PayMongo Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jojo Malolos stressed the importance of knowing your consumers well and identifying the specific needs and circumstances of consumers to achieve financial inclusion, especially here in the Philippines.
Mr. Malolos made this pronouncement as he participated in a panel discussion with his co-experts in the field of fintech to impart ways to create a more inclusive financial system through technology at the first AI Summit in the country hosted by the Aboitiz Data Innovation (ADI).
“In order to achieve financial inclusion, you need to have financial common sense first, which means understanding the behavior of your target market whether it be compatibility to the device they will be using and how it will be used. People are not fully aware of how technology impacts their lives. And for us in the fintech industry, we need to see technology as a tool to deliver that promise of innovation,” he said, emphasizing the key challenge to financial inclusion in the country is the efficient adoption of the target consumers to fintech services developed such as digital banking.
Mr. Malolos emphasized that fintech companies should also take into consideration the importance of keeping digital financial services simple, easy to use, and accessible to both merchants and their customers—a feature PayMongo upholds in its platform. He also added that with the emergence of AI, hopefully profiling and capturing these target markets will be easier and more accurate.
He expounds that it is only when these target consumers understand how to utilize these financial services, can they truly see its benefits to their daily lives.
“In PayMongo, we make sure that as we get into micro merchants, we are able to give them the benefit of setting up and succeeding in their business. It is when they succeed and generate income that they can appreciate the other players in the fintech ecosystem.”
Financial inclusion is defined as the availability and equality of opportunities to access financial services such as banking, loan, equity, and insurance products. Adoption in terms of technology, on the other hand, refers to the process of accepting, integrating, and using new technology in society.
Per data from a Department of Science and Technology study in 2022, awareness on technological advancements doesn’t directly translate to technology adoption. Various factors such as knowledge, financial constraints, owner and employees’ lack of awareness on the importance of the technology, weak technology base, and poor infrastructure significantly hinder businesses from adopting new technologies.
As CEO of the leading payment gateway in the country, Mr. Malolos discussed the efforts made by PayMongo in uplifting the livelihood of MSMEs. He stressed how PayMongo capacitates these business owners to help them appreciate the developments in digital finance.
“Our objective in PayMongo is to simplify things for businesses. That when you get into our system, it’s so easy, so simple, and you will realize that utilizing these digital financial systems is actually not as complicated as it seems,” he expressed.
Just last month, PayMongo signed an agreement with Unionbank, expanding both companies’ financial network further, and providing a more accessible and simplified payment processing for businesses of all sizes.