Venio, the mobile application providing “nano-credit” facilities to consumers in emerging markets accessed via a smartphone, has begun offering easy-to-access credit facilities to unbanked consumers in its maiden emerging market, the Philippines.

Venio’s aim is to lift a generation of unbanked people into the financial system, help them to achieve financial discipline and a credit footprint in order to open up fair and equal access to useful financial services that wouldn’t otherwise be available to them. The need for these services has become more acute as COVID-19 has caused unprecedented impacts, increasing hardships and difficulties in accessing basic necessities.

Venio is the first “nano credit” service available on smartphones for emerging markets and in the Philippines market the service is taking the lead in meeting the strong demand for credit products and services among communities who have historically been underserved by traditional financial services. Within the first week of operations the Venio App saw 10,000 downloads. The initial rollout for the fast-growing app comes ahead of wider regional expansion plans for high growth emerging markets in Asia and Latin America.

According to the latest report from the World Bank Group, as many as 1.7bn adults are unbanked globally, a figure approaching one fourth of the global population, the majority of these cases are in emerging markets. In the Philippines alone 54m adults are unbanked which is over 81% of consumers in the country. The unbanked do not have access to essential financial products and services such as bank accounts to meet their needs. Moreover, they are unable to participate in the cashless economy and have no access to credit or financial support.

Venio represents a viable solution to address this global challenge. Receiving approval for Venio’s product does not require collateral and offers Venio users immediate access to small or “nano” loans starting at US$1 – US$5.00. In the Philippines one dollar can cover the cost of two kilos of rice, basic medicine and transportation to and from work for a week.

Venio’s easily accessible financing and redemption is available via an extensive network of local and national retailers and service providers operating across retail, grocery, healthcare, transportation, leisure, and entertainment. The Venio network includes several global and multiple local brands as well as thousands of the Philippines’ Sari-Sari convenience stores that have partnered with Venio to offer credit facilities to customers.

The app reimagines financial services for the unbanked and those outside of the traditional financial system by providing them with a credit history and a pathway to financial inclusion and support services such as credit. In this way Venio creates a positive social impact making a real difference in people’s everyday lives. Nano Credit can help users meet needs for emergency cash flow shortages, food, transportation, communication and home expenses.

The App’s underlying proprietary technology provides ease of use and efficiency in loan processing for consumers and merchants alike. The backend technology is sophisticated, scalable and proprietary.

Warren Platt, Founder & CEO at Venio commented: “Venio aims to revolutionize personal finance in emerging markets through a community grassroots approach facilitated by leading tech. The global payments industry is advancing at a fast pace, however, access to loans and other services has not been universal despite the strong demand. Venio is addressing this problem head-on and is bringing financial services to the unbanked in emerging markets where small loans are essential products for driving financial inclusion, which is critical for the vibrant growing economy of the Philippines and wider global markets. The Venio App has been designed to encourage responsible lending and borrowing and will allow customers to build their own credit history opening a gateway of financial services. In the post-Covid era financial inclusion must be ensured for the economic development of communities impacted by the pandemic.”

Diego Jose Ramos, Founding Director of the Philippine Association for Digital Commerce and Decentralized Industries and a Board Trustee of the Fintech Philippines Association said: “The health crisis is likely to exacerbate inequality as those already financially excluded have been disproportionately impacted. Fintechs such as Venio have a clear role to play in delivering financial inclusion and empowering more people economically, the journey begins with access to services and the start of a credit history, which in turn can open limitless possibilities for growth not just for individuals with access to financial services but the economies they participate in.”

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