Going Digital: The Philippines’ Banking Industry’s Best Bet to Fight Covid-19 | FinScore

The Digital Shift: The New Post-COVID Reality for Banks and Consumers

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer demand for digital banking has never been greater in the Philippines.

For instance, one of the top commercial banks in the Philippines logged a staggering 259% increase on new sign-ups via its online banking service in the first three days following the government’s implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). From a daily average of 431 sign-ups pre-COVID, bank data recorded an average of 1,166 new enrollments per day after the enforcement of the ECQ.

Digital Banking
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More Filipinos Turn to Digital Banking During The Quarantine

The numbers aren’t at all surprising, and many of the country’s leading banks are experiencing similar upward trends. One of the largest universal banks in the Philippines also opened 7,000 new digital accounts in March, with over 20,000 customers downloading the bank’s mobile app in the same month. There were also 1.1 people who logged on to the bank’s website last March, which was double the average amount pre-COVID.

As social distancing will inevitably become the “new normal,” COVID-19 has become a digital banking reality check for both consumers and financial institutions. From opening new accounts to applying for loans, banks and financial institutions need to step up their game to support banking operations without the absolute need for consumers to head to physical branches.

Mobile Data Usage
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Mobile Data Usage Increase During Quarantine

In line with Filipino consumers switching to online banking, mobile data usage has also surged in the country during the ECQ. According to a report from Rappler, there was a 13.4% jump in mobile WiFi use in the Philippines in the first week of the ECQ. Due to social distancing and mobility restrictions, more and more people are spending time connected to WiFi on their smartphones.

This has also led to telco subscribers maximizing plans and bundles that provide them with the highest amount of megabytes available without having to shell out more cash on load top-ups. You can read our article on the impact of COVID-19 on consumers to learn more about this trend.

Aside from isolated individuals using video services like Skype and Messenger to stay in touch, many business meetings have also moved to Zoom and schools to Google Classroom. Additionally, consumers have been using their online bank accounts and other digital apps to replace physical transactions. They have also started doing monthly payments using various applications on their smartphones.

Alternative Data
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Leverage Alternative Data to Your Advantage

If there’s anything the pandemic has amplified for the financial sector, it’s the need for all banks to go digital. As everyone has been forced to limit physical contact and data consumption has risen extraordinarily, banks can leverage the rise in mobile data usage to their advantage.

How exactly? Four words: Telco data credit scoring.

Telecommunication providers capture various data points on mobile phone usage such as call duration, monthly bill payments, porting history, handsets used, and many others. When all these factors are analyzed, they form a single category called telco data.

While telco data credit scoring is originally intended to create new avenues of credit for unbanked individuals, this new form of predictive credit scoring can be the game-changer for the financial sector in the time of COVID-19. As more and more people use digital payment channels to pay for bills and transactions, banks can now easily evaluate an individual’s creditworthiness based on transactions made online and their mobile data activity. This makes it easier for banks and other financial institutions to target customers who have the ability to pay back loans, even amidst the ongoing pandemic.

Credit Scoring in the Philippines
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Telco Data Scoring in The Philippines

Telco data credit scoring is relatively new, but as the only fintech company in the Philippines, we at FinScore have been empowering banks, credit bureaus, and financial institutions for years with flexible platforms that help them make valuable credit decisions.

As COVID-19 continues to impact the economy, it will be crucial for banks to ensure continuity of operations. This means quickly adapting to the situation with innovative solutions. Leveraging insights provided by mobile device usage and telco data is one of the innovative ways banks can rise above today’s challenges.


For more information on telco data credit scoring, contact Finscore today

FinScore is a financial technology company in the Philippines that offers a powerful credit scoring platform and fraud detection tool based on alternative data, including telco-based data. 

As the pioneer in lending and scoring of the unbanked, we continuously empower banks, financial institutions, and credit bureaus with flexible platforms to help them make insightful and reliable credit decisions.

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