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Etiqa planning footprint expansion




Etiqa Life and General Assurance Philippines announced its intent to “expand its footprint” in the Philippines as it strengthens its foothold in the region.

The insurance arm of the Maybank Group, Etiqa Chief Financial Officer Chris Eng Poh Yoon told financial reporters that it intends to take advantage of the growing insurance market in the country. He cited the growing middle-class segment as “a prominent customer force” which it describes as a “favorable demographic structure of more financially aware young population.”

Chris pointed out that the middle class is set to become a prominent customer force not only because of its large population but also due to strong income growth prospects. According to the insurer, the country’s middle-class segment would be registering a median income exceeding $11,200 by 2030.

“The Philippines has a young society, and younger than the rest of the world. Roughly 61.1 percent of the country’s population belonged to the 15 to 64 age group,” he said.

“The median age in the Philippines is 24.7 years-old. This is equivalent to the age of someone who recently graduated from college. All of this translates to the country having very young competent and reliable human resources,” Chris said.

“Millennials will be of some help in terms of increasing penetration levels in the country as they are seen to be more financially aware than previous generations. We’ve seen a trend towards promoting financial literacy inclusion among Filipino children, for instance, recently, Maybank Philippines and Maybank Foundation Malaysia have created a money management program for youngsters in Metro Manila.”

The 0 to 14 age group cornered 34.6 percent of the total population. In contrast, the 65 plus group accounted for just 4.3 percent.

Chris also noted that financial literacy in the country is growing and being helped by the change in technology. As a result, all financially complicated matters are now within easy reach. It cited a recent Internet usage study that revealed 34 percent of the country’s 76 million internet users are now using mobile banking.

“The country’s insurance industry is adapting to rapid technological developments. This is expected to change in line with the regulator’s push to use mobile applications for distribution of insurance products, and an increasing focus on digitization,” Chris said.