Conversational language, referral program propels RCBC Diskartech app adoption

By Gelo Gonzales, Rappler

RCBC’s banking and e-wallet app Diskartech is making waves in the space, posting fast adoption rates since its July 2020 launch.

The bank says that it’s become the fastest app of its type to reach 1 million downloads on both iOS and Android after its launch, doing it in 38 days.

At the pace, RCBC executive vice president and chief innovation and inclusion officer Lito Villanueva said that they may hit 8 million users by the end of the year instead of their original 2022 projection. He also said they expected about 100,000 visits per month, but is currently averaging 50,000 to 80,000 visits per day.

Villanueva, speaking during a conference call, credited two factors, among others, that helped the app become its own hit in an increasingly competitive space occupied by players such as PayMaya, Gcash, and Unionbank.

First is the Taglish (Tagalog-English) language used by the app, which he says makes it far more accessible for people, especially for the traditionally unbanked. The visual design of the app also makes use of larger fonts to accommodate senior citizens, he said. Second is the referral program that nets a user 30 pesos for every successful sign-up referral they make, which the executive notes has spread quickly online.

While the referral promo has helped the app grow its ranks quickly, what will make its target users stay, according to Villanueva, are several features that aid their needs.

“Sachet insurance” products will provide insurance for Angkas, Grab, and Lalamove riders for “as low as P20.” A loans marketplace for small businesses will also be launched, and it hopes to attract more users with a 3.25% annual interest rate on savings.

The loans marketplace looks to cater to “formal and informal workers, MSMEs, displaced overseas Filipinos, and smallholder farmers and fishers, among others in collaboration with government and private sector lenders.”

A partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has also led to the development of several key products, chief of which are its “paki-suyo” services.

Through these, the app will “provide new income streams to micro, small, and medium enterprises by performing financial transactions on behalf of their customers,” such as the top-up of airtime load, gaming pins, and pre-paid electricity; bills payment, fund transfer, purchase of insurance products, cash in and loan repayment; and cash out or withdrawal. Sari-sari store payments through QR codes are also possible on the app.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas expects half of payment transactions to go digital by 2023. Diskartech, among other apps, is a way for small businesses to get onboard, with products that cater specifically to them.

The DTI and the RCBC are targeting 1.3 million sari-sari stores and 7 million informal small businesses to adopt the new digital platform

The DTI also has an ongoing training program for entrepreneurs looking to go digital that can be availed by contacting one of the 1,200 DTI Negosyo Centers nationwide.