The financial technology arm of Union Bank of the Philippines led by bankero Edwin Bautista sees a four-fold jump in the loan disbursements of its online lending marketplace SeekCap to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) this year.
SeekCap, a unit of UnionBank’s UBX, aims to process P33.5 billion in loans this year, almost six times the P6 billion disbursed to 40,000 MSMEs last year.
UBX managing director for lending Marcy Pilar-Inajada said that the company continues to strengthen its pursuit for partnerships with online communities, platforms, and governments to reach more MSMEs that need access to business loans.
“SeekCap was born out of UBX’s desire to reach MSMEs, who traditionally, have no access to financing to grow their businesses due to the hefty requirements of business banking. We believe that by democratizing access to loans, we will be able to help more growing businesses expand their operations and help in the recovery of the overall economy this year,” Pilar-Inajada said.
It leverages its partners’ wide user base to offer loans to businesses. Its partners include leading online marketplace Lazada and online food and grocery delivery platform Foodpanda, among many others.
This year, SeekCap plans to partner with more MSME ecosystems, as well as e-commerce, franchising, and wholesale players to further expand its reach.
“The opportunity for SeekCap is huge, given that 99.51 percent of all businesses in the Philippines are MSMEs. Our goal is to reach 100,000 new customers this year or about 10 percent of the total growing businesses in the country,” Pilar-Inajada added.
SeekCap simplifies the processing of business loans through its digital platform. Business loans may be processed in as fast as 24 hours, which is significantly faster than the minimum 30-day approval time for most banks.
SeekCap also plans to bring local governments into its end-to-end digital lending platform to encourage their citizens to grow their businesses through financing.
In fact, SeekCap has already been working on this goal for as early as 2020. SeekCap partnered with the local government of Pasig to introduce the Pasig TAPAT (Tulong at Pampuhunang Ayuda sa Taga-Pasig) Business Loan Program.