Open finance to accelerate financial inclusion goal — UBX

Open finance has the power to accelerate the country’s financial inclusion goal, as it democratizes access to a spectrum of financial products and services particularly for the unbanked and underbanked as well as growing business, according to a ranking official of UBX, the leading open finance platform in the Philippines.

Driving access and interoperability among financial ecosystem participants, open finance allows financial institutions to reach the unbanked and underbanked, while empowering them to tailor solutions that meet the needs of consumers and businesses.

“Inclusion has always been a critical mission for us at UBX, and we believe that the accelerated adoption of the open finance framework will allow us and the industry to hasten our shared goal of including everyone in the financial system. Open finance will enable our partners to acquire customers at scale, develop solutions specific to the unbanked, underbanked, and growing businesses, and provide consumers with greater choice and control over their data,” UBX President John Januszczak said.

The Bangko Sentral ng Plilipinas (BSP) recently rolled out the Open Finance Framework, which allows “consent-driven data portability, interoperability, and collaborative partnerships among financial institutions and third-party providers (TPPs).”

Last month, the BSP also unveiled the refreshed 2022-2028 National Strategy for Financial Inclusion (NSFI), which aims to reduce disparities in financial inclusion; improving health and resilience; empowering consumers; and increasing access to finance of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) including startups and the agriculture sector.

“Since we were formed in 2018, we at UBX have been consistent with our drive to include everyone into the financial ecosystem. We have invested heavily in open finance technologies and tools that complement the BSP’s regulations and initiatives towards financial inclusion,” Januszczak said.

Through its banking-as-as-service venture i2i, UBX enables ordinary merchants to become banking agents, who can offer a range of banking solutions from performing know-your-customer (KYC) processes, disbursing funds, processing bills payments, accepting deposits, accepting and forwarding loan applications, to selling insurance, among many others.

A cloud-based platform, i2i is built on blockchain and open finance technologies, enabling fast, reliable, and secure financial transactions, including but not limited to wallet transfers, domestic transfers, bills payment, mobile scoring, mobile ATM, and offline and online loan processing, among others. To date, UBX has over 200,000 B2B customers on its open finance platform.

UBX’s open finance platform also gave birth to SeekCap, an online lending marketplace, that enables lenders to reach MSMEs and offer them with affordable loans to help them jump start or expand their businesses. Last year, SeekCap processed over P7 billion in loans from the more than 50,000 MSMEs registered on the platform.

To complement these ventures, UBX also developed BUx, an all-in-one payment solutions platform that allows merchants of all sizes to accept all forms of payment, unifying payment channels from card payments, bank transfers, over-the-counter payments, to e-wallets into one solution.

“As the leader in open finance and as a strong government ally, we vow to develop more products and services to help the country accelerate our shared goal of including the majority of Filipinos in the financial systems,” Januszczak said.

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