LBC Express, Inc., Aboitiz Data Innovation (ADI), and Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) signed a tripartite agreement to champion financial sustainability at the inaugural AI Summit in the Philippines (AI Summit PH 2023). Through this initiative, LBC clients will have access to small business financing from UnionBank to help finance their expansion plans.
Enrique V. Rey, Jr., Chief Financial Officer of LBC Express, Inc., stated that the company has seen a rise in the number of consumers engaging in ‘social selling’ even before the pandemic. He adds, “Through this partnership with ADI and UnionBank, we look forward to providing them with a one-of-a-kind opportunity to obtain funding to help advance their businesses.”
The agreement will leverage ADI’s AI-powered scoring service to evaluate LBC customers, making it possible for UnionBank to intelligently and confidently extend loans to identified clients.
Supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) is also a strategic focus for UnionBank. Through this initiative, the country’s leading digital bank intends to tap into the “small” informal businesses sector. Roberto Abastillas, UnionBank Executive Vice President, Commercial Banking Center Head, “We are optimistic as we join the nation in its economic recovery following the pandemic, and we hope to contribute to this through lending, creating economic activity in digital channels, and assisting small entrepreneurs.”
The situation has been especially difficult for SMEs, which frequently have limited financial resources and may lack the scope and flexibility of larger organizations, as a result of the pandemic. However, small and medium-sized business owners can play a significant role in economic recovery by adapting to a shifting business environment, leveraging technology, and concentrating on innovation and sustainability. SMEs and MSMEs can access funding through this initiative, allowing them to concentrate on expanding other aspects of their businesses.
We have seen the pandemic has accelerated the transition to digitalization, with many companies employing new technologies and digital platforms to reach customers. SMEs can benefit from this trend by expanding their reach, enhancing their efficiency, and lowering their expenses.
Guy Sheppard, Chief Operating Officer for Financial Services at Aboitiz Data Innovation explains, “Innovation and meaningful collaboration are essential for driving economic development and recovery. We look forward to working with LBC and UnionBank in harnessing the capabilities of Data Science and AI to create solutions that empower more entrepreneurs in the Philippines and beyond.”
Through this partnership, SMEs and MSMEs are meant to thrive and not just survive in a post-pandemic world.