GoBear, a Singapore-based finance services and data platform, announced on Thursday it has formed a partnership with Southeast Asian digital bank UnionBank to launch a lending as a service offering in the Philippines. The launch of the partnership comes just a few months after GoBear secured $17 million through its latest investment round. The investment brings GoBear’s total funding to $97 million.
Through the partnership, GoBear and UnionBank will offer e-commerce loans on Lazada Philippines through GoBear’s eShopaLoan loan product, allowing consumers to purchase items in installments. eShopaLoan is available on GoBear’s pera247 mobile app, which can be found on the Lazada website or in the Google Play Store.
“The collaboration is particularly relevant amid the surge in digital loans due to the global pandemic. This demand has been challenging for digital lenders as default rates increased and financial institutions in the Philippines were mandated to grant a two-month grace period for the repayment of loans.”
Manuel Santiago, UnionBank Chief Mass Market and Financial Inclusion Executive, spoke about the partnership by stating:
“UnionBank recognizes the crucial role of digital lending especially as COVID-19 has prompted many fintechs to either shut down or slowdown in their lending. Through our collaboration with GoBear, we can fill in this gap being left by other financial institutions, as aligned with our goal of continuously enabling businesses and the public to cope with the crisis.”
UnionBank Digital Product Business Head, Harvey Libarnes, then added:
“The partnership will provide the best of both worlds: you have fintechs’ behavioral scoring combined with the bank’s stability and traditional checks. This will allow us to offer even lower rates to consumers. We are looking forward to a fruitful partnership with GoBear.”
Founded in 2014, GoBear claims to be Asia’s leading financial supermarket whose purpose is to improve financial health. The platform empowers consumers with the know-how, tools, and financial products to meet their needs.
“We believe financial health leads to secure, stable, and sustainable communities across Asia, which is why we make it our mission to improve your financial health by making financial literacy, financial inclusion, and financial security attainable for everyone.”