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Zoloz biometric authentication deployed in Philippines financial inclusion push

Zoloz biometric authentication deployed in Philippines financial inclusion push

CIMB Bank Philippines and Ant Group spin-off Zoloz have reached a deal for the deployment of the latter’s biometric authentication solution for a frictionless and streamlined customer onboarding process.

According to a joint announcement, the bank will use Zoloz’s RealID biometric authentication to not only bolster its digital banking services offering, but to spur on financial inclusion efforts in a country where about 70 percent of the adult population is said to be unbanked.

The solution, the announcement states, makes for a much easier Know Your Customer (KYC) procedure by avoiding paperwork and cutting the cost and time financial institutions put in to verify the identity of their customers. The solution will also help financial institutions meet regulatory requirements.

CIMB Bank Philippines CEO Vijay Manoharan said the biometrics partnership is part of their financial inclusion and growth strategy objective which has seen them onboard five million depositors and one million lenders since 2018.

“The next phase of our growth strategy is to strengthen our platform-banking model, embed our solutions to more services and platforms, and make our services an integral part of more Filipinos’ lives – whether that’s to save for their future, get easy access to loans or credit, or meet their insurance needs for protection,” says Manoharan.

“Zoloz, with its cloud-based, fully-automated, and cost-effective eKYC solution, is the right fit to support our strategy. As a trusted partner, Zoloz will help improve digital connectivity for us to reach more of the country’s unbanked population,” the CEO adds.

Also commenting, Chen Jidong, general manager of Zoloz, comments: “We are excited to collaborate with CIMB Bank Philippines to promote financial inclusion and bring benefits to the unbanked community in the country. Our proven eKYC solution will assist CIMB Bank Philippines to bring seamless and reliable services to its digital banking customers.”

The move comes as financial inclusion efforts by the Philippines have witnessed a boost in the last couple of years, largely thanks to the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) program.

Over 7M unbanked Filipinos onboarded by Land Bank

As part of the financial inclusive drive, the state-run Land Bank of the Philippines announced that in 2021 it was able to successfully onboard 7.2 million unbanked citizens who are subscribed to the PhilSys, according to a news advisory on the bank’s website.

This has been possible thanks to the LandBank’s partnership with the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) which encourages Filipinos to open bank accounts upon completion of the biometric capture stage for the issuance of the PhilID card, the advisory states.

The Lanbank disclosed that of the 7.2 million onboarded Filipinos, 1.6 million are from Central Luzon, 1.4 million from Eastern Mindanao, 1.2 million from Eastern Visayas, and 1.1 million from Western Visayas.

A prepaid bank card is issued when the account is opened and the account holder can use it for various transactions including depositing cash into their accounts, making withdrawals at Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), and doing payments either online or at Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals.

“Landbank remains committed to reaching more of the unbanked population in support of the National Government’s financial inclusion agenda. We have so far made significant headway in bringing unbanked PhilSys registrants into the formal banking system, as we continue our strategic and fruitful partnership with the PSA,” said Landbank President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo.

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