Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) found the need to assist micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) in their digitalization effort, which was further accelerated by the pandemic.
While companies with brick and mortar stores were forced to shut down, enterprising entrepreneurs wade through the new normal realizing that it was time to go digital. Already considered the backbone of the Philippine economy, MSMEs are now offered various digital services to assist them in doing business.
“I think the definition for SMEs is much more defined where we’re really looking at micro, small, and medium enterprises,” said Manuel Santiago Jr., EVP and chief executive for Mass Market and Financial Inclusion, UnionBank. “So, these are your businesses with, for micro, P3 million in capital, and then you have P15 million for small, and for medium, it’s about a hundred million (pesos) in capital. It is a large market and we think that this segment needs attention at this time.”
According to Santiago, 60% of this market are self-employed entrepreneurs who may either be banked, underbanked, or unbanked.
To encourage MSMEs to digitalize their businesses, which is becoming to be a necessity rather than an option, UnionBank launched a mass retail hub, a consolidation of all entrepreneur-centric solutions offered by UnionBank. It aims to provide a one-stop center for resources that MSMEs might need in order to support their businesses regardless of sizes such as financing, logistics, and a buyer-seller network, to name a few, all made accessible to mass-market customers.
A few weeks ago, UnionBank launched the SME Business Banking App, an online platform specially designed for small businesses. It features different financial transactions that businesses will need. UnionBank has “a little over 200,000 enterprise clients” and Santiago said it is fast scaling up.
UnionBank Business Loan via UBX SeekCap, an online Loan Marketplace where business owners and SMEs may easily browse short-term business loan products and apply digitally. SeekCap allows SMEs to get approval within hours.