Fintech services provider OneConnect recently announced its collaboration with UBX, a fintech subsidiary of Union Bank of the Philippines, with the aim of leveraging blockchain technology to provide financial services to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
As reported by Ledger Insights, the platform will provide a wide range of solutions, such as supply chain finance, multi-channel loan applications, credit assessments, loan disbursement and anti-fraud checks. The solution is slated for a soft launch later this year, with a broader rollout planned for 2020.
Union Bank is the Philippines’ ninth largest bank, having worked with IBM as recently as February on a trade finance solution for invoice discounting. The bank has also been active in utilizing a permissioned version of the Ethereum blockchain to assist regional banks that are neither members of the Philippine Clearing House nor SWIFT.
MSMEs currently comprise 99.5% of all businesses in the Philippines, accounting for 62.9% of total employment. Nevertheless, lack of credit histories and financial statements make it challenging for institutions to assess the creditworthiness of such enterprises.
The ultimate goal is to provide MSMEs with the opportunity to grow their businesses and succeed, according to UBX President and CEO John Januszczak.
OneConnect, a subsidiary of Chinese holding conglomerate Ping An, has a strong track record on this front. Its “One Enterprise Chain” supply chain finance platform aims to allow major buyers to bring along their small and medium enterprise (SME) suppliers.
Through the involvement of larger companies, banks can expect increased confidence in funding transactions even with limited knowledge on the suppliers.
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