Company IntroductionThe Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) is majorityowned by the Yuchengco Group of Companies (YGC), one of the oldest and largest conglomerates in Southeast Asia covering over 60 businesses. It is among the largest private domestic banks in the country in terms of assets and has a network of over 480 branches and 1,500 ATMs (as of Nov 2019). Since its establishment in 1960, RCBC has been a pillar of the banking industry, providing a wide range of financial services to its customers through its retail and investment bank, microfinance unit, foreign exchange brokerage house, leasing company and overseas remittance tie-ups.
RCBC is also committed to uplifting its customers’ lives through corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability programmes. Through the AY Foundation, RCBC is committed to helping rehabilitate calamity-stricken areas, at the same time it also supported projects on sustainable livelihood and the granting of educational scholarships to the youth. Recently, the Bank successfully raised PHP15 billion in Peso Bonds, the Philippines’ first green finance framework under the ASEAN Green Bond Standards.
Brand ElementsDiskarTech, RCBC’s newest digital product, entered the market as the country’s first and only “Taglish” financial inclusion super-app.
Its target market is the 70 percent unbanked population of the Philippines currently underserved by formal financial institutions. They belong to the social economic classes C2, D and E, and the majority reside outside of Metro Manila. As a country of more than 7,100 islands, a challenge in financial inclusion is to reach far flung areas and grassroot communities. The establishment of brick and mortar financial service providers in these areas is a big obstacle to providing the residents the financial services they need.
However, with recent improvements in infrastructure and telecommunications, more and more Filipinos could now access the internet. This, coupled with the availability of affordable smartphones, increased the penetration of smartphone usage to 57.56 percent in 2019 and projected to increase to 68.41 percent in 2022.
These developments prepared the market for the entry of DiskarTech. With the accessibility of smartphones and an improved telecommunications infrastructure, a financial services mobile app like DiskarTech can bridge the challenges posed by location, language and financial limitations to provide unbanked Filipinos their first experience in the formal financial system.
DiskarTech, your partner in progress.
Company’s Brand StoryThe primary thrust of RCBC’s Digital group is the acceleration of RCBC’s digital transformation through FinTech and delivering customer-centric banking products and services with an engaging user experience. The Group has been tasked to work on the creation of innovative, inclusive, and interoperable digital solutions aligned with the central bank’s thrust of promoting financial inclusion among the underserved and unbanked segments of the Philippines.
The most recent and ambitious product launched by the digital team is the Bank’s product for financial inclusion, DiskarTech, the first and only Taglish super app in the Philippines. It warmed up to the Filipinos, especially the masses, because of its simple and easily understood interface. It is meant to cater to the millions of Filipinos who have never experienced banking in their life. With DiskarTech, digital savings would no longer be a far-fetched idea to the common Filipino. Through technology, DiskarTech aims to provide unbanked Filipinos access to responsive and relevant financial services they need regardless of their economic status or location.
Achievements and ImpactOn March 16, 2020, a national lockdown was implemented in the Philippines due to COVID-19. Millions lost their jobs as businesses closed. Filipinos were forced to do everything from the safety of their homes including crucial financial transactions.
The event forced the acceleration of digital adoption and paved the way for the launch of DiskarTech in July. Witht eh endorsement of the BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno and the Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry, Ramon M. Lopez, the app was warmly received by the public as a helpful tool for financial inclusion. It registered 1 million downloads a month after its launch and now has over 3 million downloads.
DiskarTech offers practical services that include bills payment, prepaid smartphone loading, eGaming pins, money transfers, insurance, telemedicine and more. These services could also give additional income to users who do these transactions on behalf of someone for a certain fee.
Another benefit from using DiskarTech is the 3.25% interest annually on savings, which is 16 times more than regular banks. DiskarTech also offers users an alternative income stream via the Member-Get- Member Programme where one can earn as amuch as PHP30,000 (USD625) a month for successful referrals.
All these services had a life changing impact in easing the financial burden of the Filipinos especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Future DirectionThere is more to be done to get Filipinos onboarded in the formal finance sector. Recently it also added micro-insurance to its portfolio at a very affordable price. Gone are the days when safety and security are lofty aspirations for the common people. With DiskarTech, you can be insured for PHP30,000 (USD625) for a period of three months. Soon, a loans marketplace will be added where DiskarTech where entrepreneurs who have established a good credit standing based on their usage can avail of loans to put up a business or for emergencies. A skills marketplace will also be included in the app in early 2021 where enterprising users can promote their services to other DiskarTech users.
Financial inclusion does not end with just the opening of a bank account. It is a long and arduous process but it will eventually lead to a stability and growth for the majority of Filipinos. This is the goal of DiskarTech, to be a helpful tool that will enable its users to achieve financial freedom in the long run.