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Skyro reports strong 2023 performance, expected to triple in 2024 as it expands digital financial offerings for Filipinos

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Skyro

Skyro, a fast-growing fintech provider in the Philippines, continues its commitment to transform the local financial landscape by delivering accessible and affordable digital financial solutions to Filipinos.

Skyro is committed to empowering more Filipinos by offering a range of digital consumer finance products such as product loans, cash loans, and other lending products designed to meet the diverse financial needs of Filipino consumers. These solutions offer a streamlined process, competitive rates, and diverse payment options, providing customers with flexibility and convenience.

Achievements and Business Performance in 2023

In just under two years since its inception as a fintech startup, Skyro has achieved significant milestones and business performance in the fintech industry by the end of last year.

Skyro has recorded significant growth in both applications and usage as it gains traction among new markets and diverse user groups. Notably, in 2023 alone, Skyro achieved an average Compound Monthly Growth Rate of 50%, a testament to the rapid trust and adoption placed in the company’s innovative financial solutions.

Skyro's mobile app had an increase in its number of new and active users by 82.5%, leading to a proportional rise in total app downloads and usage. The brand has grown its network with over 500 partner merchants and a presence in over 2500 stores nationwide. It has also expanded its workforce from less than a hundred to more than a thousand employees.

Its product loan solution has shown exceptional growth in 2023, generating substantial results more than its initial value. Similarly, the cross-sell products have delivered remarkable outcomes in usage.

Outstanding Performance Under Expert Leadership

Skyro’s co-founders and co-CEOs Nasim Aliev and Arsen Liametov have been instrumental in the company's growth and success. 

With a strong experience in financial technology and business development, Aliev oversees key areas such as sales, partnerships, marketing, and customer acquisition, garnering trust from both customers and partners. On the other hand, Liametov is focused on optimizing Skyro's offerings, utilizing his extensive understanding of fintech products and operations. His main areas of expertise include ensuring smooth integration and efficient functioning of Skyro's digital services, all with the goal of meeting market demands while delivering maximum value to Filipino customers.

"At Skyro, our mission is to bring joy into every interaction our customers have with our financial products," shared Nasim Aliev. "We prioritize accessibility, simplicity, and flexibility, supported by an exceptional customer experience. By leveraging a compelling model, we've managed to reduce risk two-fold while achieving profitability, showcasing our strategic foresight and commitment to sustainable growth. We want to create a future where every Filipino has access to the right financial tools and knowledge for achieving success.”

Liametov added, "Our dedication to innovation and customer satisfaction remains unwavering. With a focus on continuous improvement and expansion, we're poised to reach new heights in 2024 and beyond. Skyro is committed to empowering individuals with the financial solutions that would cater to their ever-evolving needs and lifestyles."

Looking ahead to the rest of 2024, Liametov said, "As we anticipate the year ahead, we're filled with optimism, expecting even greater growth and impact for Skyro."

Skyro aims to continue its impressive trajectory into 2024, with expectations of tripling its growth and onboarding half a million customers by the year's end. This ambitious goal underscores Skyro's commitment to expanding its reach and impact in the digital financial landscape of the Philippines, further solidifying its position as a key player in the industry's evolution.

Skyro is a fintech company duly licensed and supervised by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). To learn more about digital financial products from Skyro, visit its official website www.skyro.ph. Follow its official Facebook and Instagram accounts to know more about its latest promos and offerings.
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Globe Business shines spotlight on outstanding ‘Pinaypreneurs’

Friday, March 1, 2024


A year after receiving the Innovator Award from Globe Business at Cosmopolitan PH's Women of Influence 2023, dynamic Pinay entrepreneur Hiyasmin Neri-Soriano continues to stand out as a model of innovation and leadership, embodying the principles that earned her the prestigious recognition.

Over the past 12 months, Hiyasmin has showcased a blend of creativity and a profound grasp of technology as co-founder and CEO of Shoppertainment Live. This led to her recent appointment to the Board of Directors of The Philippine Marketing Association, where she focuses on public relations and communications, further highlighting her influence in the field.

Shoppertainment Live launched groundbreaking campaigns and engaged prominent entertainment and business personalities as anchors for its digital social commerce program. 

“The past year has been incredibly dynamic for me and Shoppertainment Live. We've initiated several distinctive live shopping campaigns across social media and marketplaces, with each session lasting from 3 to 4 hours which completes a full 24-hour stretch. We have also been exploring AI when it comes to content creation for video marketing,” Hiyasmin shared. 

A key aspect of Shoppertainment Live’s success story is its partnership with Globe Business. Serving as its internet partner, Globe Business has played a crucial role in enabling the company to do extensive and simultaneous livestream events for over 250 brands.

“Globe Business, as our reliable connectivity partner, has enabled us to conduct extensive and simultaneous livestream events for more than 250 brands. Leveraging this partnership, we have also effectively powered live commerce initiatives for Globe and have consistently achieved significant monthly sales volumes of sim cards through our live selling strategies,” said Hiyasmin.

KD Dizon, Vice President and Head of Globe Business, encapsulates the essence of this partnership, stating, "We stand united with every woman entrepreneur in overcoming challenges and unlocking their potential by providing innovative solutions, and access to resources necessary for their enduring success."

In the spirit of International Women's Month, Globe Business is set to once again honor two exceptional women business leaders and owners who have significantly contributed to the digital transformation of their enterprises, mirroring the impactful journey of Hiyasmin. The announcement of the winners will take place at the Cosmopolitan PH's Women of Influence Awards 2024.

As the event draws near, the story of Hiyasmin shines as a source of inspiration. Her achievements over the past year not only spotlight her innovative spirit but also stress the vital role of digital technology in propelling businesses forward.

Discover how Globe Business champions the digital transformation and empowerment of women entrepreneurs by visiting https://www.globe.com.ph/business.
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Fastest Growing in PH: Globally Accepted Maya Card Sets New Industry Record

Monday, February 26, 2024

Maya Card

The Maya Card, powered by the #1 Digital Bank App Maya, is the Philippine's fastest-growing prepaid card due to its unmatched ease of use, convenience, safety, and worldwide acceptance. 

Visa, a world leader in digital payments, presented Maya with an award for being the top prepaid card issuer in the country, marking its third consecutive accolade from 2021 to 2023. 

This distinction is a testament to Maya's sustained year-on-year growth and its highest prepaid payment volumes.

"We've made it incredibly simple for millions of Filipinos to get a card. This ease of access particularly resonates with the youth, who not only use it for everyday purchases but also as a reliable companion for global travel. It's exciting to see the Maya Card become the fastest-growing card in the Philippines," said Shailesh Baidwan, Group President of Maya and Co-Founder of Maya Bank. 

The Ultimate in Convenience and Flexibility 

Getting a Maya Card is very easy, reflecting Maya's commitment to user convenience. Customers with an upgraded account can obtain a virtual and physical card through the app without the need for additional documents and link it seamlessly to their wallets. Users simply need to navigate to the “Cards” section within the Maya app to place their order. 

The virtual card instantly opens a world of online shopping and the physical card doubles as an ATM card, enabling effortless payments for daily needs. Its broad compatibility across both online shops and brick-and-mortar stores demonstrates its unmatched versatility. 

Designed with a minimalist and secure aesthetic, the Maya Card features the user's unique @username instead of the full name and card number, adding a personal touch without compromising security. 

Global Acceptance 

Once activated and linked to the user's wallet, the Maya Card is accepted worldwide, offering a seamless payment solution both in the Philippines and abroad. This global acceptance proves invaluable especially for freelancers and travelers, facilitating easy access to funds. 

The Maya Card unlocks global shopping at over 80 million merchants and ATM access, with instant international activation – no call to customer support is needed. Wherever they are in the world. users are kept informed and in charge with real-time transaction alerts directly through the Maya app. 

Rewarding Personalized Experience 

The Maya Card’s unique strength also lies in its rewarding digital banking services. Using it for everyday payments allows customers to earn up to 14% interest rate per annum, credited daily to their savings accounts. 

Moreover, frequent card usage also strengthens the user's financial footprint, leading to better opportunities for instant borrowing and higher credit limits within the app. 

Innovating further, Maya provides personalized card options offering co-branded editions, such as the FIFA Women's World Cup and Mobile Legends, alongside the all-in-one student ID of Ateneo De Manila University. 

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Chinabank Welcomes Reigning Miss Universe Philippines Michelle Marquez Dee as First-Ever Brand Ambassador

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Michelle Marquez Dee

In a historic move, Chinabank proudly announced its collaboration with the multi-talented Miss Universe Philippines, Michelle Marquez Dee, as its inaugural brand ambassador. The official signing ceremony took place on February 14, 2024, at the Chinabank head office in Makati City, marking the beginning of an exciting partnership.

Michelle Marquez Dee, a renowned beauty queen, actress, host, athlete, and model, embodies the essence of Chinabank's values and aspirations. With her universal appeal and inspiring journey, Michelle is set to redefine contemporary Filipino culture on a global scale. Beyond her remarkable achievements, Michelle's commitment to autism acceptance and inclusivity advocacy aligns seamlessly with Chinabank's dedication to building an inclusive and sustainable future for every Filipino.

Chinabank President & CEO Romeo D. Uyan Jr. expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration during the contract signing, stating, "This engagement with Michelle Dee signifies the beginning of many things to come. For us, Michelle is family. But beyond her obvious lineage to the bank's co-founders, we firmly believe that Michelle has the qualities to aptly represent a bank with a storied history and an unwavering commitment to building an inclusive and sustainable future for every Filipino."

Michelle, in turn, conveyed her excitement for the partnership, emphasizing the shared values of trust, impact, and change between her and Chinabank. "Chinabank isn’t just any bank; it’s been a beacon of trust and resilience for over a century. I’m here to share my stories and the incredible work Chinabank does… I can’t wait to make memories and groundbreaking opportunities for everyone around us as well," she stated.

Highlighting the familial connection, Michelle Dee is the grand-niece of Chinabank founder Dee C. Chuan and the granddaughter of former Chinabank Chairman Dee K. Chiong. She acknowledged the rich legacy of Chinabank, recognizing the bank's pivotal role in making dreams come true and its continuous commitment to making a positive difference in people's lives.

Chinabank, as the fourth largest private universal bank in the Philippines, is gearing up for an advertising campaign featuring Michelle Dee. The bank aims to leverage this collaboration to strengthen its brand presence and foster a deep connection with the dynamic and forward-thinking banking customers of the new generation. As Chinabank continues to innovate and enhance its products and services, Michelle Dee's involvement promises to add a touch of authenticity and relatability to the brand.

The union of Chinabank and Michelle Dee marks a significant milestone, combining the bank's storied history with Michelle's contemporary influence. As the bank's first-ever brand ambassador, Michelle is poised to bring a fresh perspective and genuine enthusiasm to Chinabank's initiatives, creating a synergy that resonates with the evolving aspirations of the Filipino people.
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2024 trends transforming Southeast Asia's insurance landscape

Sunday, February 18, 2024


Southeast Asia's insurance sector is undergoing a massive transformation to keep up with evolving market demands and maintain competitiveness. In the Philippines, where insurance penetration is at a mere 1.68%, the industry is grappling with persistent challenges such as complexities, outdated systems, and regulatory hurdles. However, amidst these obstacles, the industry is forging ahead with innovation and modernization with insurtechs emerging as crucial drivers of this change, fueling efficiency enhancements and elevating customer experiences. 

Insurtechs have facilitated the seamless integration of insurance into the purchase journey across diverse platforms, including e-commerce, fintech, and logistics. They have also made it possible for brick-and-mortar establishments such as convenience stores to become viable distribution channels to enhance accessibility and awareness of insurance products, bringing offline consumers online. Insurtech firms likewise empower insurers to create personalized products, meeting the unique needs of underserved sectors and effectively managing emerging risks in digital consumers' lifestyles today–these include pet insurance, travel insurance, electronic and mobile phone protection, and even micro, small, and medium business insurance.

Amidst the industry's continuous transformation, insurtech Igloo identifies key trends poised to persist in 2024, further elevating efficiency throughout the insurance value chain and propelling the ongoing momentum of embedded insurance and personalization.

AI-Powered Data Analytics for Enhanced Risk Assessment

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is fast becoming the cornerstone of the insurance sector, revolutionizing the way companies analyze data and assess risks. This year, we can expect insurers to increasingly leverage AI for advanced data analytics, allowing them to gain deeper insights into customer behavior, preferences, and emerging risks. By harnessing the power of AI, insurers can enhance their risk assessment models, leading to more accurate pricing and better management of uncertainties in the ever-changing market.

Blockchain for smoother claims processing

Blockchain's sustained influence in insurance underscores its pivotal role in streamlining claims processing. The decentralized and transparent nature of blockchain ensures efficient, fraud-resistant transactions, expediting claims settlement, and reducing administrative costs. This enduring trend continues revolutionizing the insurance landscape by enhancing accuracy, trust, and operational efficiency.

Zero-Code Platforms for Swift Product Launch

The adoption of zero-code platforms is set to streamline and accelerate the launch of new insurance products across various channels. These platforms empower insurance companies to develop, modify, and deploy applications without extensive coding, significantly reducing the time and resources required for product development. This rapid deployment capability ensures that insurers can respond swiftly to market demands, offering a diverse range of products tailored to the evolving needs of consumers.

Digital Empowerment of Agents to Boost Productivity

As the industry becomes more digital, insurance agents are also set to benefit from advanced technologies that enhance their productivity and improve customer interactions. In 2024, insurers are expected to invest in empowering their agents with digital tools and resources, facilitating seamless communication, quicker policy issuance, and personalized customer experiences. The digitalization of agents also contributes to an overall positive customer journey, fostering loyalty and satisfaction.

Securing Against Climate Change Through Insurance

Climate insurance has emerged in response to the increasing frequency and intensity of climate-related events. As businesses, individuals, and governments grapple with the impacts of climate change, insurance has become a critical tool for managing the financial losses resulting from it such as damage to agriculture, infrastructure, and personal property. This trend exemplifies a proactive approach to mitigating economic losses, aligning with the shift towards sustainability and resilience in the face of climate uncertainties. 

Igloo believes the rising demand for personalized insurance in our region is prompting insurers and embedded insurance ventures to embrace the latest tech trends. By seamlessly incorporating these innovations, the leading regional insurtech firm is not just keeping up; it's staying one step ahead, shaping the future of insurance for Southeast Asian communities. Its commitment is to remain at the forefront of industry shifts, ensuring its approach aligns seamlessly with the evolving needs of its valued customers.
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Embracing Loud Budgeting as a Love Language this Valentine’s Day

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

loud budgeting

This 2024, a new trend called 'loud budgeting' is gaining popularity, encouraging people to openly discuss their finances without feeling embarrassed. Contrary to the 'quiet luxury' trend of the past year, loud budgeting helps Filipinos be more honest about their financial situation, leading to greater empowerment in managing their money. This Valentine's Day, let's celebrate the love language of financial wellness.

Regardless if it's Php 299 or 2,999 or 29,999, communication is key to financial wellness

Last month, Filipino social media exploded with discussions about the ₱299 engagement ring. People were split on whether it was about self-worth or long-term financial plans, and both sides had valid points. There's no right or wrong answer here; it all depends on what matters most to you or your partner. But what can we take away from this in terms of financial wellness as a love language? It's about being honest about one’s money habits.

Having open conversations with one’s partner about spending and saving money sets the groundwork to avoid misunderstandings and disappointment. Whether it's about a ring or any other gift, clear communication helps manage expectations and keeps the relationship on solid ground. 

Empowering financial security: Nurturing smarter money habits

Supporting smarter money habits for the future involves embracing financial wellness as a love language and encouraging one’s partner to engage in sound practices to build financial security. It encompasses a commitment to fostering better money management skills, such as prioritizing savings. While opening a traditional bank account can sometimes pose challenges due to stringent requirements, present financial solutions offer numerous digital banking alternatives like UnionDigital. The platform not only provides savings accounts but also offers convenient features such as seamless cashless transactions, including unique selling points like QR code peer-to-peer (P2P) transfers, with person-to-merchant (P2M) coming soon, and FREE instant fund transfers via InstaPay, ensuring a smoother and more efficient financial experience. Its UBEH Save is a high-interest savings account that offers a competitive interest rate of up to 4% p.a., enabling customers to grow their funds more effectively. 

Building on social ties

Nurturing love in relationships needs time, effort, and emotional investment. The principle of the emerging practice of loud budgeting prioritizes meaningful experiences over extravagant gifts. In a similar sense, building a solid financial foundation goes beyond mere saving and involves strategic planning and understanding one’s finances—an invaluable investment for long-term results. Just as personal ties require cultivation and attention, financial well-being thrives on careful nurturing and informed decision-making.

Endearing ties and reaping its rewards

Investing in love and finances brings fulfilling rewards: shared accomplishments, emotional connection, and financial stability. Celebrating relationships and financial milestones reinforces the value of invested efforts as these moments serve as markers of progress and dedication. UnionDigital Time Deposit is one product that highlights the significance of mindful investment. For as low as 1,000 pesos, users can already enroll in an account. With one of the lowest minimum time deposit rate requirements, UnionDigital’s Time Deposit removes barriers to investment opportunities, facilitating a solid foundation for ongoing financial growth. 

Harnessing self-love as an investment

Investing in self-love produces lasting outcomes, enabling one to fulfill and meet his or her own needs. Consider practicing self-love by indulging in activities that bring joy, relaxation, and inner peace. The value of self-care doesn't have to come with a hefty price tag, and can be found in simple, everyday practices that prioritize mental, emotional, and physical well-being. 

As the period ushers in the love month, it’s time to redefine the approach to love. By understanding that love is not synonymous with extravagant spending, but about taking meaningful steps in nurturing relationships, one can create a more sustainable and fulfilling foundation for both love and life. Just like love, financial management requires careful attention, investment, and decision-making. UBEH Save and UD Time Deposit are products by UnionDigital tailored to offer convenient solutions for saving and investing, all designed to help achieve financial well-being with ease and confidence. By embracing sound practices, one can create a life that is a harmonious blend of emotional fulfillment and financial stability. 

UnionDigital Bank is the digital bank subsidiary of Union Bank of the Philippines. It is one of the six digital banks in the country regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). At present, UnionDigital offers a wide array of financial services, featuring competitive offerings such as the P1,000 Time Deposit, high-yield savings account, QRPH payments and transfers, among others. In a significant move to enhance financial inclusion, UnionDigital is poised to introduce a cash loan product, distinguished by its entirely digital application process and quick crediting of funds within minutes.
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DTI invites creative startups to jumpstart businesses with IDEA, ADVanCE programs

Friday, February 2, 2024



The Department of Trade and Industry, through the Competitiveness and Innovation Group (DTI-CIG), is looking for creative startup companies to onboard to their two programs designed to support and strengthen the creative industries in the Philippines. 

The DTI-CIG, led by Undersecretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba, in partnership with startup accelerator Launchgarage, has launched the creatives edition of the Incubation, Development, and Entrepreneurial Assistance (IDEA) and Accelerating Development, Valuation, and Corporate Entrepreneurship (ADVanCE) programs aimed at providing customized support to creative startups in the Philippines to help them become market and investment-ready.

The application period is until 11 February 2024. To know more about the programs and submit applications, interested parties can visit the official websites of the IDEA program-creatives edition and the ADVanCE program, as well as the DTI-CIG Facebook page.

"The programs are a testament to the Philippine government's belief in the immense potential of Filipino creativity and entrepreneurship. By providing the much-needed support and platform, we are setting the stage for creative startups to not only thrive locally but also make a significant impact on the global stage. The creative sector is a vital component of our economy and cultural identity, and through initiatives like these, we aim to foster an environment where ideas can flourish, talents are honed, and success stories are born," Usec. Aldaba said.

The Philippine creative industries play a significant role in the national economy. Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) revealed the creative economy amounted to P1.60 trillion in 2022, contributing 7.3% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Furthermore, the sector was responsible for employing almost 7 million Filipinos that year.

The IDEA for Creatives edition will onboard 10 early-stage creative startups and enterprises to support and enhance their entrepreneurial capacity and readiness. Under the program, selected startups will participate in various educational workshops aimed at transforming their inventive business concepts into successful enterprises. Each will be paired with experienced mentors and coaches to guide them in their startup journey. The program culminates with a showcase event, where startups can present their ventures to program stakeholders, angel investors, venture capitalists, corporate representatives, and key figures in the ecosystem.

Early-stage startups that are operating in the Philippines with a minimum viable product, registered or in the process of registration to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or DTI, with 60% of its founders Filipino, and with at least two founders committed to the IDEA program, are eligible to apply.

Meanwhile, an initial pool of 10-15 startups will be chosen to participate in the ADVanCE for Creatives. After the preliminary screening, they will be assessed based on organizational capacity, business maturity, and readiness levels. From there, five participating startups will be selected to proceed to the acceleration phase and undergo intensive training based on the specific interventions identified from the needs assessment.

To be eligible, startups should be in their growth and expansion stage and are based in the country with at least two years of operations with revenue, SEC or DTI-registered, with 60% of its founders Filipino, and with at least two founders committed to the ADVanCE program.

DTI welcomes all creative startups within the domains of audiovisual media, digital interactive media, creative services, design, publishing and printed media, performing arts, visual arts, traditional cultural expressions, and cultural sites to apply to the programs.

"We call on all eligible creative startups to seize this unparalleled opportunity. Join us in this endeavor to transform your innovative ideas into successful enterprises and become part of a movement that celebrates and elevates Filipino talent and ingenuity," Aldaba shares.

The IDEA and ADVanCE programs are aligned with RA 11337, or the Innovative Startup Act, aimed at providing benefits and programs to strengthen, promote, and develop the Philippine startup ecosystem. Their latest cohorts will focus on the creative industries in accordance with Republic Act No. 11904 or the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act (PCIDA), which mandates the development of a vibrant and globally competitive Philippine creative sector by protecting and enhancing their rights and boosting economic capacities.

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917Ventures’ Fundspace offers Philippine MSMEs grappling with credit and funding issues new seamless digital-based solution

Tuesday, January 30, 2024


As fund sufficiency remains a major challenge for MSMEs, particularly in emerging markets, 917Ventures’s loan aggregator Fundspace is offering 

MSMEs and local entrepreneurs a swift, user-friendly, and easily accessible digital solution to bridge the financing gap in the Philippines.

“No one can deny the outsized impact of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). According to the United Nations Development Programme, these businesses contribute 40% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employ 63% of the local workforce. Despite their substantial contributions, many MSMEs continue to be underfunded. This hinders the growth of these businesses, and in turn may hinder the growth of the economy,” said Martin Luchangco, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at 917Ventures.

Straightforward Application Process

FundSpace caters to enterprises of all sizes, ensuring easy access to the funding to ensure business growth and sustainability. It connects borrowers to different lending partners offering various loan products through an accessible mobile-friendly platform. 

Entrepreneurs can start their financing journey in four simple steps: 

1. Visit the FundSpace website
2. Specify the loan amount
3. Submit necessary business documents (such as Barangay and Mayor’s Permits, DTI Permits, valid IDs, and the latest three months bank statements), and; 
4. Wait for its dedicated account managers to get in touch. 
  • The platform has a quick 14-day loan approval timeline, a significant improvement over the typical 60-day timeline seen in traditional banks.

Together with its lender partners that include Alon Capital, iGlobal, Mt Fuji Lending, BPI Business Banking, First Circle, Zenith Capital, and Esquire, FundSpace provides loans from P5,000 to upwards of P100 million.

“It’s important to provide flexible loan amounts to better serve MSMEs across the board–from those who are just starting out, to those who want to aggressively grow their businesses,” Luchangco explained.

Since launch, FundSpace has facilitated loans across multiple businesses, including industries like retail, construction, food and beverage, services, and software industries, underscoring its position as a valuable partner of MSMEs, helping propel them toward sustainable growth and success.

Inclusive Access to All Types of Businesses

Data from the United Nations Development Program showed that more than half of MSMEs (67%) in the Philippines face challenges when it comes to securing funding. 

Many of these entrepreneurs rely on personal savings or loans from family and friends to start or expand their businesses, as banks and other financial institutions often subject entrepreneurs to a lengthy, tedious process, demanding extensive documentation. Rigid collateral requirements and high-interest rates pose additional barriers, limiting the accessibility of crucial financial resources and cost of business for these enterprises.

In response to these challenges, FundSpace was developed to simplify the borrowing process.

Features to look forward to

Beyond continuing to expand its loan offerings, FundSpace plans to launch a credit scoring feature later in the year. This feature is designed to streamline the application process for borrowers by reducing the required documentation. Simultaneously, for lenders, it will facilitate quicker assessments and enable the platform to deliver higher-quality leads. 

FundSpace's commitment to innovation not only enhances the user experience for borrowers but also strengthens the efficiency and effectiveness of the lending process for its valued network of financial partners.

"Empowering MSMEs with easy financial solutions is both an investment in their growth and in fostering economic resilience. By removing financial barriers for these enterprises we are contributing not only to their success but also to the sustainable development of communities and the Philippine economy,” Luchangco added.

Learn more about FundSpace by visiting fundspace.ph.
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Bayad Powers the Bills Payment Services of GoTyme Bank

Tuesday, January 23, 2024


Bayad, the pioneer brand in the outsourced payment collection system in the Philippines, officially sealed its partnership with GoTyme Bank, one of the country’s fastest growing digital banks.

GoTyme Bank is a joint venture between the Gokongwei group of companies and the multicountry digital banking group Tyme. This time, through its partnership with Bayad, GoTyme App enables bills payment services covering household utilities, tollway RFID load, e-loading, telco, internet, government contributions, and many others.

Tailor-made for the increasingly e-payment savvy Filipino market, GoTyme App provides the convenience of one-stop-digital-shopping experience.

Once customers open a GoTyme Bank account, they can also avail of a free GoTyme Bank Visa debit card in kiosks that are located within the retail footprint of the Robinsons group such as Robinsons Supermarket, The Marketplace, Robinsons Department Store and more across the country.

These GoTyme Bank Visa cards can be used for over-the-counter payments such as shopping and cash withdrawals.

With GoTyme Bank, customers can take advantage by having access to a variety of biller brands powered by Bayad. GoTyme and Bayad App users are also able to transfer funds with each other.

Bayad President and CEO Lawrence Y. Ferrer underscored, “We take pride with our over 3000 biller brands which we are keen of also integrating with our payment channel partners like GoTyme Bank. Bayad has been committed to making digital finance more accessible and easier for Filipinos. Through our partnership with GoTyme Bank, we are optimistic that we will further the financial inclusion in the country.”

GoTyme Bank co-CEO Albert Tinio said, “Through our partnership with Bayad, GoTyme customers can now conveniently pay their monthly bills. They don’t need to take time out of their busy schedules to ensure that their bills are paid on time. Now our users can manage their personal finances from the comfort of their homes.”

For fintech institutions like GoTyme Bank that are interested to be part of Bayad’s extensive channel network, you may send an email to partnerships@bayad.com. Bayad enables partners to attain nationwide presence and provides end-to-end support services for efficient payment and collection processing.
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Embracing Innovation: Fujitsu Philippines Redefines Retail with ActivateNow Event

Friday, January 19, 2024




Brands and retailers constantly grapple with the challenges brought about by peak seasons, navigating through chaotic scenarios in a bid to ensure a seamless customer experience. Fujitsu Philippines recently addressed these challenges at the "ActivateNow Southeast Asia" event in Makati City, showcasing futuristic retail technologies aimed at enhancing efficiency and reducing friction for both merchants and buyers.

Experiencing the Future of Retail 


At the heart of the ActivateNow event was the Fujitsu Christmas Village, a dynamic showcase of cutting-edge retail solutions. Attendees were treated to an experiential journey, with the opportunity to shop for Fujitsu merchandise featuring a unique twist. Each purchased item came with an RFID tag, allowing customers to experience a seamless and efficient self-checkout process. This innovative approach not only streamlined the purchase journey but also set the stage for a future where technology enhances every step of the retail process.

Chilling at the Barista-Free Fujitsu Café


In a bold move, Fujitsu introduced the concept of a barista-free café at the event. The Fujitsu Café leveraged Assisted Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies, providing customers with step-by-step instructions on how to craft their preferred coffee. This novel approach not only redefined the traditional café experience but also highlighted the evolving dynamics of modern workplaces. The integration of tools and human interaction showcased how technology can seamlessly enhance customer engagement and satisfaction.

Data, Security, and AI for Sustainable Retail

As sustainability becomes a focal point in the business landscape, Fujitsu Philippines presented a case study on "radical transparency" during the event. The company attached QR codes to clothing items, enabling shoppers to scan and access comprehensive information about a product – from raw materials to manufacturing processes. This approach not only emphasizes a commitment to sustainable retail practices but also fosters a stronger connection between consumers and the products they choose. Fujitsu's move toward radical transparency showcases the power of technology in optimizing benefits and minimizing waste, paving the way for a sustainable future.

Fujitsu's ActivateNow event serves as a compelling reminder that technological innovation is indispensable for merchants striving to thrive in all seasons. By embracing modern retail solutions, refining customer interactions, and streamlining operations, businesses can cut through the noise and create an enjoyable, efficient shopping experience. As we step into the future of retail, events like ActivateNow underscore the significance of staying ahead in the technological curve to meet the ever-evolving needs of consumers and ensure sustained success.



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AQTIVATE: Angel Investing Summit Transforms Philippine Startup Landscape

Tuesday, January 2, 2024


QBO Innovation Hub Leads the Charge in Nurturing the Next Generation of Angel Investors

The excitement reverberated through Makati City, Philippines, as the curtains rose on the highly anticipated "AQTIVATE: Angel Investing Short Course." This transformative initiative, powered by QBO Innovation Hub in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines and IdeaSpace Investments, set the stage for a dynamic summit aimed at galvanizing the role of Angel Investors in fueling the growth of emerging startups.

The Crucial Role of Angel Investors in Startup Ecosystems

Embarking on the entrepreneurial journey often brings challenges, with securing capital topping the list. QBO Innovation Hub recognizes the pivotal role of Angel Investors in bridging this capital gap, empowering visionaries to turn their ideas into reality. Angel Investors not only stand to gain profits but also wield significant influence over the trajectory of promising startups.

AQTIVATE Summit Highlights: Voices of Influence

The "AQTIVATE: Angel Investing Summit" brought together luminaries in the world of startup investments. Notable speakers included Ray Alimurung, former CEO and Chairman of Lazada; Quenby Go, Executive Director of MAIN.PH; Martin Cu, Partner at 500 Global; and Paul Taylor, Senior Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines. The event also featured leaders of successful Filipino startups, such as Kim Yao of Cloudeats, Jess de Mesa of Kindred, and Saul Molla of Flowerstore – all of whom received their initial investments from Angel Investors.

The AQTIVATE Program: A Comprehensive Approach to Angel Investing Education

In conjunction with the summit, QBO Innovation Hub curated an immersive 3-part AQTIVATE program. Day 2 focused on building a successful startup investment portfolio, led by seasoned investors. Participants gained invaluable insights into optimal capital deployment and high-potential investment opportunities. Day 3 shifted the spotlight to "Closing Angel Investing Deals," offering exceptional insights to enhance participants' angel investment strategies.

QBO Innovation Hub's Vision for Angel Investing in the Philippines

As the leading organization for startups in the Philippines, QBO Innovation Hub is at the forefront of building the angel investing community. The AQTIVATE program aims to develop the next 1,000 angel investors in the country. Katrina Rausa Chan, Executive Director of QBO Innovation Hub, emphasized, "Unlocking private capital is key to fueling growth within the startup landscape in the Philippines."

U.S. Embassy's Support and Collaboration

Pauline Anderson, U.S. Embassy’s Deputy Director for Public Engagement, highlighted the embassy's support in her opening remarks. She commended QBO's efforts, citing their collaboration on previous programs like the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) challenge bootcamp, aligning with the Philippine government’s push for inclusive economic growth and global competitiveness in the tech sector.

QBO's Resounding Success in 2023 and Future Commitments

As 2023 draws to a close, QBO Innovation Hub celebrates the success of AQTIVATE: Angel Investing, marking a remarkable year alongside the Philippine Startup Week and the ongoing IdeaSpace Accelerator Program. Looking ahead, QBO remains steadfast in advancing the startup ecosystem, particularly in nurturing the angel investment landscape. Grateful for partner support and a vibrant community, QBO envisions a future filled with innovation and collaboration.

Join the Journey with QBO Innovation Hub

For those ready to take the next step in the world of startups and angel investing, QBO Innovation Hub beckons. Visit their official website at www.qbo.com.ph and embark on a journey towards entrepreneurial success. As QBO continues to lead the charge, the next wave of angel investors and startups in the Philippines awaits an exciting and transformative future.
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An Open Letter from realme’s Founder and CEO, Sky Li: Let’s Make it real.


realme’s Founder and CEO, Sky Li, issued an open letter at the beginning of 2024, announcing that 2024 will be the year of rebranding for realme. The open letter has clarified realme’s new mission, brand positioning, and spirit. Sky Li says realme will shift its brand outlook from being a brand that is “opportunity-oriented” to being a brand that is “brand-oriented,” and this will be the foundation of its strategic development moving forward. 

A tech brand that better understands young users. 

realme was founded in the fiercely competitive smartphone market and quickly established its position with a differentiation development strategy: bring better technologies and designs to young users around the world. In the past five years, realme gained deep insights into the young generations and continues to provide products with leap-forward performance and design to over 200 million users around the world.

At the beginning of the next five years, based on its deep understanding of young users and guiding the company’s development, realme moved its brand position from a trendy-based strategy to a more open and wide-reaching one, to be A tech brand that better understands young users. Sky Li said, “The focus of our new positioning is not so much a redirection as it is an opening up. This will guide our long-term investment and development which will help us better connect with more young users, in more markets, and more regions of the world.” 

With its 5-year brand assets and young users’ recognition, realme aims higher in its standard. realme focuses more on the brand experience and product experience than before with the goal of exceeding young users’ expectations, beginning with starting from the impossible and raising the standard to make it possible. Therefore, realme revised its mission to more concisely capture its aspirations for future development: To let young users around the world enjoy tech experiences that exceed expectations. Staying true to its original intention, realme will be moving forward with greater focus and ambition, ready to explore new possibilities and make breakthroughs to reach its aspirations.

From “opportunity-oriented” to “brand-oriented”.

realme always puts young people at the core and adheres to the user-centric to drive its competitiveness in three areas: product strength, technological strength, and brand strength. This will guide realme to achieve long-term and high-quality growth. 

To bring breakthroughs in product strength, realme continues to adhere to its “Simply Better” and “No Leap, No Launch” strategies while clarifying the positioning of its three product lines: the GT Series positioned as Next-level Performance Flagship, Number Series positioned as Next-gen Imaging, and C Series positioned as Essential Plus.

Besides, realme will focus on improving the product experience in the three areas of performance, photography, and design, collaborating with more than 30 leading tech partners while investing more heavily in research and development. This will enable realme to bring the latest advances in technology directly to its young users.

On brand strength, realme remains focused on the young generation and will optimize the customer insight mechanism to be more adaptive and responsive in its approach. Sky Li said, realme will be able to directly implement new user insights into its brand and product development, even while in the middle of projects, making for a brand experience that feels more fluid, dynamic, and three-dimensional. 

While focusing on product strength, technological strength, and brand strength, as the core competitiveness, it enables realme to bring the latest advances in technology directly to young users, taking its positioning as a tech brand that better understands young users from an idea into reality.

Moreover, realme puts forward a new slogan: Make it real. The new slogan retains the spirit of realme’s Dare to Leap while focusing more on young users, and bringing real, clear, and tangible benefits to their lives. At the beginning of its next 5 years, realme will stay true to its original intention, growing up with young people to be a tech brand that better understands young users and satisfies their spiritual pursuits and emotional values to make it real.
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Unlocking Efficiency and Security: The Benefits of Using ML Moves Logistics Solutions in Your Business

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

ML Moves Logistics Solutions


In the dynamic landscape of modern business, staying ahead requires a strategic approach to logistics. ML Moves Logistics emerges as a game-changer, offering a comprehensive solution to meet the evolving needs of businesses. 

ML Moves excels in providing reliable logistics services, ensuring that your goods reach their destination securely and on time. With a robust network and cutting-edge technology, the company guarantees efficient handling of shipments, reducing the risk of delays and ensuring customer satisfaction.

Transparency is key in logistics, and ML Moves Logistics understands this well. The company employs state-of-the-art tracking and monitoring systems through partner couriers, allowing you to keep a real-time eye on your shipments. This not only enhances the security of your goods but also enables you to provide accurate information to your customers, fostering trust and loyalty.

ML Moves Logistics is committed to delivering cost-effective solutions without compromising on service quality. By optimizing routes, utilizing advanced technology, and streamlining processes, the company helps businesses minimize transportation costs, contributing to overall financial efficiency. For selected Shopee and Lazada sellers utilizing M Lhuillier branches as drop-off points for their parcels, service is provided by their legitimate and licensed courier partners - Airspeed and J&T Express for domestic deliveries. Shopee customers can also drop off approved items for return to seller at any M Lhuillier branch without spending on shipping fee. If you are a Lazada customer, you can conveniently pick up your parcel at any M Lhuillier branch of your choice instead of having it delivered at home.

Every business has unique logistics requirements, and ML Moves Logistics recognizes this diversity. The company offers customizable logistics solutions tailored to meet the specific needs of your business. Whether walk-in transactions or e-commerce solutions, ML Moves Logistics provides flexible options to optimize your retail operation by acting as an extended business center. 

Security is paramount in logistics, and ML Moves Logistics prioritizes the safety of your shipments. The company only partners with trusted courier partners giving you peace of mind knowing that your goods are in good hands. This commitment to security ensures that your business can operate with confidence in the reliability of their logistics partners.

For businesses with global aspirations, ML Moves Logistics offers international logistics services. With DHL Express as partner that is guaranteed to have a deep understanding of international shipment regulations, the company facilitates seamless cross-border movements, opening up new markets and opportunities for your business.

ML Moves Logistics Solutions


In a competitive business landscape, the right logistics partner can make all the difference. M Lhuillier ML Moves Logistics stands out as a reliable, efficient, and innovative solution that can elevate your business operations. From ensuring the security of your shipments to providing cost-effective and customizable logistics solutions, ML Moves Logistics is a strategic ally for businesses aiming to thrive in the modern marketplace.
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HONOR Phenomenal Success: Achieving 200% Sales Growth Revealed at Fortune Global Forum 2023

HONOR Magic V2

In the rapidly evolving landscape of smart devices, HONOR, the global technology brand, has emerged as a trailblazer in foldable innovation and eye comfort technology. With a remarkable 200% growth in overseas markets this year, HONOR's commitment to human-centric innovations takes center stage, as discussed at the prestigious Fortune Global Forum 2023 in Abu Dhabi.

Human-Centric Innovations: A Glimpse into the Future

Dr. Ray Guo, Chief Marketing Officer of HONOR Device Co. Ltd., emphasized the company's belief in human-centric innovations during the enlightening discussion at the Fortune Global Forum. According to Dr. Guo, the next generation of smart devices will be defined by foldable technology entering the mainstream, on-device AI paving the way for transformative experiences, and human-centric technologies, such as the groundbreaking eye comfort display technology, enhancing the interaction between humans and devices.

One Million Foldable Phones Milestone: Addressing Vision Impairment Globally

Recognizing the global issue of vision impairment highlighted by the World Health Organization, HONOR made it a top priority. Investing over $140 million in display technology research and development, HONOR integrated eye comfort display technology into its devices, resulting in the development of over 500 display-related patents. The HONOR Magic V2, designed to address core user pain points, has achieved significant milestones, including being the No.1 best-selling foldable in China, capturing 25% of the expanding foldable market.

Addressing Core User Pain Points: Thinness, Durability, and Battery Life

HONOR's commitment to solving core user pain points has led to the creation of devices like the HONOR Magic V2. As thin and light as a regular flagship smartphone, the Magic V2 boasts durability, withstanding at least 400,000 folds. Incorporating silicon-carbon battery technology ensures all-day battery life, addressing previous concerns about foldable devices.

Unleashing the Power of On-Device AI

The anticipation surrounding artificial intelligence was not overlooked, and HONOR has invested significantly in this domain. The upcoming HONOR Magic6 smartphone, powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Mobile Platform, will feature On-device LLM. HONOR's approach to AI involves a hybrid model, utilizing on-device AI for personalized content and services while prioritizing user privacy with data remaining on the device.

Industry Leadership and Supply Chain Advancements

HONOR's achievement of manufacturing one million foldables signals not only its success in the market but also the maturation of the industry's supply chain. This milestone demonstrates the industry's progression towards mass production, with automated and efficient manufacturing processes, solidifying HONOR's role as a leader in driving the industry forward.


Stay updated with HONOR's latest developments and announcements by visiting HONOR’s website or following them on social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Additionally, explore HONOR’s retail presence at https://www.hihonor.com/ph/retailers/.
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Great customer service more important than low prices for Filipino consumers

Sunday, December 10, 2023


As AI becomes a bigger part of daily life, consumers place a premium on human connection; quality beats price; companies need to find new ways to listen to customers.

When it comes to parting with their hard-earned cash, most consumers in the Philippines say excellent customer service is more important than price, according to new research released by Qualtrics.

Despite the high cost of living being top of mind for many consumers in the Philippines, the 2024 Qualtrics Consumer Trends Report shows product and service quality and customer service support are the two considerations consumers prioritize when making a purchase - both ahead of price. Consumers are also placing importance on easy digital experiences and buying from brands that are doing good things for society.

With great experience as the foundation for driving loyalty and share of wallet, a critical barrier organizations need to overcome to improve customer service in 2024 is lagging morale among frontline employees, such as cashiers, bank tellers, and restaurant servers. Frontline employees are often the greatest driver of great customer experience and service - and how most consumers prefer to engage with brands. 

Yet separate Qualtrics research shows this group are less satisfied with their pay and development, and support to do their job, compared to non-frontline employees - a trend at risk of getting worse before it gets better, with only 38% of customer experience leaders making “training our customer service agents and frontline employees” a priority.

“Consumers in the Philippines expect more than ever from the organizations they engage with. Brands need to find ways to capture valuable customer feedback in all the places where it’s being shared - such as through surveys, on social media, call transcripts, chat logs, and review sites - and combine it with operational data - such as average spend and visit frequency - to gain insight into what consumers are doing and better understand how to serve them better,” said Moira Dorsey, Principal XM Catalyst, Qualtrics XM Institute.

The Consumer Experience Trends in the Philippines in 2024

The Qualtrics study shows consumer expectations are on the rise heading into 2024. Providing a seamless experience across every channel - from shopping online through to calling customer support or using a chatbot - is now table stakes. And, as AI becomes a bigger part of daily life, consumers are putting a premium on human connection and rewarding brands that deliver exceptional digital support with their dollars and lasting loyalty.

The shift in how consumers give feedback is one of four trends highlighted by Qualtrics set to define the consumer experience in 2024:

● Human connection is the foundation of a winning AI strategy
● Great service beats low prices in the battle for customer loyalty 
● Consumers don't give feedback like they used to, so companies must listen in new ways
● Digital support is the weakest link in the customer journey 

A winning AI strategy must address consumers’ fear of losing the human connection

At a time when organizations are focused on adopting and deploying AI to build deeper connections with customers - such as by identifying and rapidly responding to issues, writing communications or personalizing experiences and recommendations - half of consumers in the Philippines are comfortable engaging with AI-powered services and communications.

Consumers’ biggest concerns when engaging with AI during their customer experience are having a lack of human connection, reduced interaction quality, and misuse of personal data. The importance of human connection is emphasized by a significant volume of consumers preferring to interact with brands via human channels (74%) instead of digital (26%). As a result, the most successful initial AI strategies will see organizations use the technology to power transactional engagements and equip frontline employees with the tools, insights, and ability to deliver higher levels of customer service.

Customers aren’t giving feedback like they used to – companies must listen in new ways

Only 48% of consumers give direct feedback every time they have a bad experience with a company, but they are providing feedback in less direct ways, such as in call center conversations, online chat, product reviews and social media posts. Since 2021, the share of consumers providing feedback directly to the companies they buy from following a very bad experience has fallen by 11 percentage points, meaning organizations need to be smart about gathering feedback where customers are giving it and taking action to address it.


Table shows decrease in percentage points since 2021 on how consumers provide feedback

Companies can build a richer understanding of what customers want and expect by tuning into both direct and indirect sources of feedback. The latter may even provide a more authentic view into the customer experience and can surface issues or insights that may not come up on a traditional survey.

Digital support creates winners and losers

Great digital-channel support can have an outsized impact on customer loyalty – but it’s less common. Globally, consumers are more likely to return if they have great digital support, compared to great customer support from a representative. However, consumers are less satisfied with their digital support experience than human-assisted experience.

Addressing this trend is pressing given the increasing reliance on digital channels by brands around the world. A recent Qualtrics study found 70% of companies say that digital channels contribute to at least 40% of their revenue, and 85% of respondents expect that number to grow in the coming months.

Read the full 2024 Consumer Experience Trends Report here.
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Store-specific planogram: AI-driven trend that changes retail space planning

retail space planning

In the retail industry, customer expectations are straightforward: they want to easily find the products they need and enjoy a hassle-free shopping experience. If a store falls short in these aspects, it risks losing its place as a preferred shopping destination for customers. That is precisely why the foundation of a great customer experience lies in effective space planning.

Commonly referred to as a planogram, space planning involves optimizing a store's layout and product placement to enhance customer experiences and increase sales. Effective strategies include positioning high-demand and seasonal items near the entrance, ensuring accessibility and visibility in key areas, and adapting layouts based on sales data and customer feedback.

In the Philippines, planogram preparation is mainly a manual process, although retailers use digital tools for sales data analysis. However, for larger retailers dealing with extensive data and numerous products, manual adjustments can become overwhelming. 

Through advanced tech, retail space planning driven by artificial intelligence is now possible. This is in the form of store-specific planograms. RELEX Solutions, a leading supply chain and retail solutions provider, shares its insights on this emerging trend.

“A store-specific or local planogram is one designed for a particular store or location. Unlike a standardized planogram that may be used for multiple stores, a local planogram takes into account the unique characteristics of a specific store, such as its layout, customer demographics, and sales data,” said Donald “DJ” Felbaum, Head of Sales for the Philippines at RELEX Solutions. “It is tailored to the individual needs and conditions of that particular location to optimize product placement and merchandising to drive sales and improve customer service.”

However, it is often seen as challenging and time-consuming due to the anticipation of lengthy, costly, and uncertain implementation projects. For instance, imagine a retailer with 1,000 stores, each needing weekly updates to five planograms. If one planner creates ten planograms daily, it would require an impractical workforce of 100 planners, along with ongoing training. But the integration of AI and machine learning automation can address these challenges. AI-powered automation can help users configure parameters and apply them across thousands of planograms, saving costs and avoiding additional expenses related to inventory adjustments for layout and local consumer preferences.

The benefits of AI-generated local planogram optimization also include precise store shelf configuration and a one-touch replenishment model. This approach, which enables immediate stacking of incoming stock onto display units, facilitates one-way inventory that results in cost reduction by eliminating the need for staff to transport excess stock to back rooms, enhancing the efficient use of available storage space, and reducing restock frequency of fast-selling products. 

Furthermore, AI and machine learning automation usher in interactive, standardized merchandising reports. These insights unveil concealed issues and provide both macro and micro data perspectives, empowering retailers to proactively optimize product placement, fine-tune pricing, and enhance inventory management. 

Store-specific planograms epitomize the future of space retail planning, optimizing product placement, and enhancing customer satisfaction. Harnessing advanced technology in retail, this tailored approach allows retailers to adapt swiftly to market changes, leading to elevated customer experience, improved profitability, and fostering brand loyalty.
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