Co-ops’ credit reporting to be digitized by firms

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MANILA and DAVAO CITY–TECHNOLOGY firm TransUnion Information Solutions Inc. announced having entered into an agreement with 1 Cooperative Insurance System of the Philippines (1CISP) and its partner TraXion Tech Inc. to extend its solutions to cooperatives in underserved and underbanked areas in the country.

In a statement the firm recently released, TransUnion said the partnership is expected to boost “grassroot financing” especially during the global health crisis as 3,000 cooperatives are expected to benefit from the combination of their innovation.

TransUnion said that under the agreement, it is expected to provide 1CISP and its member-cooperatives a credit-scoring and credit-reporting system integrated and ready to use within the “DigiCoop” platform. This gives cooperatives visibility on their members’ off-books credit behavior, enabling them to assess the creditworthiness of their existing borrowers and new applicants more efficiently and effectively and at a reduced cost.

It is also expected to help cooperatives better manage their portfolio and lend with greater confidence, empowering them to be more competitive and allowing them to grant more and bigger access to credit to their community.

With their partnership for digital connection, the providers said “cooperative members would have access to richer data solutions, to enable them to better service their community and prospective members and drive greater financial inclusion.”

1CISP, a member of the International Co-operative Alliance-Asia Pacific, offers support to mostly underprivileged communities by providing their cooperatives with life and non-life insurance products and wider financial services. Its tech partner—TraXion Tech—is a systems integration company that specializes in transaction management systems.

Together, the two organizations launched and operate the “DigiCoop” website where cooperative members can apply for loans, insurance, and investments, pay bills and other financial commitments, and access the DigiCoop virtual marketplace, among other capabilities.

“Technology plays a huge role in terms of providing services, and DigiCoop and our other initiatives have played an important part already during the pandemic,” 1CISP President and CEO Roy S. Miclat was quoted in the statement as saying. “With the addition of TransUnion’s solutions, we can extend our reach and fulfill our responsibility of providing protection and risk mitigation to the communities and members we serve.”

Miclat added that “grassroots finance has been performing well during [the pandemic] and we want to reinforce this position.”

He said the many cooperatives under 1CISP grew 8-10 percent in membership during the pandemic “as many consumers were pushed to seek financial support in coping with the economic impact of Covid-19 on their communities and household finances.”

“To address the sudden surge of members, 1CISP and TraXion Tech launched the DigiCoop platform to be able to reach and onboard cooperative members despite the social distancing protocols and continuously provide them access to credit and digital financial services during these difficult times,” he added. “Our partnership with TransUnion enables us to further enhance cooperative-lending capabilities.”

“One of the biggest pain points in serving the communities is the lack of infrastructure. Alongside 1CISP and TransUnion, we enable cooperatives to virtually roll out services that they were only able to provide traditionally. By integrating TransUnion’s services into the DigiCoop platform, cooperatives now have access to better insights and intelligence that will help them mitigate and weigh the risks that go along with providing their members the loan that they require,” TraXion Tech CEO Ann J. Cuisia was quoted in the statement as saying.

“This partnership is a great milestone because it enables us to reach more underserved consumers and be instrumental in giving them access to the financial services they need,” TransUnion Philippines President and CEO Ma. Gracia Pia L. Arellano was quoted in the statement as saying.

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