With business optimism in developed and emerging markets in Asia-Pacific reported to be diverging, a Prague-based consumer finance company is keeping a positive outlook on the Philippine market as it ushers in 2017.
Home Credit, a company that offers in-store financing of smartphones and household appliances, noted that the Philippines’ fast-expanding middle-class segment and young working population, along with its sizable unbanked sector, all point to an even higher demand for financial opportunities outside of the traditional banking system.
“We are continuing to see a remarkable increase in demand for smartphones and other goods here as the local economy continues to grow, and for many Filipinos, this also goes hand in hand with a demand for affordable and accessible financing,” said Home Credit Philippines chief executive Annica Witschard.
“When you add in the Philippines’ low credit card penetration and 70-percent unbanked rate to the equation, then you have a very unique market, one that offers tremendous potential,” she said.
Witschard said that since Home Credit’s arrival in the country in 2013, the company has quickly seen much of this potential turn into actual gains, as it crossed the 500,000-customer mark in December 2016. From their previously reported 280,000 customers in July 2016, this means a two-fold increase in customer base in less than half a year.
“Aside from the unique conditions of the market, our continued expansion in Q3 and Q4 last year to more provinces played a crucial role in hitting our numbers,” said Witschard.
She said Home Credit is now in over 1,500 partner outlets in 20 provinces in the country. Baguio and Iloilo are among the latest additions.
“This expansion also means a win-win situation with our partners, as we work together to help consumers avail of popular smartphone models and other high-demand products. We’ve already seen tremendous boosts in loan volumes for partners such as Samsung and Oppo, so there is very good reason to be bullish,” she said.