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BanKo eases loan payments further

By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT

BPI Direct BanKo Inc. (BanKo), the country’s first mobile-based micro-financing bank, has further eased loan payments and amortization of its borrowers going beyond what the government has asked of them to help micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) affected by COVID-19 pandemic.

BanKo Senior Vice-President Rodolfo Mabiasen Jr. said in a Go Negosyo webinar that they are offering long term extension program
for their clients.

BanKo is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BPI, the country’s leading commercial bank. BanKo was established to introduce micro finance products to the MSMEs.

Mabiasen said they did not require clients to pay up their monthly loan amortization during the quarantine period. Instead of the 6 months payment period, BanKo allows clients to pay in 12 months.

For those in need of additional capital because they run out of inventories or unable to sell during the lockdown, BanKo has also put up a Rehab Fund for their clients.

For those who would like to pay to make their loans current, Mabiasen said they also give discounts to help ease their burden.

BanKo Assistant Vice-President Anne De Los Reyes noted that despite the difficulty, “We also have clients who are voluntarily paying even if they are granted grace period.”

For these clients, De Los Reyes said they also came up with BanKo Bida Club where clients that pay on time earn points and gifts.

“We all have the right programs for our clients,” said De Los Reyes.

Mabiasen also said that they are making their loan applications and requirements simple.

“We have simple requirements, whatever documents you have,” he said. These documents may include Mayor’s permit or barangay permit and valid ID.

BanKo offers a minimum loan of P25,000 and a maximum of P300,000 at 2 percent interest rate.

There is no collateral requirement for loans of up to P100,000 but their collaterals for loans of more than P100,000 are just any asset of value to the borrower. Most of these are tricycle, motorcycle and their equipment. They do not also restrict the use of these collateralized assets.

Those who took out BanKo loans are also asked to open a savings account with them. The savings account can be used to pay for bills, to receive payments and to use and other business transactions online.

To make their micro borrowers comfortable, De Los Reyes said they intentionally have offices outside of the main BPI offices, making them more casual in dealing with clients.

At time, they also hold financial literacy seminars near public markets where most of their clients are.

There are 300 BanKo branches as of 2019.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://business.mb.com.ph/2020/06/28/banko-eases-loan-payments-further/)

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