Last updated: 10 October 2016
Local banks now have an easier way to lend to small businesses in the Philippines, thanks to a new online portal called Loanpinas.com.
The first of its kind in the country, the business-to-business portal provides banks access to a database of more than 300,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Philippines.
“The database will be made available to banks and other lending institutions which will subscribe to Loanpinas.com,” said Vic dela Dingco, executive director of FINEX Foundation for Entrepreneurship Inc. (FFEI), the group behind Loanpinas.com.
Through the portal, SMEs can register and post their loan requests online. These requests will be viewed by various participating lenders — currently numbering 13 — that can directly offer their loan products and discuss the terms with the potential SME borrower.
How it started
The loan portal (then known as SMEplus.com) started in 2012 as an initial partnership between DTI, which provided its registry of 20,000 SMEs, and FFEI, the SME arm of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX). It has since undergone major changes to suit the needs of lenders and SMEs alike, and was formally launched as Loanpinas.com at Dusit Thani Manila on October 5, 2016.
“Through the Loanpinas.com portal, we aim to help address the number one challenge that SMEs in the country face: access to finance,” said FFEI Chairman Tomas Gomez IV. “Beyond that, we also hope to provide SMEs access to education and access to the markets.”
FFEI partnered with Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) Philippines to enhance the SME experience in getting loans. The portal offers several technology features:
- a one-click loan request straight to the member banks;
- a single repository of company documents which can be accessed anytime, anywhere; and
- access to market for premium members.
Through the reciprocity features between Loanpinas.com and VIA, a premium member of Loanpinas automatically becomes a premium vendor of VIA. This gives them opportunities to be prequalified to VIA buyers, access to preferential prequalification rates, and listing on D&B’s global database of DUNS-registered companies. VIA (www.vendorintegrityaccess.com) is the online platform used by 54 of the country’s top conglomerates in prequalifying their suppliers.
Access to mentors
In addition to providing access to credit, Loanpinas-registered SMEs can also take advantage of the expertise of over 700 SME mentors who will come from FINEX, the premier organization of finance executives and business professionals in the country. Through Loanpinas’ official online magazine — www.isme.ph — SMEs can also gain access to inspiring stories on successful entrepreneurs, best practices, latest trends, insightful columns written by FFEI and FINEX members, and industry updates. FFEI partnered with editorial specialist Writers Edge to publish the online magazine.
During the formal launch of Loanpinas.com and iSME.ph, FFEI also entered into a memorandum of cooperation with PLDT SME Nation to undertake joint initiatives that will drive the growth of SMEs.
While they comprise 99.6% of all registered businesses in the Philippines and employ 70% of the country’s total workforce, SMEs usually find themselves marginalized when it comes to credit. Lack of access to financing, technology, raw materials and markets have been perennial hounding SMEs and very few are able to survive beyond three to five years.
“With this partnership with PLDT SME Nation, Dun & Bradstreet, and Writers Edge, we at FFEI hope to fulfil our mission of promoting SMEs in the country,” said Mr. dela Dingco.