Transforming business & financial services
By Israel Keys, BloomSolutions CEO
These are unprecedented times.
This country is familiar with calamity. An archipelago of islands situated in a vast ocean, this nation has faced many natural and man-made disasters. From typhoons to wars, this country has proved its resiliency in the toughest of circumstances.
The challenge now, however, is less seen – at least to those who live comfortably distanced. For some, this is a time of rest and renewal; for slowing down and personal investment. Those are important. Yet, for others in our country – the vast majority of the population – this is the most challenging time of their lives.
This is a time when financial inclusion matters. We can no longer afford to merely discuss its ideals and virtues – we must act. The poor and most vulnerable in our society can’t afford to wait. They simply do not have the resources to survive prolonged economic inactivity.
At Bloom, we believe that this is a time for inclusion, transformation, and unity.
69% of this country do not have access to banking services. More than 23 million people live on less than 170 pesos a day. The statistics have long been alarming. We’ve tolerated them.
To compound the matter, our banking and payments infrastructure is fragmented and antiquated. Right now our banks are overloaded. It’s difficult to make transfers online, mobile applications are unusable, systems are down for maintenance, and their error messages are obtuse. Offline, one needs to wait in a line for two to three hours to make a deposit, withdrawal or transfer.
This means that even the well-intentioned businesses that hope to continue to pay their employees cannot. We still need to be able to deliver cash to individuals throughout the country who are under enhanced community quarantine. Digital banking and electronic wallets may be the answer but they are solutions whose widespread adoption is too late. Not enough merchants accept digital payments.
Since the founding of Bloom, our vision has been to build products and services that provide greater access and inclusion to those who most need it. We’ve done this by bridging the gap between the traditional and new: empowering existing financial systems with the latest technologies. For example, our first product BloomRemit reduced the cost of remittances through the use of blockchain technology. We noticed that those who sent the least would often have to pay the most. We sought to change that equation. We helped traditional Money Transfer businesses overseas to provide cheaper and faster remittances to Filipinos.
Digital transformation is no longer a luxury or privilege, it’s a necessity. We may be confined physically, but let’s not confine the actions we can take. Our money does not need to be restricted.
We are looking for partners to work with: businesses and financial institutions who need to move money or transform their business to match the new realities. Be it to pay employees or suppliers, or larger technology changes we’re here to help you “go digital”. We’ll help you get online and operational.
Our workplaces will change. The use of technology will make things open and collaborative. Technology does that. This is new territory for many here. We think it’s a good thing.
Finally, we must be united. This pandemic is bigger than any one of us can handle. The challenges are far too great to be left to an individual. We need leadership but leadership from many. Consider this a rallying cry, an imperative to transform our society into one that is more inclusive.
We are proud of the front-liners. Doctors, nurses and support staff who are serving the sick in hospitals. The individuals who are keeping our grocery stores open. We are proud of the Filipinos serving in hospitals abroad. Some have risen in notoriety with their service to national leaders. They all need our support. They are exercising leadership.
When the economy slows we realize how interdependent we are. We realize how we rely on others to go about our daily lives. From food being delivered to the clothes we wear, our economy does a good job at abstracting the many hands and faces that are involved in delivering the things we need. Now is not a time to ignore those faces. When the weakest suffer, we all do.
As business leaders, fundamentally our work is to create value. Our responsibility is to provide products and services that are used by many. It is to provide places of employment that restore the dignity of work. It is to provide liberty and empower individuals financially. This is a time to act on our deepest values and our noblest aspirations.
Bloom: Here to Serve
We’re here to serve. As a company, we specialize in using technology to enable faster, cheaper and more inclusive financial access. We provide:
- Payments – Our technology makes bulk payments easy. Whether you need to pay your employees or vendors, our software allows you to disburse funds throughout the country from your computer. There is no need to leave your home, no long lines and no more handwritten forms. We support Cebuna Lhullier, M. Lhullier, Palawan Pawnshops and all major banks.
- Currency Exchange – We are a licenced and regulated currency and virtual currency exchange. We have zero service fees and same-day settlement for currency exchanges between PHP, USD, EUR and AUD. We also provide access to a range of cryptocurrencies.
- Remittances and Money Transfer – We service a number of countries and corridors and are able to assist in transferring money for cross-border payments.
- Digital Transformation – We also provide advisory, consulting and implementation services to help businesses transform their organizations for the digital economy.
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