OneConnect Financial Technology Co. Ltd. (OneConnect), an associate company of China’s insurance giant Ping An Group, announced on Monday it has formed a new partnership with UnionBank’s fintech subsidiary UBX to co-create a blockchain-enable platform for MSMEs in the Philippines.
According to the duo, this new partnership “underpins” both UBX and OneConnect’s commitment in accelerating digital transformation in the Philippine financial services industry by using their technological advancements to enable financial institutions to better serve the unbanked and underbanked communities.
“The partnership comes amidst the vital roles of MSMEs in the Philippine economy. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), 99.6% of all business in the Philippines are MSMEs and they contribute to almost 63% of total employment. However, SMEs get only 9.2% of loans and financing from the country’s major banks. Many MSMEs are suppliers and service providers to large enterprises. They create jobs for the country’s growing labor force and stimulate economic development in rural and remote areas. They also serve as a breeding ground for new entrepreneurs and innovative business ideas.”
While sharing more details about the collaboration, Tan Bin Ru, CEO (Southeast Asia) of OneConnect Financial Technology, stated:
“We believe there is huge economic potential in the MSME sector and we have confidence in how our technology can help enterprising businesses leapfrog into better ways of doing business. We are excited to be partnering with UBX in the Philippines, because we share the same vision of how technology can empower communities that traditionally cannot be reached. With OneConnect’s proven technology solutions and UnionBank’s deep market knowledge and domain expertise in catering to MSMEs, we look forward to introducing impactful financial solutions for MSMEs in the Philippines.”
John Januszczak, President and CEO of UBX, added:
“As the fintech arm of the nation’s leading innovative bank, we are continually seeking new ways to better serve our customers in disruptive ways that also solve real problems. In the Philippines, 77% of our population is unbanked and we have a diverse geography that spans across over 7,000 islands. Digital financial solutions – such as the ones we are co-creating with OneConnect – will allow us to include more MSMEs in the financial system. We seek to transform the lives of Filipinos, and accelerate their growth by connecting them to a whole new world of opportunities.”