How Can Government Expand Digital Finance Inclusion In The Philippines?

As a Philippines expatriate, do you send money to Philippines through digital money transfer services? Thanks to a number of factors, the Philippines appears to be on track to become a global pioneer in the use of financial technology or FinTech. For starters, the Philippines’ geography, which includes over 7,000 islands, necessitates an alternative to conventional brick-and-mortar banking infrastructure. Second, the community is young and mobile-savvy, with an average age of 25 years old, a mobile subscription rate of over 100%, and about two-thirds of the population having access to the internet. Third, the Philippines has one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

As a result, this young demographic is becoming increasingly affluent, boosting financial services demand. Fourth, the Philippines has a growing FinTech startup scene covering a wide range of verticals, including online money transfer to Philippines – remittances, online lending, and small and medium-sized business financing. Finally, the Philippines’ financial sector regulators, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), support FinTech’s growth. They have taken constructive measures to help it develop.

What Is The Usability Of the Digital Finance System In Emerging Countries?

In 2017, the Grameen Foundation received funding from Wells Fargo to execute a usability analysis to better understand how the accessibility of digital financial services, goods, and applications viewed by low-income women influences their adoption and use of digital services for money transfers to Philippines and outside the country. German Foundation gathered 50 women from partners Ahon sa Hirap, Inc., Central Visayas Information Sharing Foundation Inc., and Nationlink to perform usability testing of six digital financial services (DFS) currently on the market. Task success assessments on each platform were included in the analysis, accompanied by a focus group discussion to identify other non-product-specific issues women face while using DFS platforms.

Five such barriers were discovered in the study:

 

  1. Fear of adoption stems from a lack of confidence in DFS and a lack of digital financial literacy and skills.
  2. Due to a lack of appropriate retailers and commercial establishments accepting mobile money, DFS platforms offer a limited range of transactions, discouraging frequent use.
  3. DFS is unreliable due to poor and sporadic network connections in some rural areas.
  4. DFS adoption is hampered by setting up personal mobile accounts due to strict KYC (know your customer) and registration processes, especially for those without identification documents.
  5. For consumers who aren’t used to send money to Philipines online through mobile apps, there aren’t enough tutorials on the DFS interface and user experience.