Experiencing a self remittance in Manila &… other peculiar facts

So, world tour has begun.

After Zagreb and a great #Novathon event with Intesa San Paolo – soon something about it as well – I am now in Manila and jet lag is really rough, but only consequence is an erratic sleep.
I actually feel great !

Philippines is an amazing country : 100M population and 23.5 AVERAGE age.
This is key to understand the future challenges here.

Thanks to Miguel “Mikko” Perez, CEO of Ayannah – whom I met last year when I judged the NextMoney challenge in Singapore where they won – and his veritable passion about sustainable impact and technology-driven solutions. I have been taken to a great journey.

PS : forgot to say, Ayannah also won the FinTech Finals global challenge in Hong Kong, was there as well 🙂

Few more facts :
– 87% of the population here is unbanked
– 95% of economy is in cash
– 90% of Utility bills are paid in cash
– 25 Billion USD inbound remittances
… but more importantly 40B intra-country remittances
The top 5 local remittance companies combined process over a million transactions per day…. and the average transaction is 30 USD.

Talking about internal transactions : Ayannah ensures interoperability between money remitters – amongst other things – and this is exactly the journey we took together with Mikko, in Baclaran, one of the most lively areas of Manila.

People here are intimidated by banks.
They prefer to go to the “pawn shops” and most of them don’t have cards or wallets (they have a smartphone, though, obviously).
We basically entered a pawn shop in Baclaran and send 1000 pesos (20 dollars give or take) to ourselves and collect it in another part of the town from a different remitter (a LOT of paper and waiting time later of course, but I didn’t mind because learned a lot in the meantime).

This is the photo-story of the journey 🙂

Baclaran Area

Deposit 1000 Pesos, first Pawn shop

On the road again

Second shop (and more papers)

Finally we get our money (back) – litterally 🙂

Another goal of Mikko is to create a local credit score – exportable of course – based on different data sources, one of them being the main Electric Company here.
Mikko explains me as well that given the young population all the global insurers are coming over and opportunity for InsurTech here are enormous.
They call it VIP… Vietnam, Indonesia,Philippines. Half BILLION people.

Will be back. Also because I want to go to El Nido Palawan (the cover picture).
I am so close.

Thanks to Terrapinn and Seamless Asia to bring me here. We also had a great conference, a FinTech GOT reloaded and an amazing panel on Remittances and Inclusion (where Mikko was as well).

Tomorrow night I am heading to Atlanta, 26 hours flight, for BAI Beacon (FinTechStage is curating a consistent part of the content, really excited).

Stay tuned


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