SeekCap, Investree Philippines partner to extend financing services for Filipino MSMEs

SeekCap and Investree extends financing services to Filipino MSMEs

The Philippines’ first digital lending marketplace SeekCap partners with Philippines’ first SEC approved crowdfunding platform Investree Philippines to extend financing services to Filipino MSMEs. Investree brings two lending solutions to the SeekCap marketplace online: purchase order financing and invoice financing.

Business owners can simply log in to SeekCap and apply for any of Investree’s financing products online with financing amounts ranging from PHP100k – PHP15M. With invoice financing, funds are provided through receivables such as invoices or billings. This provides SMEs a means to access working capital while waiting for payments from partners. With purchase order financing, funds are provided on the basis of contract or purchase orders from a listed company, an MNC, or GOCC to help SMEs fulfill larger orders, deliver goods and services on time, and pay suppliers without compromising cash flow. 


About Investree Philippines –Investree is on a mission to empower small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), seeing their great potential in leading and driving the economic growth of the country. The B2B lending marketplace pioneered in Indonesia has championed the provision of capital access to entrepreneurs, augmenting business financing gaps through a digital-powered ecosystem of trusted Lenders and Investors, and the SMEs we help. We are steadfast in replicating the same success story with Filipino business owners, bringing financial options tailored to their needs and growth goals. Through our innovative infrastructure and fair business practices, Investree will provide quick, secure, transparent, and supportive financing options to the entrepreneurs. To learn more about Investree, visit www.investree.ph, or contact cs@investree.ph.

UnionBank’s UBX opens Singapore HQ

UBX, UnionBank of the Philippines’ fintech venture studio and fund, expands its operations in Singapore to further its vision of invisible banking in Asia. Since its launch in 2018, UBX has pioneered financial services solutions integrated into everyday activities of people and businesses. The new Singapore headquarters is the bridge for startups who would like to enter the Philippine market by partnering with UBX’s award-winning ventures.

“Expanding reach within Asia continues to be an important focus for UBX,” Cyrus Cruz, who joined UBX Singapore as Country Head, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to further extend our presence in the region, starting with Singapore – known as the main regional fintech hub of upcoming start-ups and great talents in Asia. UBX has strategically set up an office here to contribute to, and benefit from the established ecosystem. This will not only expand our network, it’ll also help us learn from different companies in the country. ” he added.

UBX is fast-tracking its expansion because of the rapid growth of fintech with 2 out of 3 financial transactions being made online today. In 2020, $1.6 billion was invested in fintech startups in Southeast Asia according to a study by Dealrooom. UBX ventures are experiencing significant growth fueled by the coronavirus pandemic. For instance, SeekCap – UBX’s digital lending platform in the Philippines – processed over USD 60 million  worth of business loans for MSMEs just one year after its launch. While i2i, UBX’s banking-as-a-service platform, had a 3000% monthly volume increase for its portable Mobile ATM services in 2020. 

For its impact on fintech and financial inclusion, UBX was recognized as the Fastest Growing Fintech Company in South East Asia 2021 by the Global Banking and Finance Review. As a leading venture studio in the region, it was only natural to open its 2nd headquarters in Singapore where the growth trajectory of the fintech industry has been steady and impressive. ​​John Januszczak, the Chief Executive Officer of UBX reiterates “We aim to support companies who would like to enter the Philippine market through strategic partnerships leveraging both UBX’s technological expertise and open finance footprint in the Philippines.”

UBX is the gateway to fintech in the Philippines

UBX invests in early-stage startups that add strategic value to the UBX and UnionBank network. UBX’s portfolio focuses on various in-demand solutions ranging from banking and payments to lending and eCommerce categories created for individuals and businesses. 

UBX’s i2i is the Philippines’ fastest-growing Open Finance and banking-as-a-service solution, bringing  financial services to underserved communities through its network of financial services providers. To date, i2i connects hundreds of financial institutions and financial service providers, in addition to over 1,800 banking agents on the platform.

SeekCap is the Philippines’ first same-day approval, digital lending marketplace made especially for micro, small, medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) who need access to credit to run and scale their businesses. SeekCap has registered over 48,000 MSMEs and has processed over USD 60 million worth of business loans. SeekCap has partnered with digital communities such as Lazada and Foodpanda to further expand its MSME reach.

Bux is an end-to-end payment gateway for businesses of all sizes. MSMEs can accept payment methods from over 50,000 over-the-counter locations including 7-Eleven and LBC, debit and credit card payments as well as wallet payments via GrabPay and GCash. With over 100,000 sign ups since its launch in 2019, Bux continues to make payments simple and easy with features like payment links, Universal QR code and Buy Now Pay Later. 

Sentro, a free eCommerce shop builder with pre-integrated payment gateway and delivery services, powers over 30,000 registered local merchants since its launch in 2019. UBX recently launched Sentro Build – the first multi-merchant marketplace builder in the Philippines bringing buyers and sellers together in one reliable site.

QLABS is UBX’s technology solutions venture that brings a business’ digital initiatives to scale with its team of experts and industry leaders. QLABs developed PHX, the Philippines’ 1st Central Bank approved Stable Coin that currently powers the i2i network. QLABS has helped “tech up” multiple businesses, such as developing PERA HUB’s mobile application with features that allow customers to connect with, and pay, thousands of merchants. 

Assured, the Philippines’ first and revolutionary embeddable insurance platform, is the latest venture of UBX. Assured recently partnered with insurtech Coherent and insurance giant Chubb to increase insurance penetration rate through embedded insurance, a protection cover presented as a value-added feature in everyday experiences like paying a bill or shopping online. Assured is led out of the Singapore office, paving the way for regional expansion.

About UBX – UBX is the financial technology venture studio and fund of UnionBank of the Philippines. UBX is predicated on a future where financial services are invisible: seamlessly embedded into the experiences and activities that truly matter to businesses and people.

For more information about the company and this article, please visit UBX or contact agnescasal@ubx.ph.

UBX leads in Crypto: Becomes first regulated institution to run a public stake pool

UBX Staking Pool

Manila, Philippines – UBX, the fintech venture studio and fund spun out of UnionBank of the Philippines, is opening its own public stake pool featuring Cardano. UBX becomes first in the world to run a public stake pool as a regulated institution. UBX Staking provides Filipinos a reputable and trustworthy source to earn rewards on their ada for helping to secure and operate the Cardano blockchain. 

John Januszczak, President and CEO of UBX said, “The Philippines’ adoption of cryptocurrency is opening opportunities for financial institutions to create reliable platforms that will guide and support Filipinos with their finances. UBX is fully committed to maximizing blockchain technology such as that of Bitcoin, Ethereum and Hyperledger. To further excel and maximize the potential of blockchain, we’re looking at emerging protocols like Cardano to connect traditional financial markets to the world’s most innovative Financial Operating System.”

Launched in 2015, Cardano has emerged to be one of the leading  blockchain protocols in the world today with ada as its native digital cryptocurrency. Cardano is built on the industry leading Ouroboros proof-of-stake (PoS) protocol and developed using Haskell code, a highly secure, enterprise grade programming language. Cardano has been developed from rigorous peer-reviewed academic whitepapers, ensuring resilience, security and scalability. The Ouroborus consensus mechanism is mathematically verified to be provably secure and sustainable; benefiting as one of the most energy efficient, cost efficient, and decentralized blockchain protocols in the industry of public blockchain protocols.

Frederik Gregaard, CEO of Cardano Foundation said, “UBX is spearheading adoption efforts through operating decentralized blockchain technology as part of their mission critical infrastructure. UBX is setting standards for regulated financial institutions as they are one of the first regulated institutions to operate a public stake pool, not only in the Philippines but also the whole world. Cardano Foundation is proud to support UBX by guiding their management team on Cardano best practices and applications. The acceptance of Cardano as a Financial Operating System continues to derisk adoption efforts for other Financial Institutions, Enterprises, and individuals in the region.”

Staking is a way to earn rewards by allowing a number of users to delegate crypto in a shared pool without the hassle of maintaining separate nodes. This increases the probability of earning more rewards hence earning more profit. Whenever a new block is built, a blockchain network grows. Users are then rewarded for helping sustain the network. 

Users can delegate by buying ada coins and transferring it into a wallet that supports staking such as Daedalus and Yoroi. Through the delegation process on Cardano, the ada never leaves the users wallets in order to promote a more secure and instant capability to participate with stake pools. Through UBX Staking, not only can users easily find a regulated source in the local fintech space, users can also access soon-to-be-released comprehensive guides on blockchain and Cardano, bridging the knowledge gap in staking cryptocurrencies.

Launching a stake pool is just the beginning for UBX. Participating in the Cardano infrastructure and offering participants a platform where they can earn off of their holdings is the first step towards more cryptocurrency innovations for Filipinos in the future.

ENDS

About UBX 

UBX is the financial technology venture studio and fund of Union Bank of the Philippines. UBX is predicated on a future where financial services are invisible: seamlessly embedded into the experiences and activities that truly matter to businesses and people. For more information about the company and this article, please visit www.ubx.ph or contact agnescasal@ubx.ph.

About The Cardano Foundation 

The Cardano Foundation is an independent Swiss not-for-profit organization that oversees and supervises the advancement of Cardano and its ecosystem. The Foundation’s core focus is in developing a Cardano adoption strategy through to integration and execution, to enable fast-track value creation for inclusive and equitable growth. As the custodian of the protocol and the owner of the Cardano brand, the Foundation works to drive adoption and partnerships, grow the wider blockchain community, shape legislation, and commercial standards, and ensure stakeholder accountability. Find out more: www.CardanoFoundation.org

SeedIn and SeekCap provide financing opportunities for Filipino MSMEs

SeedIn Technology Inc., the largest P2B crowdfunding platform in the Philippines and SeekCap, the first online lending marketplace in the country, celebrate almost a year of partnership. The collaboration between the two companies empower Filipino entrepreneurs nationwide to gain better access to financing.

Through SeekCap, borrowers can sign up online and apply for a SeedIn Business Loan worth up to PHP 10M with payment terms as long as 12 months. Since the launch of the partnership, thousands of loans have been processed and over 45,000 SMEs have been reached on SeekCap. This is only the start. With SeedIn’s effective alternative financing platform and SeekCap’s engaged customer base, the partnership will be setting new milestones in the future.

About SeedIn – Seedin is one of Southeast Asia’s leading Business Financing Platform where local businesses seeking short-term financing connect with individuals and businesses seeking short-term investments. SMEs can apply online and achieve their potential through Seedin’s alternative financing platform by reducing cash-flow gaps and enhancing their capital growth. For investors, Seedin provides alternative investments with annualized returns starting from 5% to 12% which come in the form of monthly repayments, and provides a platform for investments review and monitoring of crowdfunded projects.

About SeekCap – SeekCap is developed by UBX, the fintech subsidiary of UnionBank of the Philippines. SeekCap is the country’s first same-day, digital lending marketplace made for micro, small, medium sized enterprises (MSMEs). SeekCap works closely with lenders, credit bureaus and fintechs making applications seamless and approvals instant.

UBX’s BUX recognized as Best Digital Payment Facilitator in the Philippines

Bux Best Payment Facilitator Award
Bux recognized as 2021 Best Digital Payment Facilitator-Philippines

Global Brands Magazine (GBM), a UK-based organization that honours excellence by identifying the top brands across various industries, recognized UBX’s BUX as Best Digital Payment Facilitator – Philippines for 2021. More than 7,000 companies were evaluated in GBM’s latest study.

BUX, launched by UBX in 2019, is an end-to-end payment gateway for e-commerce. BUX offers a single payment platform, unifying various payment channels including over-the-counter, online banking, cash on delivery, e-wallets, installments as well as debit and credit cards.

To date, BUX has signed up close to 100,000 SMEs and individual users. As of February 2021, sign ups have increased by 14x, and transaction count has grown 57x versus the same period last year – proof of an increasing rate of digital transactions.

BUX continues to be a game changer for Filipino entrepreneurs as it simplifies and addresses the needs of MSMEs. For one, little to no programming experience is required because BUX is embeddable. Business owners can integrate BUX into their e-commerce website – whether they are using Sentro, Shopify, WooCommerce, or PrestaShop, with more being added. There are no set-up fees involved, only competitive transaction fees whenever a customer checks out depending on the chosen payment channel.

MSMEs can accept payments from over 50,000 payment locations nationwide including 7-Eleven, Bayad Center, SM, Robinsons, Rustan’s, LBC, Cebuana Lhuillier, Palawan Pawnshop, and many more. They can also receive payments via GCash and GrabPay as well as banks, debit and credit cards. MSMEs can easily send BUX payment links via chat, text, email or Universal QR codes, making it convenient for customers to pay for products and services. Online sellers and business owners can simply track the payment status of their customers across multiple payment channels from their BUX dashboard.

By listening to and understanding the challenges of Filipino MSMEs, BUX continues to create MSME-centric solutions that help improve the chances of a business venture’s success, with more features and functions slated to be released in 2021.

Read original article by Manila Bulletin here.

UBX Philippines leads Open Finance revolution with i2i

Millions of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMES) in the country, which include sari-sari store owners, carinderia operators, and stall owners in public markets, rely on small loans to keep their businesses going.

These underserved Filipinos need better financial services, such as faster credit access from legitimate and reputable lenders.

Open Finance and payments platform i2i has been providing financial services to micro business owners like Mang Efren, a vegetable stall owner in Cebu.

Mang Efren was able to pick up his approved loan proceeds conveniently from the nearest partner remittance center through i2i, currently the fastest-growing Open Finance and payments platform in the country.

UBX Philippines, the financial technology venture studio of Unionbank of the Philippines, has been at the forefront of promoting an Open Finance ecosystem with i2i since the service was introduced in 2018.

i2i connects hundreds of banks and community-based financial service providers to each other, the National Retail Payment System (NRPS), and the largest remittance channels.

The platform provides enabling technologies that connect financial institutions directly to the country’s various financial ecosystems. It makes possible the interoperability among financial services providers with payments, disbursements, collections and transfer facilities. Thus, allowing more Filipinos like Mang Efren to enjoy faster access to financial services that are driven by technology and innovation.

“At UBX, our vision is simple – providing opportunity and access to all. That’s why we developed i2i as an Open Finance network built on top of blockchain technology and API-based integration across member banks and financial service providers. In one movement, it digitally transforms these institutions, allowing fintechs and digital platforms to innovate across the network, while providing new, cost-effective services and solutions to consumers,” said John Januszczak, UBX President and CEO.

Another feature of i2i service is Openi2i, a banking-as-a-service platform and developer ecosystem that allows partners to integrate financial services directly into their systems. Openi2i can link the largest banks to community-based financial service providers to each other, or fintechs to digital platforms.

A beneficiary of the Openi2i is the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI), which has been providing microfinance services to hundreds of thousands of micro-entrepreneurs in underserved communities across the country.

RAFI’s partnership with i2i has resulted in the increase in the number of customers who have accessed their loan proceeds. It has also helped grow RAFI’s collection capabilities.

“With the direct integration of our core banking system and Openi2i, our members now have options of getting their loan proceeds through i2i’s existing remittance partners. They get their money at the most convenient place possible. It has also allowed the enterprise access to more competitive rates across different channels,” according to Iris Dorado, RAFI Vice President of Business Development.

Another happy client is MYEG Philippines, an e-government solutions and payment services provider who partnered with i2i in 2020. The company was able to expand its access to hundreds of counters through Openi2i network with a single integration.

“A critical addition to the MyEG Philippines platform—these are invaluable payments and collections points for our customers all over the country,” said Ann Saldaña, MyEG Philippines Inc. Chief Executive Officer.

Though just starting in the Philippines, the Open Finance system is becoming more and more embraced by the population who are already reaping the benefits of the technology that allows them to do banking services conveniently.

Recently, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has announced the approval of the Open Finance Framework guidelines, which is a key step that will encourage active partnership, interoperability and data portability among financial institutions and fintech players.

Open Finance opens opportunities for customers and providers alike as it promotes accessibility and inclusivity through customer-permissioned data, creation of personalized financial services, and better credit approval workflows.

A gamer-changer in the Open Finance space, i2i boasts of hundreds of member institutions and over 1,700 agents across the country. It provides fund transfers, bills payments, mobile ATM, disbursements, and a host of services that are accessible in bank branches, local remittance counters, and merchant locations.

Anne Yosuico, Product Lead for i2i explains, “There’s a clear reason why we do what we do in i2i. We run the country’s first Open Finance platform and network that enables service providers to bring financial services closer to the underbanked and unbanked. i2i makes a difference in Filipinos’ lives everyday. We #includeeveryone!”

For its impact on financial inclusion in the Philippines, i2i bagged the awards “Best Digital Financial Inclusion Project – Philippines” from The Asset Triple A Digital Awards, and Operating Model Master for the Philippines from the 2019 IDC Digital Transformer Awards.

To read the original article, click this link.

Visit i2i now: https://bit.ly/2SVFHtc

UBX revolutionizes insurance with Assured

The pandemic has brought to the forefront the importance of prioritizing the health and financial security of our families. Insurance aims to protect society, businesses, and individuals from loss and to help them recover when such loss or damage occurs. Yet, insurance penetration rates in the Philippines are among the lowest in Asia. Insurance Commission (IC) data shows insurance penetration, defined as insurance premiums as a share of gross domestic product (GDP), at only 1.69% percent as of September 2020. The majority of Filipinos perceive insurance – an intangible product – as complex and confusing. In addition, current products and means of distribution are often expensive compared to need or ability to pay. UBX aims to simplify insurance with Assured, UBX’s new embeddable insurance platform.

UBX, named the Fastest Growing Fintech Company in South East Asia in 2021 by Global Banking and Finance Review, is launching Assured together with insurtech partner Coherent. UBX has partnered with global insurance giant Chubb to underwrite the pioneer product which is embedded as a feature of one of their prominent financial service offerings.

Assured is an insurance platform that virtualizes insurance packaging and experience by delivering multiple protection products from multiple insurance carriers through multiple channels. The first channel leveraging this new platform is i2i, the nation’s fastest growing payments and open finance network which digitally enables financial institutions and other community-based financial service providers. Customers of the hundreds of financial institutions and service providers using i2i can now enjoy UBX Bills Payment Group Personal Accident Insurance underwritten by Chubb as a value-added protection feature when paying their bills via the platform. This insurance provides 30 days of coverage for accidental death and permanent total disablement. Customers are entitled to a lump sum benefit of up to 3 years or 36 times of the enrolled monthly bill amount.

Partners can embed Assured into their platforms through APIs and embeddable user experiences.  Through an innovative platform like Assured, relevant and current insurance products in the pipeline will now be accessible to consumers who have been previously underserved. UBX – along with partners Coherent and Chubb, look forward to rapidly expanding the market by providing insurance across UBX channels and other leading digital platforms:

“At UBX, we believe that financial services are best embedded directly into the activities and experiences that matter to individuals and businesses. We have to make it easier for consumers to discover the value of insurance. Traditional intermediaries have only so much reach. Leveraging digital is the key to scalable distribution. At the same time, customers demand well designed, simple solutions ideally baked into the things that matter to them at a given time. With Assured, we are enabling digital platforms to do exactly this: embed easy to understand coverage into the activities and experiences their platforms are facilitating,” explains John Januszczak, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, UBX Philippines

Coherent is an Asia-headquartered insurtech company that empowers insurers to evolve the future of insurance by providing game-changing digital platforms and data intelligence engines. Coherent’s technology helps insurers transform key stages in their business lifecycle including product development, sales and customer engagement.

“Coherent is very excited to launch Assured in partnership with UBX and Chubb. In developing this platform, we are helping enable the under-insured population in the Philippines have greater accessibility and real-time access to relevant insurance products. This proposition aligns strongly with our mission to help insurance become more engaging and simple for customers and the insurance industry.  We are very much looking forward to collaborating on the next phases of Assured in the coming year,” says John Brisco, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Coherent Global.

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurer providing commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident and supplemental health insurance, reinsurance and life insurance.

“Our collaboration with UBX exemplifies Chubb’s digital strategy to forge distribution partnerships with innovative brands. We are proud to partner with UBX on its journey to support communities by embedding insurance for individuals who were previously underserved by financial services. UBX Bills Payment Group Personal Accident Insurance is a value-added feature provided to its bills paying customers who now benefit from better access to insurance,” shares Peter van Ratingen, Country President, Insurance Company of North America (A Chubb Company)

The UBX Bills Payment service with bill protect insurance is UBX’s first embedded execution providing built-in protection for i2i’s bills payment customers who are served by rural banks, cooperatives, and other financial institutions across the country. Claire, a bills payment customer via the i2i platform, shares her anticipation of the new feature:

“The insurance as a value-added feature when I pay my bills will be very helpful since it’s an automatic way to get a month-long insurance plan without the hassle of filling up too many application forms. This will be beneficial especially if an accident happens to me during the coverage period. I also like that the whole process will simply be part of my bills payment transaction.”

In a country where insurance penetration is significantly below the average for developed markets, offering sachet sized insurance products embedded into the products and experiences  of different platforms and channels is expected to be the key to closing the gap. Insurance coverage is expected to cross over to the majority of Filipinos in 2023 and onwards. Assured is poised to play a major role in closing the insurance gap while providing personalized protection.

About UBX PH – UBX PH is the financial technology venture studio and fund of Union Bank of the Philippines. UBX is predicated on a future where financial services are invisible: seamlessly embedded into the experiences and activities that truly matter to businesses and people.

Visit https://www.ubx.ph/ for more information or please contact hello@ubx.ph

To read the original article from Business World, click this link.

UBX Seekcap and Radiowealth fuels more MSMEs with partnership

UBX SeekCap, the Philippines’s first same-day approval lending marketplace, partners with leading financial services provider, Radiowealth Finance, to fuel MSMEs as the country and businesses rebound from the effects of the pandemic.

As a leading provider of financial services in the country for over fifty-five years, Radiowealth offers business loans for working capital, franchising, machinery and heavy equipment, and business expansion. Through its partnership with SeekCap, Filipino businesses can easily apply for a Radiowealth business loan online, with loan amounts ranging from P 50,000 to as high as P 5,000,000 payable for up to 12 months.

Radiowealth also provides access and a huge opportunity for micro businesses such as the sari-sari stores as a loan application only requires a valid government ID, proof of business registration (barangay or mayor’s permit), and proof of income (sales receipts or sales logbook).

Aside from providing a simple and convenient loan application experience, SeekCap compliments Radiowealth’s strategy to leverage digital platforms to promote financial inclusion and extend financial assistance to Filipino businesses at a time when it is needed the most. Through SeekCap’s application programming interfaces (APIs), Radiowealth is able to further automate their loan approval processes.

As expressed by Marites Estacio, one of the first SeekCap clients to have a loan disbursed from Radiowealth, “I felt so hopeless before because lots of requirements are needed in applying for a business loan, until I found out about SeekCap. Never thought it could be that easy to fill out a loan application form. They have fast and efficient customer service and most of all, the requirements are just minimal. And my chosen lender, Radiowealth finance, really helped me a lot for the additional capital for my business and I would highly recommend it to my friends and to my fellow business owners who are seeking a business loan. Thank you SeekCap and Radiowealth finance for the very quick loan disbursement. More power to the company!”

Despite the pandemic, Filipino business owners can find solace in knowing that SeekCap is their partner helping them restart or continue their businesses, propelling them to success.

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About SEEKCAP – SeekCap, the nation’s first online lending marketplace, is one of the ventures of UBX. UBX is the financial technology venture studio and fund of Union Bank of the Philippines. UBX is predicated on a future where financial services are invisible: seamlessly embedded into the experiences and activities that truly matter to businesses and people.

SeekCap is short for “seeking capital” and also a play on the Filipino word sikap, which means diligent, disciplined and hardworking, a trait that has always characterizes successful small business owners.

Visit http://bit.ly/SeekCaplendingmarketplace for more information or please contact support@seekcap.ph.

To read the original article from Metropoler, click here.

Visit SeekCap now: https://bit.ly/3wjDuWa

Bux partners with GrabPay

Bux, the payment gateway of UBX (the fintech arm of UnionBank of the Philippines, Inc.), now allows merchants to accept payments made through GrabPay, Grab’s in-app digital wallet.  

“The whole idea is to allow entrepreneurs to receive payments and make transactions on a digital platform in the safety of their homes,” said Bux in an e-mail to BusinessWorld. “Usage of the platform was organically accelerated and made more valuable during the pandemic, because … there was an emphasis on no-contact transactions.” 

Launched in December 2019, the e-commerce payment gateway was designed to support small- and medium-sized entrepreneurs, with options to scale. 

“Anytime a consumer decides to enter into the informal economy as an occasional seller, Bux has the tools to enable that,” the company said. “Bux’s connection with UBX ventures can also enable higher-level entrepreneurial engagements… all the way to enterprise-level solutions.”  

Apart from GrabPay, BUX’s other payment partners include UnionBank, 7-11, GCash, VISA, and ecPAY. Transaction fees are from P10+2% to P20 per transaction for e-wallets and over-the-counter transactions, respectively. A buy now, pay later option with a 1.5% transaction fee is also available. 

“The market of UBX ventures is currently local, but all the tools that the UBX venture suite provides … are easily replicable in other economies once the relevant cross-border regulatory frameworks are set in place,” Bux told BusinessWorld. “But for now, even as the market is limited to the Philippine setting, we are constantly looking for new ways and developing features that will help our customers make the journey from users of the payment gateway to becoming enterprise accounts.” — Patricia B. Mirasol 

To read the original article from Business World, click this link.

Visit Bux now: https://bit.ly/3yoS9Re

UnionBank, Maxicare and SeekCap partner to enable healthcare plans for MSMEs

Manila, Philippines – The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present challenges for businesses and transform the way they operate. In today’s business environment, it is important now more than ever to take care of the most important form of capital: People.

SeekCap, the first online lending marketplace in the Philippines, partners with Maxicare to offer loans to businesses availing of its healthcare plans for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). These healthcare plans will provide employees a high quality, full coverage HMO plan.

Maxicare customers, both existing and new, can apply for a UnionBank business loan online through SeekCap, UBX Philippine’s digital lending platform for Filipino businesses. These loans range from Php50,000 to Php1M and are repayable over a period of 36 months.

We are truly excited with this partnership with Maxicare as it enables Unionbank to extend its digital lending proposition to SMEs availing of Maxicare coverage and at the same time, serving an even greater purpose – to continue to keep their employees covered even during this pandemic”, said Manuel Santiago, Jr., Chief Mass Market and Financial Inclusion Executive.

Applying for a loan with SeekCap is simple and completely digital. Its ability to assist partner lenders in digitizing and automating their lending processes reduces processing time and lending costs. MSMEs may complete their application and receive approval in the comfort of their own home or office. By removing the need for physical paperwork and personal appearances at the bank, approvals that used to take days, if not weeks, are now completed within a single day. Over 40,000 MSMEs have registered on the platform since its launch, and over Php 2 billion in business loans have been processed.

Maxicare Healthcare Corporation is a pioneer in the HMO industry,\ providing comprehensive healthcare programs to Filipinos for over 30 years. Maxicare services over 1.5 million members across the country through company, family and individual plans.

Maxicare offers a portfolio of comprehensive HMO plans that cater to MSMEs: the Maxicare PLUS for companies with a minimum of 10 and up to 99 employees, with no limit to the number of enrollees or dependents; the Maxicare Starter Plan for micro businesses that have a minimum of 3 up to 9 employees, and can service up to 99 enrollees or dependents; and the Maxicare BusinessEssential, an affordable SME Healthcare Plan, that gives MSMEs the option to have an Outpatient Care Program or a full HMO program, for companies with a minimum of 3 up to 99 employees.

This partnership will enable continued business growth for MSMEs while keeping the best asset of every business – its employees – a priority. To know more about the program and avail of Maxicare’s HMO plans, visit https://www.maxicare.com.ph/healthcare-program-for-my-organization/

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About SeekCap- SeekCap is the first online lending marketplace in the Philippines. It was developed by UBX. UBX PH is the financial technology venture studio and fund of Union Bank of the Philippines. UBX is predicated on a future where financial services are invisible: seamlessly embedded into the experiences and activities that truly matter to businesses and people.

Learn more about the Maxicare SME Healthcare Plans x Unionbank Loan Program here.

To read the original article from Maxicare, click this link.

Visit SeekCap now: https://bit.ly/3e8HZwz

A golden age of eCommerce powered by Sentro as it celebrates its first year

Since its launch over a year ago, the country’s first free online Shop Builder Sentro has powered over 30,000 merchants across the Philippines. Developed by UBX Philippines, recognized as the Fastest Growing Fintech Company in South East Asia for 2020 and 2021, Sentro is an all-in-one ecommerce platform for Filipino business owners to jump-start, run, and grow their enterprises.

As the COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed consumer behaviors, Sentro ensures business continuity for SMEs with its digital end-to-end features, and ability to run their business on a single platform.

“It was getting too tiring to capture, track, and update orders from our customers, and accepting payments from multiple platforms is a headache. But with Sentro, managing our business online is a breeze,” said Michael Lu, owner of Agrico Sentro shop.

With Sentro, business owners can create and publish their own online store in a few clicks. It’s simple, free and easy, ensuring easy accessibility for business owners who are unfamiliar with digital and digitizing their brick-and-mortar businesses.

“We wanted to provide MSMEs the capability to set up their own online shop that they can call their own. We want Sentro to be accessible to everyone starting an online business, which is why we made sure that using our platform would require little to no knowledge in tech, making it easy for even the non-techiest of individuals. In a matter of months, our team was able to launch Sentro to the public during the first few weeks of the pandemic. The launch could not have been timelier as it was made available to MSMEs when they needed it most,” said UBX Head of SME Ventures, and Sentro’s Product Lead Bjorn Pardo.

SMEs who are trying to explore the digital space in order to keep their businesses afloat in this pandemic and beyond, have three major pain points: fulfilling and accepting payments, logistics, and keeping track of orders.

“These same pain points that our MSMEs are experiencing are what drove the creation of Sentro and into what the platform is today. We focused on making Sentro the go-to operating system for online sellers by addressing these pain points. Sentro provides our MSMEs with: an online shop builder which they can use to create their own ecommerce website where they can showcase their business and sell their products and services. It provides a built-in payment gateway (Bux) so that they don’t have to worry about accepting payments from customers using different payment methods; and a built-in logistics service provider (MrSpeedy) so that they can book deliveries for their customers without having to open up a separate app or website,” Bjorn added.

Sentro introduced a feature in March that allows Facebook Business Shop owners to link their stores to Sentro. This enables them to convert their stores from a marketing outlet to a full-fledged e-commerce store. Sentro can be linked to a Facebook Shop in minutes, and business owners can automatically accept payments, handle orders, and book deliveries from their supercharged Facebook Shop.

Sentro ensures that business processes are made easier through digital innovation and transformation. Sentro is not only powered by the technology of UBX, but also by the voices and hearts of the Filipino people.

For more information on Sentro, please visit http://bit.ly/SentroSignUpPR or contact support@sentro.ph

To read original article from Lion Den TV, click here.

Visit Sentro now: https://bit.ly/2SVaJkY

UBX recognized anew as Fastest Growing FinTech Company in South East Asia for 2021

Global Banking and Finance Review, a leading online and print finance publication, named UBX as the Fastest Growing Fintech Company in South East Asia for 2021. This is the second year in a row that UBX was recognized with this award.

With this back-to-back recognition, UBX demonstrates that it is living up to its mission of creating opportunity and access to financial services for everyone by designing solutions for digitally and financially underserved communities.

Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) spun off its fintech venture studio and fund, UBX, in 2018, two years after embarking on its digital transformation. UBX envisions a world in which financial services are effortlessly integrated into the activities and experiences that really matter to businesses and people.

UBX’s i2i, the nation’s fastest growing payments network, digitally enables financial institutions and other community based financial service providers. In a timely response to the pandemic and the need to digitally enable distribution and access to funds, i2i built its Mobile ATM that brings ATM services to the community while also providing an additional source of income to businesses. Reducing travel and bringing cash distribution closer to home means safer access to funds while saving ATM customers time and money. Monthly i2i Mobile ATM volumes rose 3000% in the last six months of 2020. In 2021, i2i acquired over 1,500 new financial service providers and agents to the network via a joint venture with the Irish financial services technology giant Fexco.

Elsie Dizon, an i2i Mobile ATM sari-sari store owner partner, said, “Natutuwa ako kasi kahit wala pang isang buwan ang aking i2i MATM business, nadagdagan na ‘yung customers ko. At siyempre namimili din sila ng ilang items sa tindahan ko pagkatapos nilang mag-withdraw. Masaya din sila kasi merong mas malapit na ATM services sa kanila at kahit sa ibang barangay, dito rin sila nagwi-withdraw sa akin. Nagpapasalamat ako sa i2i Mobile ATM dahil nadagdagan ang kabuhayan ko.”

“I’m glad because even though my i2i MATM business is less than a month old, my customers have increased. And of course, they also buy some items in my store after they withdraw. They are also happy because ATM services are closer to them now and even in other barangays, they also withdraw from my store. I am really thankful to i2i Mobile ATM because it has helped grow my livelihood.”

UBX also has SeekCap, the country’s first online lending marketplace, which has the capacity and capability to facilitate lenders in scaling their lending processes through innovative technology, as well as enable business owners to access credit digitally with faster turnaround time and less hassle. Application, processing and disbursement is purely digital. To date, over 40,000 MSMEs have registered on SeekCap and the marketplace has processed over P2 billion worth of business loans.

As ecommerce sites grow in popularity, most Filipinos are shifting to online payments and going digital when it comes to shopping. UBX’s Bux and Sentro solutions empower both merchants and consumers through technology.

Bux is UBX’s end-to-end payment gateway for all businesses – from the smallest casual seller to the largest enterprise. With over 100,000 businesses signed up, it continues to grow during this pandemic. Recently features launched include Universal QR code, digital checkout and Shopify integration.

“Our store J&A Tickets and Tours is very happy working with BUX and Sentro. It enables our stores to secure payments from our clients thru our Facebook pages. We are able to help travelers to save money by accepting payments without remittance charges. We are able to grow the number of affiliate agents we have. We are able to leverage our services and maximize the benefits of our contracts with the suppliers. Thank you for empowering our store in the countryside.” from John Pineda, Owner of J&A Tickets and Tours

The country’s first free online Shop Builder, Sentro, celebrates its first year of delivering an all-in-one ecommerce platform for Filipino business owners to jump-start, run, and grow their enterprises. To date, it powers over 30,000 merchants across the country. Facebook Business Shop owners can link their stores to Sentro. This enables them to convert their stores from a marketing outlet to a full-fledged e-commerce store. Within minutes, Facebook Shop business owners can automatically accept payments, handle orders, and book deliveries through Sentro from their supercharged Facebook Shop.

UBX also has QLabs, a one-stop shop for web, mobile, and platforms design and development. It co-creates solutions for businesses, powered by a team equipped with full-stack development capabilities and end-to-end services. QLABs developed PERA HUB’s mobile application to implement their bills payment feature. This allows customers to use the PERA HUB application to pay bills to over 3000 merchants. UBX is the gateway to fintech in the Philippines.

With the uncertainties and challenges brought by the pandemic, one thing’s for sure – UBX continues to create digital platforms and marketplaces providing opportunity and access for digitally and financially underserved Filipino communities.

To read the original article from Manila Bulletin, click here.

Bux bringing you more cashless payments options with QR payments

Bux, UBX’s embeddable end-to-end payment platform, launches universal QR payments enabling over 100,000 Bux merchants to accept payment with just a scan from their customers’ mobile devices.

Over the course of the pandemic, there has been a growing demand for cashless payments. QR payment is a type of contactless transaction that is enabled by scanning a code on your mobile phone. Its simplicity and convenience make it one of the most preferred ways to make a payment.

With a universal QR code that is digital, printable and customizable, Bux provides its merchants a significant advantage—a much easier way for customers to pay digitally, even in physical locations, by just using the camera of a customer’s mobile phone. This means, less hassle for merchants, greater safety, and flexible options for their customers when it comes to payments.

Customers can either scan the code from a mobile device, click on the code, or copy the unique QR code provided, then they will be directed to the merchant’s online checkout. From a single, universal QR code and checkout, customers can access all payment options and channels available in Bux, including over 50,000+ over-the-counter locations, e-wallets, online banking, debit and credit cards.

Bux merchants have their own customizable and universally accessible checkout site. Merchants can customize the checkout experience with their brand and business name. They can add their own messaging; minimize errors through pre-populated amount selection, let their customers input their desired amount, or have both the option and let their customers decide. They can also add custom fields where they can optionally ask for additional customer information, or if they want to track what attributes of the products being purchased — a very helpful feature for those in the fashion, food and beverages industries. Additionally, they can include links to their social media sites and website. 

Bux merchants can also say goodbye to the hassle of generating hundreds of payment links as they can download a printable version of the Bux QR code that they can use for their brick-and-mortar businesses, or publish a digital version of it on their website and social media accounts.

Bux QR code payments open up opportunities to businesses outside of e-commerce. Fundraisers and those who are planning to launch a donation drive can utilize Bux QR links to collect donations thru Bux’s payment methods. This will be made even easier with the upcoming launch of UBX’s digital donations platform: QShare.

Bux is committed to reimagining the payment landscape for Filipino businesses, making it simpler and easier for businesses to collect payments. Alongside universal QR codes, Bux has launched a Shopify plugin, bringing the power of Bux to over 11,000 Shopify web stores in the Philippines.

Bux is committed to making payments easier and transforming lives one transaction at a time.

To read the original article from Manila Bulletin, click this link.

Visit Bux now: https://bit.ly/3xy2iLz

i2i Mobile ATM marks first year providing digitally-enabled fund access to communities

i2i, the nation’s fastest growing payments and cash disbursement network, celebrates the first anniversary since the launch of its groundbreaking Mobile ATM solution.

Developed and operated by UBX, UnionBank’s fintech spin-off, the i2i platform digitally enables financial institutions and other community based financial service providers to drive financial inclusion in the country.

i2i Mobile ATM was a timely response to the pandemic and the need to digitally enable distribution and access to funds. In the last 6 months of 2020, i2i Mobile ATM volumes increased 3000% monthly. In 2021, i2i kicked off the year by welcoming over 1,300 new financial service providers and agents to the network via a joint venture with the Irish financial services technology giant Fexco.

Robert Serdena, the owner of Rodhess Ticketing and Travel Services, i2i Mobile ATM’s first partner, said, “Salamat nalang at nakilala ko si i2i Mobile ATM. Malaking naitulong nito sa aking pangkabuhayan. Subalit hindi lamang sa pangkabuhayan, malaking tulong din ito sa aking mga kabarangay dahil hindi na nila kailangan mag-biyahe ng lima hanggang sampung kilometro para mag-withdraw sa pinakamalapit na ATM dito sa aming lugar.” 

i2i Mobile ATM provided significant support to communities and businesses during the pandemic. It brings ATM services to the community while providing an additional source of income for small businesses. Reducing travel and bringing cash distribution closer to home means safer access to funds while saving ATM customers time and money.

One of i2i Mobile ATM’s sari-sari store owner partners, Elsie Dizon, said “Natutuwa ako kasi kahit wala pa akong isang buwan, nadagdagan ‘yung customers ko. At siyempre dahil naka-withdraw na sila, may pera na sila, namimili din sila ng ilang items sa tindahan ko. Masaya din sila kasi merong mas malapit at kahit sa ibang barangay, dito rin sila nagwi-withdraw sa akin. Nagpapasalamat ako sa i2i Mobile ATM dahil nadagdagan ang kabuhayan ko.”

As community-based financial service providers, i2i Mobile ATM partners are essential for many, including pensioners. This at-risk population cannot travel to nearby towns or the nearest ATM, either of which could be several kilometers away. i2i Mobile ATM provides safer access to DSWD 4Ps & SAP program beneficiaries closer to home in far-flung or remote areas. At the same time, small businesses directly affected by the quarantine like travel & tour operators, sari-sari stores and carinderias have found an alternative line of business in the midst of the pandemic. i2i Mobile ATM has augmented the incomes of these entrepreneurs and SMEs who may now recycle otherwise idle liquidity for an additional source of revenue.

More Filipino business owners are signing up for i2i Mobile ATM for additional income. The i2i team conducts webinars every 2 weeks to assist interested business owners. To learn more about i2i Mobile ATM, follow i2i and i2i Mobile ATM Philippines on Facebook. You may also visit https://www.i2i.ph.

To read the original article from BigTito.net, click this link.

UBX Sentro supercharges Facebook shops

Using Sentro, business owners can now transform their FB Shops from a mere marketing channel to a full-blown e-commerce store that can immediately accept payments, manage orders and book deliveries.

Sentro, UBX’s free online shopping platform with pre-integrated payment and logistics capabilities, has linked last March 12 with Facebook Shops, online stores that are accessible both on FB and Instagram.

Since it launched last April 2019, Sentro has been providing end-to-end e-commerce experience to over 30,000 Filipino SMEs.

Its built-in payment gateway enables merchants to accept payments via over-the-counter, online banking, E-wallets, and debit and credit cards.

With its integrated delivery services powered by Mr. Speedy, Sentro has claimed success in aiding businesses in the midst of this pandemic.

Using Sentro, business owners can now transform their FB Shops from a mere marketing channel to a full-blown e-commerce store that can immediately accept payments, manage orders and book deliveries.

“We had an unstructured ordering process where we capture them through various social media and chat channels, and it was getting too tiring to capture, track and update.” said Michael Lu, owner of Agrico, a Sentro and a Facebook Shop user.

“Sentro helped organize our orders. Now, accepting payments and booking deliveries is a breeze!” he added.

Sentro’s services are 100 percent free and are available for all Filipino small and medium enterprises.

To read the original article from Tribune.net, click this link.

Visit Sentro now: https://bit.ly/3hGaJgS

SeekCap offers business loans up to PHP 20M to Alliance Software Inc. MSME clients

In pursuit of enabling more micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to get access to capital, SeekCap, the country’s first online lending marketplace, has partnered with Alliance Software, Inc., one of the Philippines’s largest independent Filipino software development and business solutions companies, to offer the latter’s MSME clients business loans. 

“Alliance WebPOS customers can now apply for a business loan via SeekCap to help them expand or upgrade their businesses as the economy is starting to open up again. The Alliance and SeekCap partnership will provide a timely, in some cases immediate response to help small business owners with their short-term capital needs,” said Alliance Vice President, Mr. Te Jay Luna.

SeekCap, UBX’s online lending platform, has been a supporting pillar to MSMEs during these unprecedented times. Since launch, over 38,000 MSMEs have registered on the SeekCap platform and over P1.5 billion worth of business loans have been processed. 

With SeekCap, applying for a loan is easy and entirely digital. Its capacity and capability to help lenders digitize and automate their lending processes shortens processing time and lowers lending costs. MSMEs complete their application and get approval quickly within the comfort of their home or workplace. By eliminating submission of physical documents and personal appearance at the bank, approvals, which used to take days if not weeks, are processed within the day.

Alliance is a tool that helps businesses manage all information from a single portal, access reports in real-time, encourage safe and convenient shopping experience for online and offline customers, and offer worry-free solutions inclusive of support and maintenance. Alliance also recently launched its e-commerce platform that aims to power online stores with an all-in-one cloud solution that is easy to deploy, provides enhanced security, and is packed with features to accelerate sales. 

SeekCap will serve as a bridge between MSMEs on the Alliance platform and the different reputable lenders with the best loan offers. For more information, visit https://www.seekcap.ph/

To read the original article from FinTech Alliance Philippines, click this link.

UnionBank lends P1.5 billion to MSMEs via SeekCap

MANILA, Philippines — Aboitiz-led Union Bank of the Philippines Inc. has disbursed P1.5 billion worth of loans to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) particularly those affected by the pandemic through its online lending platform.

UnionBank’s fintech arm UBX and Chinese financial conglomerate Ping An’s OneConnect Financial Technology Co. Ltd have enticed 38,000 small business owners to register in SeekCap since the first online lending marketplace in the Philippines was established in late 2019.

SeekCap has been a supporting pillar to MSMEs during these unprecedented challenging times.

With SeekCap, applying for a loan is easy and entirely digital. Its capacity and capability to help lenders digitize and automate their lending processes shortens processing time and lowers lending costs.

MSME owners complete their application and get approval quickly within the comfort of their home or workplace.

By eliminating submission of physical documents and personal appearance at the bank amid the pandemic, approvals that used to take days if not weeks are processed within the day.

UBX’s end-to-end digital lending technology allows the partner lenders to offer business loans as high as P20 million and interest rates as low as two percent to businesses nationwide.

In just a few clicks, Filipino business owners can apply for a loan product tailored to their needs, including finance for their inventory, equipment, payroll, marketing, receivables, and similar activities.

SeekCap has partnered with popular platforms used by MSMEs such as Lazada, FoodPanda, Sprout HR & Payroll Solutions, AlliancePOS, Taxumo, and Moneygment to tap and serve more MSMEs.

New lenders are constantly being added to SeekCap such as Bangko Kabayan and RAFI Microfinance joining UnionBank, Esquire, SeedIn, Right Choice Finance, and Zenith Capital.

Other ventures of SeekCap include i2i, offering digital transformation to financial institutions and community based financial service providers; Bux, an embeddable end-to-end payment platform with the most extensive network of payment options and locations in the Philippines; Sentro, a free online shop builder and QLab that offers digital transformation services to businesses.

To read the original article from Philippine Star, click this link.

Visit https://bit.ly/3dSKVgo for more information about SeekCap.

No business is left behind with Sentro: Committed to teching-up e-Businesses in the Philippines

Since its launch, UBX has always been true to its mission— to develop digital platforms and actively support MSMEs in growing their businesses. Now that the demand for technology is rising, UBX showed that amidst the pandemic, they are ready and prepared to aid businesses by opening up new opportunities through innovation and technology, and by helping businesses bounce back and achieve success throughout a crisis. One of their initiatives is Sentro.

Sentro, UBX’s Online Shop Builder, was launched last April 27, 2020, to provide a free platform for anyone who is looking to showcase their products online, have their own website, or just want to venture online.

With Sentro being the first and only e-commerce platform that is truly end-to-end in the Philippines, Sentro is making sure that there’s no business left behind. Now, merchants don’t need to worry about accepting cash payments and going cashless because it already has a pre-integrated payment gateway that offers multiple payment options like cash, over-the-counter, and other various online payment methods. Driven by its goal to continuously improve its features, Sentro partnered with MrSpeedy as its logistics partner, making it an all-in-one online shop builder where payments and deliveries are already taken care of.

Don’t get intimidated by Sentro’s technology. Merchants, who are transitioning into the digital space, need not be tech-savvy. In fact, building your own Sentro online shop requires zero to no tech experience. Now, all you need is a mobile device to use Sentro. You can manage your business at your fingertips and enjoy all of its features 100% free.

Since its launch, Sentro has helped over 30,000 Filipino SMEs and business owners to tech-up their businesses and has been truly exceptional in making businesses naka-Sentro literally and figuratively amid the pandemic.

The new normal

As we enter a new year, online shopping, food deliveries, and cashless transactions are just some of the new normal we have to embrace. Individuals, communities, and businesses are all learning new ways to connect, with in-person conferences gone virtual.

The majority of the Filipino MSMEs were brought to the realization that in order to survive such an adverse crisis, they must combat it with resilience. And with the current situation that our economy is in, digital transformation has become key to achieve business resilience.

This pandemic is still far from over, but Sentro is committed to supporting MSMEs in building their resilience and sustainability. Sentro is seasoned enough to be able to provide the digital platform to SMEs to ensure that their operations are continuous even when faced with business continuity challenges.

To read original article, visit this link.

Visit Sentro now: https://bit.ly/2TH8bHt

UBX chief to utilize expertise in building-up start-ups as The Final Pitch Season 6 investor judge

UBX President and CEO John Januszczak has recently joined the latest season of long-running, entrepreneurial-themed reality show The Final Pitch as an investor judge.  This marks the very first that a fintech company joins the show and reflects UBX’s continuous efforts in accelerating MSME success by incubating start-up businesses in the Philippines.

As an investor judge, Januszczak brings to the judging table an expansive wealth of knowledge and expertise in building start-ups from the ground up, which comes from his experience in leading UBX in its mission to support the country’s micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and help them thrive in the digital economy.

As the fintech spinoff and corporate venture arm of Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank), UBX has been at the forefront of incubating start-ups and business ideas in the country by utilizing innovation and co-creation to deliver pioneering solutions that enable growth and expansion, empowering entrepreneurs and enabling their businesses to achieve their full potential.

Among these solutions is SeekCap, UBX’s online lending platform and the first online lending marketplace in the Philippines. Since its launch, SeekCap has processed over P1.5B worth of business loans and has helped more than 38,000 businesses, especially during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when many of them needed financial support just to stay afloat.

There is also Sentro, the country’s first end-to-end e-commerce builder, which allows entrepreneurs to create their very own fully featured online store even with little to zero tech know-how. More than 29,000 businesses in the country have successfully digitized their businesses thanks to Sentro, allowing them to thrive amid the recent growth of the e-commerce sector as a result of the pandemic.

Another industry-pioneering solution that is aligned with UBX’s efforts in incubating the next big Filipino entrepreneur is Bux, an end-to-end platform provides business owners with a wide selection of payment methods and channels depending on their needs or preference. To date, Bux has helped more than 100,000 businesses streamline their e-commerce payment process.

Through these solutions, UBX has become the biggest incubator of start-ups in the Philippines, giving burgeoning entrepreneurs secure footing in an era where being digital has become a must, made even more challenging by an unprecedented global health crisis. But these solutions aren’t the only capabilities of UBX when it comes to supporting start-ups.

“We’re very interested in investing in ideas, in founders, and talented entrepreneurs. We can invest in external or stand-alone ventures through our venture fund.  We also have our venture studio which could make sense for someone who has a smaller team but needs the resources of an incubator/accelerator to bring their startup to market. UBX will provide individuals who have a great idea with a framework and assistance that will validate it and give capital and resources to bring it to scale,” Januszczak said.

For more information, visit www.ubx.ph.

To read the original article by Megabites, click this link.

Final Pitch Season 6 scouts for ‘new normal’ heroes

The country’s only business reality TV show, The Final Pitch, may have been dealing with entrepreneurs who are in essence heroes in their respective expertise. But this latest season to air on CNN Philippines is on the lookout for ones with “great business ideas to solve pandemic problems.”

In some way, the show launched last Feb. 16 via a Zoom presser, is still all-business, but with more heart and compassion as we all move forward to a safer, better world.

Host and creator John Aguilar, expressed, “This season is a chance to prove that despite our current challenges, we can work strategically given our limited resources to move the country forward, provide solutions and opportunities and discover new startups and talented individuals to help rebuild the nation.”

This sixth season, appropriately themed the Heroes Edition, will feature four successful individuals to serve as judges-investors to pitchers. The line-up includes 917Ventures’ Vince Yamat, FWD Insurance’s Li Hao Zhuang, UBX’s John Januszczak and Thames International Business School’s Joel Santos. Their main goal is “to look for the next great business idea that will impact society positively.”

The past five seasons solidified the show’s reputation as contributor to the growth of the business community while publicly exposing the brilliant minds and inspirational stories behind some of the most innovative and triumphant entrepreneurs in the land.

Santos, who in previous seasons served as purely a mentor, now comes in as an investor who will lend his strategic insights owing to his extensive network. He noted, “We are ready to offer our programs in Thames, plus personal mentoring depending on the gap they need to fill to be able to scale up their enterprise. This includes possible strategic partnerships across the region that we hope to help facilitate.”

Katrina Chan, executive director of QBO Innovation Hub, practically occupies Santos’ former role as she joins the show as a mentor alongside QBO’s roster of startup ecosystem supporters and stakeholders.

The Final Pitch Season 6 specifically invites startups, non-profit organizations, entrepreneurs and individuals armed with new solutions to address the economic and social impact of COVID-19.

Yamat, the managing director of 917Ventures, shared, “We are looking for what we call a venture builder, someone with grit and the right attitude who is passionate about solving a problem. We just need the right idea and the right attitude and we will provide the ecosystem of marketing, logistics and product development. We will work with you as we solve a big problem and improve the lives of the Filipino people together.”

For his side of doing things, the CEO of a rapidly rising insurance company Li Hao Zuang aims to support those with a social mission, saying, “We are looking for entrepreneurs with a bayanihan spirit who want to change the world, who have a distinct offering and concept and a commercially viable plan.”

In addition, UBX’s Januszczak mentioned about his company’s venture studio “which could make sense for someone who has a smaller team but needs the resources of an incubator/accelerator to bring their startup to market.”

Online entries and one-minute pitch videos can now be submitted via TheFinalPitch.ph/application. Interested investors and corporate partners intending to work with the show “behind the scenes” may also reach the show through submit@TheFinalPitch.ph or 0917-8136674.

The Final Pitch Season 6 will air Sundays (8:30 p.m.) beginning March 21. Replay 1 on Tuesdays (8:30 p.m.) and Replay 2 on Saturdays (11:30 a.m. for the initial episode. 11 a.m. for the succeeding episodes).

(For details, visit www.thefinalpitch.ph and follow its social media accounts at @TheFinalPitchPH on Facebook, @thefinalpitchph on Instagram, and @thefinalpitch on YouTube.)

To read the original article from the Philippine Star, click this link.

UBX’s SeekCap Named 2020 BAI Global Innovation Awards Finalist

UBX’s SeekCap has been selected as a finalist in the Societal and Community Impact Innovation category for the 2020 BAI Global Innovation Awards, a prestigious awards program that recognizes financial services organizations that have gone beyond the conventional to bring creative ideas to life, especially during a time of unprecedented change.

The 2020 BAI Global Innovation Awards finalists represent the most distinctive, impactful solutions in the global financial services industry, and UBX, the fintech spinoff of Union Bank of the Philippines, was selected from hundreds of nominations submitted.

UBX’s SeekCap is the Philippine’s first same-day approval loan marketplace for MSMEs in the country. Through SeekCap, multiple banks and lending institutions can swiftly create and launch loan products on the marketplace, thereby allowing MSME borrowers to choose what loan product best suits their business needs and apply for loans digitally and seamlessly on a single platform. Loans are approved on the same day, and disbursed within three working days. This is a drastic improvement on the turnaround time for traditional loan application processes in the country that usually take 30 to 90 days.

MSMEs who were previously unable to get access to financing because of being ‘thin-file’ or not having the bank statements and long credit history to show as proofs, can now be financially included. This is because SeekCap goes beyond traditional means and leverages alternative data sources to assess their credit worthiness.

This solution was built by UBX together with OneConnect Financial Technologies to provide an end-to-end digital lending marketplace that allows MSMEs to quickly ‘seek capital’ – search, compare and apply for credit digitally and seamlessly, and enjoy fast approval within a day. SeekCap is a play on the Filipino word ‘sikap’ which means perseverance, diligence, and hard work.  

“Now more than ever, MSMEs play a critical role in revitalizing the Philippine economy. Yet, MSMEs are acutely affected by access to credit and working capital, which has been further impacted under COVID where manual and paper-based lending practices are difficult and often impossible. With a fully digital experience and quick approvals, SeekCap addresses this gap. MSMEs don’t even need a bank account to apply. UBX is honoured by BAI’s recognition of our mission to provide opportunity and access for all,” said UBX President and CEO John Januszczak. Since its inception in 2011, the BAI Global Innovation Awards recognizes industry leaders from all regions of the world. It showcases what these innovators are doing to deliver new value to customers and employees, as well as to improve efficiencies and profitability for their organizations. To learn more about the BAI Global Innovation Awards and all of the finalists, please visit BAIGlobalInnovations.com

To read the original article, click this link.

Visit SeekCap now: https://bit.ly/2SODEqG

UBX Named Fastest Growing Fintech Company of the Year in South East Asia 2020

UBX-fastest-growing-FINTECH 2020 in South East Asia

Original Post from Global Brand Magazine: https://www.globalbrandsmagazine.com/award-winners-2020/

UBX, the fintech spinoff of Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank), was named “Fastest Growing Fintech Company in South East Asia 2020” by UK-based Global Brands Magazine.

UBX was selected and stood out from a very competitive group of entrants, all of whom demonstrated unique and exceptional service delivery towards evolving Banking sectors. UBX has been awarded this honor for its “exceptional commitment to innovation, quality, branding activities, customer service & performance and providing a robust technology system in South East Asia.

UBX is making a positive and material impact on truly inclusive prosperity by: 1) opening-up financial services to the unbanked and underbanked and 2) enabling a future where financial services are “invisible” – seamlessly embedded into the everyday.

This recognition comes alongside remarkable milestones as UBX just recently celebrated its first year of operations! The commercial launch of four platform-ventures support well over 100,000 customers and the millions they in turn serve. One of UBX’s flagship-projects which paved the way for this award is the multi-awarded blockchain-based i2i platform for financial institutions such as cooperatives, savings, thrift and rural banks. i2i is recognized as one of the Philippines’ largest and fastest growing financial networks.

During this COVID-19 crisis, UBX stepped up to the plate through i2i by digitally transforming community based financial institutions via i2i, enabling nationwide digital cash transfers for its customers to send funds and payments to over 11,000 locations around the country.

Since its launch, UBX has garnered local and international accolades including IDC’s Operating Model Master 2019, Silver at the 2019 Anvil Awards, Asian Banking and Finance’s Start-up Banking Initiative of the Year for 2020, and CFI.co’s Best Digital Community Impactive Initiative – Southeast Asia for 2020.

The Global Brands Magazine Awards is an annual event held by Global Brands Magazine (GMB) which aims to recognize global brands achieving excellence in performance across a broad range of sectors, keeping its readers up to date.

UBX: Featured on Capital Finance International

Exponential Opportunities for Businesses and People through Digital Transformation | UBX Philippines News

“In 2018, two years after taking the bold step to digital transformation, Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) spun off its fintech and corporate venture capital arm: UBX.” – CFI (August 2020)

August 2020 – (Capital Finance International), a print journal and online resource reporting on business, economics, and finance – recognized UBX as UnionBank’s bold step to digital transformation, showcasing some of its newest financial tech services like i2i, Seekcap, Sentro, and Bux.

i2i was created to bring digital transformation to unbanked and remote communities.

UBX is a fintech company based in the Philippines that aims to provide access and opportunities for all by embedding financial services into the activities and experiences that matter. UBX incubates a suite of digital products that aim to make everyday transactions easier for every Filipino—from city to rural areas.

To read the full article, visit this link: 

UBX: Exponential Opportunities for Businesses and People through Digital Transformation

Exponential Opportunities for Businesses and People through Digital Transformation | UBX on CFI (Capital Finance International)

UnionBank nabs eight accolades at 11th Retail Banker International Awards

“Best Remittances Initiative” award for the Send-i2i solution

UnionBank of the Philippines (UnionBank) recently won big at the prestigious Retail Banker International (RBI) Asia Trailblazer Awards, where it was able to showcase its numerous innovations and milestones in digital banking and transformation in the past year.

Over the years, the Bank has won praise for these efforts from various local and international award-giving bodies, a testament to its accomplishments in creating
solutions that elevate lives and fulfills dreams.

For this year’s awarding ceremony, UnionBank’s 8 awards spanned over 4 major categories. “Best Remittances Initiative” award for the Bank’s Send-i2i solution. Send-i2i is a service that provides a cheaper, safer, and near real-time cross-border remittance from Singapore to anywhere in the Philippines, including far-flung communities often cut off from international payment systems. It streamlines the process for rural banks when receiving funds from overseas. From a timeframe of up to 20 days, Send-i2i rural banks will be able to receive remittances in mere seconds.

The Bank also took home the “Best ATM and Self-Service Innovation” award for Project BitBox, which introduced the first-ever virtual currency ATM in the country that is backed by the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), providing UnionBank customers with a secure and convenient way to convert their cash into cryptocurrency and vice versa.

For its Digital RM solution, UnionBank was awarded “Best Retail Bank – Philippines.” Through this innovation, managing a UnionBank account is now easier as customers can just reach out to their respective digital relationship managers for all concerns related to their account. It’s also one of two ways customers can open a new account online, the other option being the UnionBank Online app’s digital account opening feature.

Another winning project was the UnionBankGlobalLinker Trade Connect initiative, which was awarded “Best Social Media Marketing Campaign.” UnionBankGlobalLinker is an innovative free-to-use digital platform utilizing world-class technology that allows MSMEs to access business offers for a simpler, easier, profitable, and enjoyable experience to grow their business.  It flew out 25 Filipino Business owners to Singapore and attended Trade Connect, a cross border Global SME Meetup.

Aside from the four aforementioned awards, UnionBank also garnered commendations for four other initiatives, bringing the total number to eight accolades from the award-giving body.

Among these commendations is “Most Innovative Branch Offering” for The ARK, the country’s pioneering fully digital and paperless banking branch. UnionBank introduced the very first ARK branch back in 2017 with the goal of harnessing technology to revolutionize the way people look at banking. As of September 2020, the total number of ARK branches in the country is at 50.

The Bank also earned a “Best Staff Training and Development Programme” commendation for The ARK Ambassadors. Deployed in each ARK branch in place of tellers, the role of these ambassadors is to act as guides for customers, answering their queries and assisting them in the use of The ARK’s on-premise digital banking solutions.

UnionBank’s Machine Learning and AI in Business was commended for “Best Use of Machine Learning”. With the Bank’s strong data science/tech capabilities and rich historical data, it was able to develop and operationalize machine learning models throughout the organization.

And finally, for its agile work culture, the Bank received an “Excellence in Employee Engagement” commendation. A key component of the Bank’s digital transformation journey, the adoption of an agile mindset and corporate culture has allowed the Bank to digitize efficiently. It also continues to play a major role in the Bank’s ability to consistently deliver solutions that meet the ever-changing needs of customers.

UnionBank’s recent wins at the RBI Awards are the latest among accolades received this year alone, following the Bank’s recent naming in the BankQuality Consumer Survey on Retail Banks as the second most helpful bank in the Asia-Pacific Region during the COVID-19 pandemic in May this year.

Read the original article by Business World here.

Learn more about i2i here.

Rural bank members of UBX’s i2i platform help facilitate SAP distribution

Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank)’s fintech arm UBX is leveraging its i2i network of rural banks for the distribution of the second tranche of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

UBX has partnered with UnionBank, one of six financial service providers appointed by the government to enable the electronic payment of the second wave of emergency subsidies for Filipinos hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

These rural bank partners include MVSM Bank, Country Builders Bank Inc., Saviour Rural Bank Inc., City Savings Bank Inc., Bangko Kabayan, Inc., New Rural Bank of San Leonardo, GM Bank of Luzon Inc., Guagua Rural Bank, Quezon Capital Rural Bank Inc., and Fairbank and Rural Bank of Barili.

i2i member branches are strategically located across the country, including remote areas, which helped in expediting the disbursement.

i2i rural bank members are walking the extra mile, going to locations that are more convenient for the beneficiaries. Thousands of the recipients in areas such as Batangs, Quezon, and Rizal, will receive assistance through i2i.

“We want to provide a comfortable and efficient way of distributing the (government) aid,” said Gigette De Luna, President of MVSM Bank, the first i2i member to pilot this initiative. “At the same time, we make sure that we follow the health and safety restrictions in order to protect the men and women of MVSM Bank and the general public.”

For the original article from Back End News, click this link.

Visit i2i now: https://bit.ly/3qNsZJr

UBX wins Best Digital Community Impact Initiative Southeast Asia 2020

A digital revolution is underway in the Filipino finance market, with fintech champion UBX leading the charge. UBX serves as the fintech arm of local giant Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank), operating as a separate entity to manage tech initiatives, build platforms and make investments in fintechs. The UBX moniker is a clever representation of that mission statement: UnionBank to the power of x. It creates opportunities through collaborative partnerships and the application of innovative technology. The UBX line-up features UnionBank-incubated solutions such as the i2i and platforms such as BUX, Sentro and SeekCap.

BUX is an embedded eCommerce platform helping to grease e-commerce wheels. Sentro provides tools to build online stores in minutes. Blockchain-based i2i targets underbanked rural populations by connecting them to financial institutions across the country. The breakthrough solution has enabled citizens in hard-to-reach areas to access the government’s Covid-19 stimulus payments.

As a fintech, UBX is not constrained by traditional banking regulations and encourages out-of-the-box thinking to incorporate financial services into B2B, logistics and financial services ecosystems. The tactic has been proven to boost financial inclusion and promote growth.

UBX launched QLabs, where a talented tech team with blockchain and full-stack development capabilities helps companies on their own digital transformation journeys embed financial services into their consumers’ daily lives.

UBX has just celebrated its first anniversary, and the CFI.co judging panel is pleased to add another candle to the cake. UBX wins the 2020 award for Best Digital Community Impact Initiative (Southeast Asia).

To read the original article by CFI.co here.

UBX’s SeekCap among Phl’s top 7 fintech startups for 2020

Union Bank of the Philippines’ fintech unit UBX’s lending arm SeekCap was named as one of the top fintech firms in the country.

SeekCap, the lending marketplace of Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank)’s fintech arm UBX, has been cited as among top 7 fintech startups in the Philippines by  Startup Genome’s Global Startup Ecosystem Report.

This recognition comes barely six months after SeekCap was launched in November last year. SeekCap targets to cater to the underserved micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMES) who make up the backbone of the Philippine economy.

In partnership with Ping An’s associate firm OneConnect Financial Technology, SeekCap aims to shorten the turnaround time in loan application.

According to Startup Genome’s Global Startup Ecosystem Report, fintech companies now compose 15% of Manila’s startups.

SeekCap, being one of them, has made significant strides and is seen to perform even better in the coming months, the report said. Most recently, SeekCap partnered with e-commerce giant Lazada to help more MSMEs get access to financing. To date, over 6,000 MSMEs have signed up, with a 300% increase in loan applications posted during the first quarter.

Read the original article by The Tribune here.

UBX, Lazada team up on SME lending program

UBX, the fintech arm of UnionBank of the Philippines, has teamed up with e-commerce platform Lazada to offer credit lifeline to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) grappling with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

UBX, through its lending marketplace, SeekCap, aims to help more MSMEs – such as vendors operating on Lazada’s platform – get access to financing.

To date, over 6,000 MSMEs have signed up on the lending marketplace, with a 300 percent increase in loans application posted during the first quarter, UBX announced.

In a statement, UBX said it’s “committed to assist MSMEs survive and get back on their feet after the pandemic,” adding that SeekCap would be a “vital instrument towards the achievement of this objective.”

SeekCap allows MSMEs to apply using a purely digital platform. They can complete their application and get updates on their approval remotely. There is no need to submit physical documents and appear at a bank to get approved.

This platform also seeks to allow MSMEs to apply for a loan product tailored to their needs, including financing for their inventory, payroll needs, expenses payables, and similar activities.

Loan applications through SeekCap can be initially approved the same day, which means that the documents submitted are still subject to review, and only until then will the disbursement take place. Currently, SeekCap offers business loans from P50,000 to P800,000 with a 2 to 3 percent monthly interest.

SeekCap continues to bring additional lenders to the platform. Progressive Bank, UnionBank and EON SME Credit Card are among the lenders to date.

For the original article from Inquirer.net, visit this link.

Try SeekCap Now: https://bit.ly/3xkSiVI

UnionBank of the Philippines: Blockchain to Bring Digital Payments to Rural Banks

Winner of Celent Model Bank 2020 Award for Financial Inclusion (Part II)

Abstract

Typically, most financial inclusion initiatives focus on developing propositions aimed at underbanked end users (“B2C approach”). It is less common for a financial institution to focus on enabling third parties to develop or provide such propositions (“B2B2C approach”). Yet, this is exactly the approach that the Union Bank of the Philippines took for financial inclusion, as demonstrated with two of their initiatives, API Marketplace and Send-i2i.

This is Part II of the case study of UnionBank’s award-winning projects, and profiles the bank’s Send-i2i initiative. The API Marketplace initiative is described in Part I, Union Bank of the Philippines: Reaching the Underserved through Open APIs.

The bank’s i2i (“island-to-island, institution-to-institution, and individual-to-individual”) network connects rural banks through a blockchain-based platform. Send-i2i extends the network to enable sending cross-border remittances all the way to rural banks well placed to reach underserved communities.

Read original report from Celent here.

UnionBank of the Philippines: Reaching the Underserved through Open APIs

Winner of Celent Model Bank 2020 Award for Financial Inclusion (Part I)

Abstract

Typically, most financial inclusion initiatives focus on developing propositions aimed at underbanked end users (“B2C approach”). It is less common for a financial institution to focus on enabling third parties to develop or provide such propositions (“B2B2C approach”). Yet, this is exactly the approach that the Union Bank of the Philippines took for financial inclusion, as demonstrated with two of their initiatives, API Marketplace and Send-i2i.

This is Part I of the case study of UnionBank’s award-winning projects, and profiles the bank’s API Marketplace. The Send-i2i initiative is described in Part II, Union Bank of the Philippines: Blockchain to bring Digital Payments to Rural Banks.

Having undertaken a major rearchitecture of its core systems, UnionBank decided to expose a range of application programming interfaces (APIs) through a developer-friendly Marketplace. This has successfully enabled the bank to significantly expand its customer base and transaction volume.

Read the original report by Celent here.