Amid the confusion and many challenges caused by COVID-19, BPI Direct BanKo, the microfinance arm of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), continues to give guidance to its micro-entrepreneur clients in facing the new normal.
“Our clients need our support and guidance especially during these trying times. We understand their situation, and as their partner, we are here to help them survive and start over for their families,” BanKo Head of Financial Inclusion and Microfinance Loans Rodolfo “Rod” Mabiasen Jr. said in a recent Go Negosyo Mentor Me Online session on Facebook.
Since the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was implemented on March 17, about 62 percent of BanKo’s clients had to temporarily close their businesses . Now that the lockdown has been lifted, these self-employed micro-entrepreneurs (SEMEs) are looking forward to re-opening their businesses, but are faced with challenges such as lack of working capital, restricted supply sources, and for some, lower demand
Noting that health and safety should still be prioritized, Mr. Mabiasen said, “Our SEMEs should take care of themselves and stay healthy so they can continue to run their businesses actively.”
In order to survive and start over, BanKo advised its clients to adapt to the new normal by exploring other digital alternatives such as using social media in promoting their products and services. SEMEs should be as creative and resourceful as they can to deliver the current needs of consumers.
Aside from going digital, Mr. Mabiasen also highlighted the importance of financial management in the time of COVID-19. Clients are encouraged to follow a strict budget plan, prioritize needs over wants, and maintain a good credit standing to be able to renew their loans.
SEMEs can also now closely monitor their accounts through the BPI BanKo Mobile App anytime, anywhere.
“Through this easy, hassle-free online banking tapp, clients may easily monitor their NegosyoKo loans, send payments, and check their balance and transaction history in the comfort of their homes. With a few taps, accountholders may also buy prepaid mobile load and get a 2% rebate, transfer money, and pay bills,” BanKo Head of Customer and Product Management Anne delos Reyes said.
Even in these trying times, BanKoPares and BanKoMares continue to check their clients’ situation and teach them how they can sustain their businesses.
Since its inception in 2017, BanKo has already served over 120,000 clients nationwide and released P12.9 billion in loan disbursements.
Visit www.banko.com.ph and follow BPI Direct BanKo page on Facebook to learn more about its products and services.