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Peppermint to help Filipinos access microfinance

ASX-listed fintech Peppermint Innovation announced this week that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Singaporean-based risk management firm CredoLab, to explore opportunities to provide real time credit scoring facilities for Filipinos that have either no access, or limited access to banking facilities.

Peppermint said that credit scoring will open the door for Filipino customers to access micro finance and micro insurance services.

Only about 30% of Filipinos operate a bank account in a country of 103 million people. Tens of millions of people in the Philippines receive their weekly wages in cash and are therefore accustomed to paying their bills in person using cash.

Many Filipinos travel great distances to physically pay their bills and Peppermint has these people firmly in its sights with its rapidly developing bill pay and money transfer APP that doesn’t require a user to operate a bank account.

The APP levers off established relationships with agent networks and their customers.

Peppermint is tapping into a potentially colossal pipeline of transactions in the Philippines and has taken a significant step towards this goal by partnering with CredoLab, who has developed credit scoring mobile phone technology capable of evaluating over 50,000 data points from a client’s phone to produce a credit score.

Peppermint said, “The customer’s real time credit score can then assist to access traditional finance, microfinance, insurance and microinsurance services.”

Peppermint Innovation Managing Director and CEO, Chris Kain, added: “In providing our proprietary payments platform, Peppermint has the opportunity to access and gather a great level of consumer data from our customers."

“We want to analyse that data for the purposes of providing and funding services such as microfinance and micro-insurance to help unbanked and underbanked Filipino people that need it."

“An initiative such as this with CredoLab is a natural and logical extension of our business model and one which reinforces our position that the use of big data and artificial intelligence will allow Peppermint to provide more to our customers and the people of the Philippines."

“We look forward to progressing this initiative and, hopefully, developing a solution that gives many unbanked and underbanked Filipinos the opportunity to access microfinance and micro-insurance services, giving them a path to financial inclusion.”

The CredoLab agreement comes less than a month after Peppermint announced that its new bill payment APP, League Pay, was available for use by tens of thousands of members of one of the Philippines fastest growing network marketing businesses, SANTE Barley.

League Pay will allow SANTE Barley’s extensive network of agents to provide mobile money transfer, or remittance services, to those Filipinos who still don’t operate a bank account. The APP enables customers to pay household bills and purchase mobile airtime from any of the company’s 200,000 business partners.

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