What Financial Inclusion Is And How The Philippines Is Faring When It Comes To It

Yarden Bilovich, a foreigner involved in a few start up companies in the Philippines, is a seasoned force when it comes to financial inclusion and digitalization. He graced the fourth interview for #GlobalDominionOnline to share his knowledge on both topics.He’s opened the discussion about financial inclusion by defining it as the availability of access to financial services like banking, insurance, and investments.

A few reasons why this remains to be an area for improvement in the Philippines would be:

  1. the geographical location and arrangements of our islands, which make some areas more difficult to reach than the rest; and
  2. internet connectivity, which many regularly complain about.

Education and awareness of the community is another major factor to check, but even these have tremendously improved by the changes brought about by the pandemic. In the beginning of the pandemic, our community focused on survival, which ultimately makes sense given the impact of the health crisis to our economy and our communities in general. This was followed by a quick time with everyone’s hands on deck to combat the crisis.

Finally, and the longer phase is with the community adjusting to the new normal, evolving over time in many aspects, such as from hi-touch to low-touch when it comes to different transactions. However, Yarden does not think that the Philippines is ready for a fully digital environment given the challenges and limitations that have been around even before the pandemic. But he is positive that the country is faring well towards digitalization.

He adds that the same people who were formerly tech-resistant or doubtful, as he called them, are now the ones pushing for digitalization, primarily because of the lack of other options. Discussions on items like cloud technology, digitalization, and digital onboarding, which were just alternatives in the past, have now become the priority streets heading towards the future for many companies.

Yarden later on shared that he thinks the customers in the Philippines have been neglected in the past, given how difficult it is “still” to perform a few transactions, like opening accounts, depositing money, and a lot more – picturing his experience signing a ton of documents for a single transaction. For this particular example scenario, one like Yarden can easily say that solutions are just in our fingertips, like artificial intelligence.

Through the discussion around pricing and costs, the interviewee deemed it important to share that such technology shall be seen as an investment more than anything else. If one will look closely and perform cost-benefit analysis, he would see its dramatic influence to the bottomline and customer experience.

Yarden emphasized how important technology is when it comes to automation of manual tasks, and managing and processing data real time! He’s ended the interview with some of the changes he’s been looking forward to, like the national ID in the Philippines.

Watch his entire interview here. Please watch more #GlobalDominionOnline premiere Facebook videos here and feel free to comment for questions or feedback.