MANILA – A Malaysian lender has tapped FINTQnologies Corp. (FINTQ) as it enters the Philippine market as a digital bank.
In a statement on Tuesday, FINTQ, the financial technology (fintech) arm of PLDT Group’s Voyager Innovations, Inc., said it entered a partnership agreement with CIMB Bank Berhad (CIMB), in line with CIMB’s strategy to establish itself as a “digital-only” bank in the country.
“We are confident that by leveraging on these partners’ local strengths as well as CIMB’s extensive digital experience, we will be able to provide our customers in the Philippines with a seamless digital banking experience,” Tengku Dato’ Sri Zafrul Aziz, CIMB Group’s chief executive officer (CEO), was quoted as saying in the statement.
“[W]e are also confident that our differentiated strategy based on digital and partnerships will bring a strong value proposition into the market.”
Voyager Innovations President and CEO Orlando B. Vea said the collaboration will provide the fintech firm’s customers more loan products through its digital platform Lendr.
In particular, FINTQ Managing Director Angelito M. Villanueva said that CIMB would “initially [offer] appliance loans via Lendr,” he said in a text message.
Through digital means, customers can apply for their desired loan products by visiting Lendr’s Web site or downloading its mobile application, without having to visit a bank branch.
Offering financial products digitally instead of opening brick and mortar branches can trim banks’ operational costs, which can translate to higher efficiency and profitability.
“We are excited to collaborate with CIMB on this fast growing fintech space. This is in line with our mission to collaborate with partners and develop mutually beneficial propositions,” PLDT Inc. Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan was also quoted in the statement.
“This is just the start of a long-term fruitful partnership with one of [Southeast Asia]’s largest banks.”
Aside from FINTQ, CIMB also entered into a partnership agreement payment collection firm CIS Bayad Center, Inc., also an affiliate of the PLDT Group.
In a separate statement from CIMB, the partnerships were forged “in preparation for the establishment of its operations in the fourth quarter of 2018.”
CIMB is the second-biggest bank in Malaysia after Malayan Banking Berhad or Maybank.
According to CIMB’s Web site, it has total assets of $129.71 billion as of end-2017 and is present in 15 markets worldwide.
Voyager Innovations is PLDT’s digital innovations unit. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal