RCBC unit pilots digital lending in Mindanao

By Kris Crismundo

June 17, 2018, 5:52 pm

MANILA -- Rizal Microbank, a subsidiary of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC), is testing its digital lending among corn farmers in Mindanao, and will soon further expand the financial product in other parts of the country.

In a media roundtable, Rizal Microbank President Raymundo Roxas said the bank is pilot testing loan through its digital money platform ePiso among corn farmers in Valencia City, Bukidnon.

“Digital transaction cuts the costs for customers and the bank. When you lend to a rural area, you should provide them convenience of getting and paying for the money,” Roxas said.

He said that instead of going back and forth to the bank to process their loans, get the money, and pay for it, these could now be done through RCBC’s ePiso.

He explained that a farmer will be receiving their loans through the ePiso. Clients will receive their loans in partial amount, depending on their financial needs for a certain farming stage.

This would help farmers to spend their loans for farming, and not on other expenses, according to Roxas.

Roxas added that Rizal Microbank is now partnering with value chain players in corn production to be merchants on ePiso, so that farmers can buy their farming needs through ePiso using their loans that they received via the same platform.

Roxas mentioned that the bank sees huge opportunity in lending to the agriculture sector given the robust economy that boosts demand for agricultural products.

He noted that the bank’s lending business is led by the growth in loans from agriculture sector.

Moreover, the executive pointed out that this initiative is in line with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ push for financial inclusion.

He said that Rizal Microbank digital lending for agriculture sector helps farmers to have financial accounts, and the ePiso facilitates financial activities on their accounts.

“We help those unbanked to have bank accounts and make sure that there they are using their accounts on different transactions,” Roxas said.

Rizal Microbank has 18 branches across the country -- eight in Mindanao, eight in Southern Tagalog, and two in Visayas. (PNA)