Citi and consumer credit provider Home Credit have launched a joint lending facility aimed at promoting greater financial inclusion in the Philippines.
The first tranche of the transaction, amounting to 420 million pesos ($8 million), will support purchases of mobile devices, approximately half of which will go to women to enable them to buy basic digital devices such as as smartphones and tablets.
With a basic digital connection and a basic digital device, users will be able to connect to the internet and access essential services such as online banking, financial literacy, productivity apps to run freelance businesses and online education, according to the two companies. .
Borrowers can apply for a loan from the thousands of Home Credit partner merchants where they can purchase their digital devices. They can also apply for a loan through the Home Credit app. Women make up about 50% of total Home Credit borrowers.
Citi says the Social Finance Facility is part of its US$1 trillion commitment to sustainable finance by 2030. “Supporting basic digital infrastructure is a tenet of Citi’s approach to finance in emerging economies,” said Aftab Ahmed, CEO of Citi Philippines. “Through Citi’s first social finance facility, we want to give more Filipinos access to financial services to grow their businesses, and affirm our commitment to the country as we celebrate our 120th anniversary in the Philippines.”
Jean Lafontaine, Head of Financing, Mergers & Acquisitions and Investor Relations, Home Credit Group, adds: “This loan is another example of how we are working to provide sustainable and responsible financial services and products on developing markets.