BanKo, the microfinance arm of Bank of the Philippine Islands, takes a pro-active role in guiding its clients, particularly the self-employed micro-entrepreneurs, in navigating the business environment under the so-called “new normal”.
BanKo head of financial inclusion and microfinance loans Rodolfo Mabiasen Jr. said the lender continues to find means to serve small entrepreneurs during the pandemic.
“Our clients need our support and guidance especially during these trying times. We understand their situation, and as their partner, we are here to help them survive and start over for their families,” he said in a recent Go Negosyo Mentor Me Online session on Facebook.
BanKo aims to make banking services more accessible to the unserved and underserved Filipinos. It serves SEMEs by providing them with affordable and appropriate financial products and empowering them with expert financial advice and solutions that promote the growth and expansion of their enterprises.
It has already made a considerable impact on the lives of thousands of previously underserved Filipinos by creating an enabling business environment for them. It is aims to make a significant contribution to the economic development in the long run.
Since the enhanced community quarantine was implemented on March 15, about 62 percent of BanKo’s clients had to temporarily stop their operations.
Now that the lockdown was lifted, these self-employed micro-entrepreneurs are looking forward to restarting their businesses.
To survive and start over, BanKo advised clients to adapt to the new normal by exploring other digital alternatives such as social media.
SEMEs should be as creative and resourceful as they can to deliver the current needs of consumers, Mabiasen said.
Aside from going digital, BanKo also highlights the importance of financial management. Clients are encouraged to follow a strict budget plan, prioritize needs over wants and maintain a good credit standing to be able to renew their loans.
BanKo is committed to help clients start over by offering programs depending on their needs. One of them is the BanKo Term Extension Program—a restructuring program to help clients who, at the moment, need to reduce their installment amount.
Another program is BanKo App, a digital way for convenient monitoring of account and access to BanKo transactions such as Buy Load, Send Money and Pay Bills and BanKo Cash Agents, an additional channel for clients to deposit to their account.
SEMEs can also closely monitor their accounts through the BPI BanKo Mobile App as they wish, whenever, wherever.
“Through this easy, hassle-free online banking tool, clients may easily monitor their NegosyoKo loans, send payments, and check their balance and transaction history in the comfort of their homes. With a few taps, accountholders may also buy prepaid mobile load and get a 2 percent rebate, transfer money, and pay bills,” said BanKo head of customer and product management Anne delos Reyes.
The BanKo Mobile App helps the client monitor the movement of their savings, the status of their NegosyKo loan payments, and due dates.
NegosyoKo Loan is business loan product catering the microentrepreneurs for additional capital or business expansion.
Clients can also buy load, send money and pay bills using the app.
“We encourage our clients to go digital via the BanKo App for easy, hassle-free online banking. We are expanding our BanKo Cash Agent network so that clients can have more channels for depositing for their savings or paying their loan,” Reyes said.
From the time that NegosyoKo was launched, BanKo has already served more than 120,000 clients.
On top of BanKo’s network of 300 branches nationwide, it also has several cash agents including GRJ Jaro, Raquel Pawnshop, Santolan, and Tambunting, where clients may deposit and withdraw from their PondoKo accounts and pay for their NegosyoKo loans.
Even in these trying times, BanKoPares and BanKoMares continue to check their clients’ situations and teach them how they can sustain their businesses.
BanKo has served more than 120,000 clients nationwide and disbursed P12.9 billion in loans since 2017.
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