Oriente-Express joint venture to address financial inclusion through fintech
Greater China-based Oriente and Express Holdings, Inc. (a subsidiary of JG Summit Holdings, Inc.), through an exclusive partnership, will address the financial exclusion problem of underbanked consumers and MSMEs in the Philippines.
This joint venture is setting up a digital financial services marketplace that will enable Filipinos to tap into credit facilities to bridge their ever-growing needs, whether to pay for tuition, unexpected medical expenses or even finance a small business.
“Leveraging its experience building internet giants LU.com and Skype, Oriente is using technology and data science to tap into JG Summit’s resources to enable online peer-to-peer lending and wealth management at attractive interest rates,” said JG Summit Holdings, Inc. (JGSH) President & COO, Lance Gokongwei.
According to the World Bank, close to 90 percent of adult Filipinos are not covered by a credit bureau and many people resort to informal means to borrow money. In addition, according to the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas, of the 43 percent of the population who save money, only 14 percent of households maintain a deposit account and 68 percent keep their savings in unsecured places.
Hubert Tai, CEO of Oriente and co-founder of LU.com: “We are creating a digital infrastructure and social ecosystem to fuel financial inclusion, enabling credit and wealth accumulation.”Globally, LU.com is one of the highest valued fintech startups (US$18.5 billion) and boasts an active customer base exceeding 7 million and annual transaction volume of US$800 billion.
Geoffrey Prentice, co-founder of Oriente and Skype, added that Oriente addresses a pressing social need by providing a superior option to informal lending. “Skype empowered affordable communications; in a similar manner, our partnership will empower Filipinos to access affordable credit by leveraging the latest technology.” Skype is one of the largest technology startups in Europe to date, and now makes up 40 percent of all international voice traffic.
The joint venture is in the pre-operating and developmental stage, and is expected to launch in early 2018.
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