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Home Credit, CIC Formalize Ties
22.02.2017

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Home Credit, CIC Formalize Ties

Published on 22.02.2017

 

Credit Information Corporation


Sharing of “unbanked” customer data seen as big boost to gov’t credit bureau efforts

Makati, Philippines – Home Credit, a Prague-based consumer finance company that helps customers avail of smartphones, appliances and other gadgets through installment, recently formalized its partnership with state-run Credit Information Corporation (CIC), with the sharing of its Philippine credit database to CIC now underway.

Home Credit Philippines’ (HCPH) data sharing, which will happen in stages, is in compliance to Republic Act 9510, which requires banks, finance companies and other credit facilities such as utility companies to submit data related to their clients’ credit history to the CIC. HCPH was one of the very first companies to become compliant.

In a simple recognition ceremony held at the CIC office in Makati, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chair Teresita J. Herbosa, who also serves as CIC Ex-Officio Chairperson, underscored the key role that non-bank institutions such as Home Credit play in promoting greater financial inclusion in the country.

“Our work gets easier because of [companies such as] Home Credit Philippines, one of the leading compliant entities submitting their credit database, who from the very start had nothing but the spirit of cooperation and partnership with the CIC,” chair Herbosa said.

“We’re pioneers in the field of credit registry, and Home Credit is a pioneer in terms of the financing business in PH, especially considering the demographics of their borrowers. Many of them are younger people, and these are the ones who we expect will be full-fledged users of our system,” Herbosa added.

Credit Information Corporation (CIC) President and CEO Jaime P. Garchitorena remarked that “Home Credit has a lot to do with the confidence that we have in moving the CIC forward, [since they were] one of the first organizations to engage with us. They have played a huge role in providing alternative methods for giving credit, which gives opportunities to people who are not yet included in the system.”

“The fact that a very successful institution such as Home Credit is willing to engage with us shows that the CIC has a firm place in expanding the realm of credit, not just as a business, but in making credit accessible to anyone,” Garchitorena said.

For its part, HCPH CEO Annica Witschard remarked that “in every country that Home Credit is in, we firmly believe in the importance of having a system in place to promote financial inclusion, and ensure that more and more people are given access to financial tools.”

“CIC’s work in creating a unified credit database will surely be beneficial for everyone, most of all ordinary Filipinos, and we hope that this can develop as quickly as possible, and that the data gathered from all of these sources is as good as possible,” Ms. Witschard added.

As the number of the unbanked or financially excluded remains high, non-bank institutions, with their use of alternative data, a more liberal framework for lending, and more points of access, is seen to have a big role to play in making sure that more Filipinos have access to financial services. According to a recent survey by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, up to 86% of Filipino households do not have bank accounts, which is often a requirement for many loans.

“All too often, we’ve seen a ‘vicious cycle’ wherein people can’t get a loan because they don’t have a credit score, and they can’t get a credit score because they have never been approved for a loan,” Garchitorena said.

“Non-bank financial institutions can break this cycle, because they can provide credit opportunities for first-time and thin file borrowers, opportunities that might not be available from other bank based lenders. This opens the door to establish a larger credit footprint which in turn is important for a credit score,” he added.

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Home Credit is All Smiles with Rebrand
22.02.2017

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Home Credit is All Smiles with Rebrand

Published on 22.02.2017

 

Home Credit Rebranding


With Home Credit’s new logo, HC takes on another meaning: happy customer

Their rebrand comes with a smile—in more ways than one.

Home Credit Philippines, a company that allows customers to avail of gadgets, appliances and other goods through installment with simple requirements, recently unveiled a new, modern look. It is part of a worldwide rebrand that includes Home Credit’s home country Czech Republic.

This comes as Home Credit continues to take on a “customer first” philosophy, and this direction shows in the company’s new logo.

The new Home Credit icon? It’s none other than the company’s own version of the classic smiley. This new look is much different from the old logo, which showed the very first-ever item bought via Home Credit: a refrigerator.

From products to people

“While our old logo put more focus on our products, our new symbol puts greater focus on what matters most—people,” remarked Annica Witschard, Home Credit Philippines (HCPH) CEO.

“At Home Credit, we like to say ‘HC means Happy Customer’, and we take that commitment very seriously. So beyond simply having a new look in all 2,000 of our partner stores, our new brand is also our way of renewing our commitment to our customers—that we will give them the best quality of service that they deserve,” she added.

Ms. Witschard explained that the company has been implementing new processes in line with their customer-centric approach. This includes implementing new communications channels such as web chat on the HCPH website, which allows customers to get real-time feedback on their inquiries, on top of the HCPH social media channels that are already in place.

According to Witschard, the company is “taking extra steps in training our customer-facing employees, such as sales associates and credit advisors, to be even better listeners and communicators, to understand where our customers are coming from and what kind of approach is best for them.”

Other new innovations include a special unit in the company which reviews cases of customers experiencing extraordinary financial difficulties, and try to find solutions for loan repayment.

Safe lender

These changes are on top of existing “safe lending” features that Home Credit offers to customers, such as the option to avail of insurance along with the loan; a 15 day “cooling-off” period that allows customers to pay back the full loan at no added cost within this time period; and a loan “safety guarantee” that promises full transparency on loan products with no hidden charges.

Enjoy your life today

The rebrand also includes a brand-new tagline for the Philippines: “Enjoy your life today.” According to Ms. Witschard, the new tagline aims right at the hearts of audiences, while still emphasizing Home Credit’s simple application process and fastest approval time in the market.

“We understand that when our customers purchase smartphones and other devices, they use these to enrich their lives, and often with loved ones, whether it’s taking selfies with the latest camera phone or watching TV with the kids,” Witschard said.

“And with Home Credit’s fast approval, you can bring home your gadget on the same day you apply, and have quality time with the family as soon as you get home.”

For more information on Home Credit’s latest promos, go to www.homecredit.ph.

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Optimism in PH Consumer Finance Sector Remains High
15.02.2017

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Optimism in PH Consumer Finance Sector Remains High

Published on 15.01.2017

 

Home Credit PH


Increasing demand from unbanked, middle class segments cited as drivers of growth

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 sizeable 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,” noted Home Credit Philippines CEO Annica Witschard.

“When you add in the Philippines’ low credit card penetration and 70% unbanked rate to the equation, then you have a very unique market, one that offers tremendous potential,” she added.

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,” explained Witschard, noting that 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 added.

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