Connect with us

Lifestyle

UnionBank pairs resource-poor MSME with investors, markets

Jun Vallecera

Published

on

Listed lender UnionBank of the Philippines is using technology to solve a dilemma preventing small, often unregistered micro small and medium enterprises (MSME) from accessing the financial services typically accorded established businesses without breaking any of the safeguards imposed by government regulation or the strictures of private shareholders.

The MSME sector is often left outside the door in dire need of financing either to begin operations or to scale up the enterprise but stumped by such proof of legitimacy as financial statements, income tax returns, credit history and a host of other regulatory strictures and documents.

UnionBank has put to work a startup that in essence is a marketplace for services called the GlobalLinker that abbreviates the process of legitimizing an enterprise that began without need of formal documents or records but must now transition to the regulated world of commerce in the digital era.

The 38,000 MSME users form part of a larger universe of 250,000 users worldwide who have signed up with the GlobalLinker platform. Some 13,000 individual MSME are Filipino active users.

Mourese “Moe” Soriano, UnionBank program manager and lead advocate for GlobalLinker, said the MSME could readily transition from the informal to the formal world of business and access the financial services required for sustainability and growth without having to spend a fortune.

Such is possible because GlobalLinker has partnered with entities that takes away the transition pain points for the MSME including, for instance, Taxumo, which is a tax filing platform; Esquire Financing, which customizes business loans for capital or for expansion; Acudeen for digital invoice financing; Paynamics for secure e-commerce transactions for merchants and their acquiring banks and SeedIn, for account funds.

Soriano said GlobalLinker, which has deployed in India, Thailand, Philippines and Singapore, already has 250,000 users of which fifteen percent are Filipino MSME.

“These are the guys who signed up and started a relationship with us,” Soriano said of the locals who subscribe to the whole gamut of services. They also introduced Biz Starter Account for SME, only at P5,000 a month.

The 38,000 MSME users form part of a larger universe of 250,000 users worldwide who have signed up with the GlobalLinker platform. Some 13,000 individual MSME are Filipino active users.

Pia Roman Tayag, managing director at the Center for Learning and Inclusion Advocacy of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, welcomed the launching of the platform, saying such endeavors help deepen the understanding the workings of MSME as key economic enablers.

Advertisement