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Gov’t should continue to pursue open finance to boost inclusion

THE GOVERNMENT must continue to pursue open finance to bring more Filipinos into the formal financial system, UnionBank of the Philippines, Inc.’s financial technology unit said.

“With multiple economic crises at present and a looming global recession ahead of us, financial inclusion should be emphasized now more than ever. The inclusion of multiple economic sectors in the Philippines is crucial, especially considering that we are still recovering from the impact of COVID-19 and many challenges are already being posed by the circumstances in the post-pandemic era,” UBX Philippines Corp. President John Januszczak said in a press release on Thursday.

“As staunch advocates of inclusivity, we at the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines’ (ECCP) Special Committee on Open Finance and Financial Inclusion (SCOFFI) vow to support the government’s endeavors towards financial inclusion and open finance,” Mr. Januszczak, also the ECCP-SCOFFI’s chairman, added.

Open finance would strengthen digital businesses, which can help rebuild the economy as it allows the creation of customer-centric products and easier access to financial services, he said.

“This trend highlights the urgent need for the government to accelerate its digital transformation initiatives to maximize the potential of the digital economy. Digital finance will be the bedrock of digital transactions. Through open finance, we can help reduce finance and even social inequalities in the Philippines,” he said. 

Open finance would also benefit micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, as most of these firms rely on loans to sustain their operations, UBX added.

“Achieving financial inclusion is not just a one-man agenda. It requires cooperation among all those involved, but it must be emphasized that the government must be at the forefront of this campaign,” Mr. Januszczak said. — A.M.C. Sy

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