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More Digital Solutions Launched to Benefit Philippine MSMEs

Micro, small, and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs) will benefit from a unique dashboard being developed by a local bank mobile app, which will allow business owners to track sales and cashflows. The local bank’s vice president confirmed in a virtual briefing that they are very keen on data management to enable MSMEs to monitor their sales and cash inflows, among other things, without having to buy pricey software designed for these activities.

These activities can be easily completed using software supplied by multinational database management organisations. “That is already something we are working on. We are creating a special dashboard for our merchants, which will combine the sales, the collections, (and) the projected sales. If the merchant is creating payment links, which will be used in the future, it will be there,” he said. “But from the mobile app perspective, you can see if there are going to be gaps in funding if there are any surpluses, and you act immediately. If there may be gaps, you might need to borrow money for a special payment you need to do.”

The bank has announced the launch of its system for MSMEs, an inward payment platform integrated into the bank’s MSME banking app. MSMEs utilising such banking applications, according to the vice president, do not need to check all their other mobile apps to see if their consumers utilised one of these to pay for a product or service as this can be observed through the MSME mobile app.

During the same conference, the local bank’s Merchant Acquiring, and Payment Gateway head stated that the bank has implemented many layers of data protection for both merchants and buyers who use their mobile app. One of these safeguards is a security message that asks users if the information they filled in for a particular transaction is correct.

In addition, the private sector wants to see more micro, small, and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs) embrace digital technologies to help them run their businesses throughout the pandemic. The Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) and a Cebu-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) announced the launch of new projects to aid MSMEs in their digital transformation.

The SIKAP project, which stands for Synergising Recovery Initiatives, Knowledge and Adaptation Practises for MSMEs, is a digital portal that informs local MSMEs about the newest loans, programmes, and online events.

OpenGov Asia reported that a local firm is launching its mobile platform which can be downloaded for free via the mobile app store to empower small businesses, freelancers, and people with digital tools to assist them to manage their businesses.

The mobile app has four core functions at launch: real-time recording of sales and expenses with automated total profit calculation accounts payable transaction documentation with regular billing reminders and due dates sent to both customers and suppliers via messaging apps, separate bookkeeping for multiple businesses or branches, and enterprise-grade security for users’ business financial data.

“Helping Philippine MSMEs was advocacy close to my heart. Growing up, I saw the challenges my family endured in running a sari-sari store. I spent almost a year just talking to various MSMEs in the province and trying different ideas to help them grow. And that’s when I realised that the first thing to do to help them grow is through digitisation and replacing pen and paper with easy-to-use tech,” shared co-founder of the local start-up.

Since its September launch, an average of P3,800 has been paid per user. The platform is funded by several investors that acknowledge that financial literacy and inclusion remain a major issue in the Philippines, with the main causes being a lack of appropriate tools and insufficient tracking.

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