Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) is working with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to bring digital banking to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), including sari-sari stores.
Lito Villanueva, RCBC executive vice president and chief innovation and inclusion officer, said the bank has an engagement with the DTI to further promote “Diskartech”, a financial inclusion super app, to 1,200 Negosyo Centers nationwide.
Negosyo Centers provide business-related services to MSMEs which represent close to 99 percent of businesses in the country.
“We know that most of them are really individual entrepreneurs running their own businesses. So that’s why, one of the things that we will be focusing on will be on how to enable our 1.3 million sari-sari stores, including market vendors, plus online casual sellers that you find in the various social media platforms, channels,” he said during the National MSME Resilience e-forum.
Villanueva said that since the Diskartech app was launched this month, it is already doing 8,000 to 9,000 downloads a day coming from all 17 regions in the country, even as the bank has not yet started its marketing campaign.
“And in fact across all regions nationwide, we already have Diskartech users. That is why the agriculture sector is something that would be (also) a good thing for us to be able to capture and service because kapag digital, dapat walang maiiwan, lahat kasama (if digital, no one should be left behind, all should be included),” he added.
Villanueva said the bank is looking for collaboration between the private and the public sectors “towards a common goal which is really to uplift the lives of our MSMEs” by adapting to digital processes for efficiency, speed, and scale.
“At the end of the day, it will be meant to address or to service the unbanked and underserved segments of the population,” he said.
Villanueva said they have partnered with Bayad Centers thus, all their over 400 dealers could be found in the Diskartech app.
“That would include government agencies, including SSS (Social Security System), Pag-IBIG, DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs), etc. so you can do the payments. You could even facilitate payment on behalf of people in your community who do not have access to smartphones or any data services, so you can also earn,” he added.
Apart from insurance and other financial services, Villanueva said Diskartech provides healthcare access especially this time of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“They don’t need to go to barangays, to the doctors physically, but they could actually do the consult using their mobile app,” he said.