Sunday July 22, 2018

Coop signs partnership with Thai remittance firm

A THAI remittance company backed by Chinese e-commerce tycoon Jack Ma is ready to explore business opportunities in Southern Philippines following a recent partnership with a Cebu-based cooperative.

TrueMoney, one of the newest remittance players in the country, signed a partnership with the Cebu People’s Multi-purpose Cooperative (CPMPC) yesterday to expand their respective networks in the Visayas and Mindanao.

With the partnership, qualified members of CPMPC may apply to become a TrueMoney agents to run their own TrueMoney financial centers that accepts remittance, bills payment, and gaming load top-ups.

TrueMoney centers will accept loan payments to CPMPC. The cooperative can also pay out loans to its 55,000 members through TrueMoney ATM cards.

TrueMoney’s market is the unbanked population or individuals who do not have their own bank accounts and need to rely on alternative financial services for their financial needs, including sending and receiving remittances.

Data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) 2014 Consumer Finance Survey shows that 86 percent of Filipinos do not have a bank account, or only two in 10 families have bank deposits.

Albert Antig, TrueMoney head of corporate sales, said the company sees a big opportunity for growth in the Philippines, despite a growing number of financial technology (fintech) players proceeding in this direction.

Telcos have also ventured into financial technology, with G-Cash by Globe and PLDT and Smart through Paymaya.

For the cooperative, tapping the network of a Southeast Asian remittance company will allow CPMPC to expand their business in the Philippines, according to CPMPC chief executive officer Macario Quevedo.

Any cooperative member, regardless of his or her location as long as it is within Philippine territory, may borrow or pay out his CPMPC loans through any TrueMoney financial center.

In Cebu, there are 300 TrueMoney financial centers spread across the province. To date, the remittance company has 42,000 agents in Southeast Asia.

Pioneered in Thailand in 2003, it expanded to multiple markets in the region, including Vietnam and Indonesia. Its Philippine operation was launched in September 2016.

Shareholders include Thai digital e-commerce company Ascend Group; the Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group, said to be the largest conglomerate in Thailand; as well as Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group and Ant Financial Services Group.