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1.3M sari-sari stores to offer digital livelihood, banking

October 30, 2019 - Wednesday 10:10 AM by Lovely Carillo

Article Banner Image DIGITAL. The informal sector, beginning with the over 1.3 million sari-sari stores all over the country, will soon be capable of offering virtual banking services to consumers. LOVELY CARILLO

Over 1.3 million sari-sari stores all over the country will soon be offering digital livelihood and virtual banking services to consumers, thanks to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) recently signed between the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and universal bank RCBC.

This will be made possible through RCBC’s virtual bank-tech app DiskarTech: Kasosyo sa Asenso. The app offers digital financial services such as micro-insurance, microfinancing, bills payment, and airtime and gaming e-load. The app also enables customers to open RCBC basic deposit accounts, withdraw, deposit, and transfer money without going to a bank branch.

"DiskarTech is a pioneering initiative that will level up our sari-sari stores and microenterprises with a complete suite of digital financial services that is well-aligned with the 10-point Socioeconomic Agenda of the Duterte Administration," DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said.
"Aside from providing additional income, DiskarTech helps achieve financial inclusion by getting more Filipinos to open bank accounts and be part of the formal financial system," he added.

For its part, DTI will help promote the virtual bank technology app of RCBC and provide training programs for entrepreneurs. Lopez said the trainings will be rolled out in over a thousand DTI Negosyo Centers all over the country before the end of the year.

Aside from sari-sari stores, the app will also be promoted among other enterprising Filipinos including market vendors in more than 42,000 barangays in the country.

FInancial inclusion is a big thing for the government considering that officials see it as the  key to achieving President Rodrigo Duterte’s vision of inclusive growth and a comfortable life for all. Just recently, the Liga ng mga Barangay National Executive Board approved a resolution adopting DiskarTech as a national financial inclusion accelerator in all 42,000 barangays nationwide.

"This will also address informal lenders offering exorbitant interest rates as DiskarTech provides opportunity for new-to-credit Filipinos to access efficient and affordable credit facility through self-help approach," RCBC Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation and Inclusion Officer Lito Villanueva said.
 

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