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Technology

Fasset taps Ethereum to boost sustainable infrastructure

Fasset Founder and CEO Mohammad Raafi Hossain says they want to create a blockchain-based ecosystem for the efficient financing of sustainable infrastructure.
Fasset Founder and CEO Mohammad Raafi Hossain says they want to create a blockchain-based ecosystem for the efficient financing of sustainable infrastructure.

UK-headquartered fintech company Fasset has launched the world’s first comprehensive operating system dedicated to the ethical financing of sustainable infrastructure on the Ethereum blockchain.

Inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Fasset hopes to expedite the construction of sustainable infrastructure while providing safe, secure, and yielding investments to a broader investor base. This is in response to increasingly pronounced climate degradation and a clear lack of capital entering the sustainable infrastructure sector — estimated by the World Economic Forum to be moving towards a US$15 trillion deficit by 2040. 

“With climate change expected to cost the world economy US$7.9 trillion by 2050, impacting lives and communities, the need for sustainable infrastructure has never been more urgent. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has placed the global economy at a standstill with massive job losses and markets tumbling around the world. The most direct and effective way to accelerate the production of large-scale sustainable infrastructure projects — and, in turn, create sustainable jobs for the global economy — is through hard asset tokenization and the democratizing access to these investments. We believe that there is, today, an unprecedented opportunity to equalize the global economy while creating sustainable jobs and fighting climate change — and the time to seize it is now,” said Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Fasset Founder and CEO and former Technology Advisor to the United Arab Emirates Prime Minister’s Office, in a press statement.

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Technology

Bonds.PH app makes bond investing easy for unbanked

Union Bank of the Philippines President and CEO Edwin R. Bautista says the Bonds.PH mobile app will benefit every Filipino.
Union Bank of the Philippines President and CEO Edwin R. Bautista says the Bonds.PH mobile app will benefit every Filipino.

Have you ever thought of investing in retail treasury bonds? Now the Bonds.PH mobile app makes it easy for every Filipino, even the unbanked, to do so for as low as US$100.

The Philippine Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) is the first in Asia to launch an app for the distribution of retail treasury bonds enabled by Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT).

“The launch of Bonds.PH paves the way for all Filipinos, particularly the unbanked, to easily and affordably invest in the BTr’s newest retail treasury bond, RTB-24 or the Progreso Bonds. The mobile app presents a compelling opportunity for all to invest and help the Republic raise funds for economic recovery and COVID-19 response,” Philippine National Treasurer Rosalia V. De Leon said in a press statement.

The launch was made possible in partnership with Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) and Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX).

“This is the first retail treasury bond issuance to leverage on blockchain technology in Asia, and likely the world. The Philippines is ready to lead the way into the future and tech up the nation with innovative, inclusive opportunities, powered by emerging technologies, for the benefit of all Filipinos,” said UnionBank President and CEO Edwin R. Bautista.

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Technology

TrueMoney supports sari-sari stores via Dagdag Puhunan

Sari-sari store owner Amy Garcia is thankful that TrueMoney is giving her convenient access to essential food and non-food products.
Sari-sari store owner Amy Garcia is thankful that TrueMoney is giving her convenient access to essential food and non-food products.

Amy Garcia, a sari-sari store owner for more than two decades, is one of the many beneficiaries of the low touch economy innovations of the award-winning Dagdag Puhunan program of TrueMoney Philippines.

“In these extraordinary times, TrueMoney Philippines accepts the challenge of helping the simple Filipino sari-sari store owner to thrive and survive,” TrueMoney Philippines CEO and Country Managing Director Eugene Go told Digital Life Asia.

TrueMoney, a payments and remittance network, has rolled out Dagdag Puhunan for the benefit of local communities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In partnership with Unilever, it enables cashless payment for the purchase of essential food and non-food products.

“The sari-sari store is now more important than ever to supply the basic needs of the neighborhood given the mobility constraints and health safety precautions that everyone needs to observe in this time of the pandemic. While online groceries are now gaining popularity, a large number of consumers will most likely spend the money for delivery fees on their basic necessities instead,” TrueMoney Loans Business Unit Head Rocio-An Rentuza said.

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Gaming

ULeague Mobile Legends charity clash gears for Round 2

The ULeague is Union Bank of the Philippines’ inter-company esports league.

Will Round 1 champions SALARIUM emerge victorious again? Or will the ULeague crown a new winner in Round 2 of its Mobile Legends Charity Clash Tournament?

The ULeague is Union Bank of the Philippines’ (UnionBank) inter-company esports league. It is holding the ULeague Charity Clash Tournament, an online competition featuring the popular game Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. This charity clash is organized by UnionBank and its partners. These include the Distributed Ledger Technology Association of the Philippines, Fintech Philippines Association, UShare, and Tech Up Pilipinas Inc.

Round 2 of the tournament is scheduled on July 2-3. All participating companies have pledged a donation which will go towards charities with COVID-19 relief campaigns, including Caritas Manila.

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Gaming

Mobile Legends team of Salarium wins in charity clash

Mobile Legends team of Salarium emerged victorious in the ULeague: Charity Clash Tournament.

The Mobile Legends team of Salarium emerged victorious in Round 1 of the ULeague: Charity Clash Tournament that Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) and its partners launched. This was for the benefit of charities with COVID-19 relief programs, including Caritas Manila.

Their team, also called SALARIUM, defeated the Noob Killers of Dragonpay in the Round 1 finals held on June 11. The organizers will hold the succeeding rounds in the coming weeks.

“We launched our own internal esports tournament early this year as an avenue to foster community and engagement in UnionBank through gaming,” UnionBank Senior Vice President and Head of the Fintech Group Arvie de Vera said in a press statement.

“With the Charity Clash Tournament, we want to build the same community through gaming in the fintech industry, and advocate our value of Ubuntu as we support organizations like Caritas Manila that continue to help out our kababayans during this time of need,” he said.

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Technology

RCBC all-digital bank also inclusion super app, says EVP

RCBC EVP and Chief Innovation and Inclusion Officer Lito Villanueva says exciting times are ahead with the upcoming launch of the RCBC all-digital bank.
RCBC EVP and Chief Innovation and Inclusion Officer Lito Villanueva says exciting times are ahead with the upcoming launch of the RCBC all-digital bank.

As Yuchengco-owned Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) ramps up its digital transformation, it will launch an all-digital bank that will drive financial inclusion in the Philippines.

“RCBC will be launching an all-digital bank and it will be sooner rather than later. The company is not afraid to look towards the future and accept that legacy banking may be a thing of the past. A peek into what we have ahead: this new product will not only be an all-digital bank but also an inclusion super app — with an array of services that is more than what is offered in the market today. Exciting times are coming,” Lito Villanueva, EVP and Chief Innovation and Inclusion Officer of RCBC, told Digital Life Asia.

Villanueva is concurrently the Chief Digital Transformation Advisor of the Yuchengco Group of Companies (YGC). He emphasized the important role that digital transformation plays in financial inclusion.

“I believe that digital transformation is the wrecking ball that will bring down real and perceived barriers to financial inclusion for Filipinos. For one, majority of Filipinos already own mobile phones and are connected online. If we could bring financial services to their electronic devices, then we do not only have one foot in the door but we will literally be inside their homes. Well, digital transformation is not just about technology or devices. It is about mindset, culture, and people,” Villanueva said.

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A Life Less Analog Technology

BSP chief: 50% of retail payments to be digital by 2023

Technology column header

The Philippines has embraced the digital imperative, according to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor . In line with this, at least 5o percent of the country’s retail payments will already shift to digital by 2023.

“There is no arguing that the new economy is digital. Our aspirations for a more inclusive and prosperous post-COVID world necessitate putting in place the critical pillars of a digital economy, including robust digital infrastructure, digital skills, e-government, digital ID, and an enabling legal/regulatory framework. All these have given new urgency to BSP’s longstanding financial inclusion and digital transformation agenda for the financial sector,” said Diokno.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno said that by 2023, at least 50 percent of the country's retail payments will already be digital.

“The BSP committed by the end of my term at least 50 percent of retail payment transactions shifted to digital, and 70 percent of adult Filipinos having and using a transaction account. Towards this end, the BSP has drawn up a three-year digital payments transformation roadmap outlining our priority policy initiatives, including open banking.”

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Technology

Seller loan program launched by Shopee, BillEase

Shopee Associate Director Martin Yu says the seller loan program will enable them to help thousands of business owners.
Shopee Associate Director Martin Yu says the seller loan program will enable them to help thousands of business owners.

To help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) recover, Shopee and FDFC, the fintech company behind digital credit app BillEase, have launched a seller loan program.

This program will run for a full year. It will be open to Shopee sellers who have been operating for at least six months. To secure working capital, they can apply for a loan on BillEase for Business. This loan will be based on their sales record prior to the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine. Successful applicants can avail of Php20,000 up to Php2M.

“In addition to our recently launched Seller Support Package, we’re also offering this financing program to allow business owners to apply for loans with flexible payment terms,” said Shopee Associate Director Martin Yu in a press statement. “With BillEase as our financing partner, we will be able to provide support and help to thousands of business owners who are seeking financial relief.”

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Technology

Online sellers get financing support from Lazada, BillEase

Lazada Philippines CEO Ray Alimurung said their priority is to support the online sellers on their platform.
Lazada Philippines CEO Ray Alimurung said their priority is to support the online sellers on their platform.

As businesses struggle amid the COVID-19 pandemic, online sellers will get much needed help through the Lazada Seller Financing program.

Ecommerce giant Lazada and FDFC, the fintech company behind digital credit app BillEase, have launched the financial relief program for micro and small businesses. Lazada sellers can apply for financing and enjoy a digitalized application process via BillEase for Business.

“Lazada’s commitment and key priority during this extraordinary time is to support our sellers and prepare them for when business operations resume,” Lazada Philippines CEO Ray Alimurung said in a press statement.

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Technology

Financial access amid pandemic via handheld ATMs

Every Filipino should enjoy financial access, even if they live in far-flung areas, according to ENCASH President Mike Mapa.
Every Filipino should enjoy financial access even if they live in far-flung areas, according to ENCASH President Mike Mapa.

With the government-imposed enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) now on its fifth week, financial access has become even more crucial for households. To address this pressing need, fintech company ENCASH has lent its SuperPOS handheld ATMs to rural banks, cooperatives, and town halls to ensure easy access to cash. This has become particularly helpful for the ongoing distribution of the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) releases.

Launched in 2006, ENCASH is the first independent ATM deployer in the Philippines. It supplies ATM terminals, transaction switching systems, mobile POS, and the recently rolled out SuperPOS. This is a handheld ATM that has both cash in and cash out functions.

The ECQ has led to an influx of transactions across over 1,200 of ENCASH’s sites. ENCASH is making sure that these sites will remain operational. It has also committed to rush settlements as much as possible and closely monitor the cash balances of their deployed ATMs. “We are lucky to be working with partners who share in the same vision and are employing extra measures in light of the current crisis,” Mike Mapa, president of ENCASH, said in a press statement.