting en­ti­ties, bring­ing the four com­pa­nies that shall pro­vide credit scores to Filipinos. These are CIBI, Com­pus­can, CRIF Credit So­lu­tions, and Tran­sunion Philip­pines. Out of the four, CIBI is the only ac­cred­ited lo­cal credit bureau.

Cruz stated that the com­pany is uniquely po­si­tioned to serve the un­banked. CIBI con­sid­ered as the Philip­pines' first credit bureau in the coun­try and has the big­gest data­base of unique names of more than 30 mil­lion Filipinos. This is bound to go higher as data be­comes avail­able from the CIC, Cruz re­marked.

The World Bank's Global Fin­dex Data­base 2014 showed that more than two-thirds of adults in the Philip­ines re­main un­banked. Only 31% of those who par­tic­i­pated in the sur­vey said they owned a bank account, 38% of which are women. In marginal­ized house­holds, only 18% have bank ac­counts, it also showed.

The Bangko Sen­tral ng Pilip­inas re­port re­leased in 2015 said 36.5% of the coun­try's 1,634 cities and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties re­main un­banked even as there are more than 10,000 bank­ing of­fices na­tion­wide. Filipino adults' ac­cess to bank ac­counts com­pare with Viet­nam's level of also 31%, which is the low­est among the ASEAN-5, the World Bank pol­icy pa­per showed. Malaysia has the high­est pen­e­tra­tion rate at 81%, fol­lowed by Thai­land (78%) and In­done­sia (36%). East Asia and Pa­cific had a 69% re­gional av­er­age for bank pen­e­tra­tion rate.

Cruz said he hopes that the num­bers will get bet­ter by next year once the in­dus­try is al­ready in full swing. By that time, the bank­ing in­dus­try is ex­pected to get a boost from the de­mand and sup­ply side of the busi­ness. The mar­ket will deepen as the un­banked mar­ket opens up and lend­ing en­ti­ties shift their fo­cus to risk-based mod­els, as op­posed to ex­ist­ing as­set-based mod­els.

CIBI will pro­vide credit scores to Filipinos through a web­site de­signed to pro­vide credit scores even if users have very low band­width. It aims to be­gin in the first quar­ter of 2017. Any­one can buy a credit score for any­where from P50 to P120.

From right to left: Ellen Co, Alvin Alquinto and Marlo R. Cruz (CIBI); Jaime Gar­chi­torena (CIC), Gay San­tos and Atty. Chester Abellera (IFC)

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