Filipinos spent nine years’ worth of time using digital lending apps in 2022; analysis of 10 of the country’s lending apps confirms.
Data from the consumer credit service Digido surveyed consumer engagement with select lending apps in the Philippines.
The 10 apps analysed as part of the report were Casha, Cashalo, GoodKredit, Pesoloan, Plentina, Pera247, UnaCash, Upeso and Vidalia; alongside Digido’s analysis of its own data.
Findings show that consumers spent a total of 75,305 hours, or nine years, on one or more of these 10 apps throughout the entirety of 2022. The average monthly duration of use session of these apps ended at 12 minutes and 46 seconds whilst the duration of one session per user was at one minute and 14 seconds.
As of December, the collective had amassed 14.2 million downloads, representing 3.4 per cent of the total downloads from finance categories across all devices and all platforms. This is 3.7 million downloads higher than figures recorded in December 2021, marking a 35.2 per cent increase.
Active user base
During the latter half of 2022, 2.3 million active users, those who have logged into the app at least once, have engaged with at least one or more of the platforms.
This would mean that approximately 3.2 per cent of the country’s population over the age of 18 is familiar with a fintech lending app, or in other words, one of every 30 adult Filipinos access the services of the ten digital lending platforms at least once a month.
Digido country manager, Farit Shakirov, describes the findings as “a clear indication that responsible credit services continue to be an effective means of breaching inequality in accessing financial tools.”
“We encourage the wider segment to continue in promoting responsible lending,” Shakirov adds.
The wider applicability of lending in the Philippines
Significant bursts of user login activity in 2022 occurred in March, July and November, mainly due to the positive dynamics of platforms and small business collaboration. Small businesses account for close to 36 per cent of the country’s GDP.
This is as lending and saving services operating in the country are being increasingly recognised as enablers of digital finance, as per the findings of Robocash Group.
The presence of ongoing promotions, favourable conditions and the introduction of specialised loan products for entrepreneurs, has cultivated an opportune environment for lending fintechs to flourish.
Digido notes how the country’s small business sector remains heavily underfunded and limited in its ability to continuously grow and develop, which it says, only increases the potential for the penetration of digital lending platforms.
Creating genuine financial inclusion
Commenting on these findings, the company’s spokesperson said, “Digital lending is now viewed more as part of one’s collection of personal financial tools for quality of life improvement, and less perceived as a final option during emergencies.”
Because of this, Digido anticipates that the current annual average number of active users may increase by about 36 to 50 per cent from 1.9 to between 2.6 and 2.9 million people and may reach the level of 3.4 million people in December 2023.
The spokesperson continues: “In general, we can observe an active stage of the country’s economic growth, which will obviously have a positive impact on digital creditors.
“Moreover, the country’s digital lending segment remains a small percentage based on national data. This signals to us at Digido that opportunity remains in offering these services and contributing to greater, genuine financial inclusion and the nation’s digital transformation plan.
“National data also suggests that employment has recovered from Covid-19 dislocations. The increase in well-being of Filipinos has a positive effect on alternative lending, increasing the consumption volumes and portfolio quality consequently,” they conclude.