RCBC helps coffee farmers go digital during pandemic

By Tyrone Jasper C. Piad

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) is onboarding some 50,000 coffee farmers on its financial inclusion app to allow them run their business during the pandemic.

The Yuchengco-led bank said the Philippine Coffee Board Inc.(PCBI) tapped the services of its digital platform DiskarTech to digitize its value chain processes.

RCBC said coffee farmers are among those severely affected by the pandemic, as the lockdown measures restrained their product distribution. Going digital, the bank said, can help the coffee growers sell their products.

The app will enable the coffee farmers to accept direct payments from buyers. Each farmer will have a unique quick response (QR) code that can be used to process cashless transactions.

Payments will then go to a basic deposit account that will earn 3.25-percent interest on savings.

“As the Philippines speedily shift to a cash-lite and digital economy, our Filipino coffee farmers should be empowered to keep up and thrive in this new normal,” PCBI President Chit Juan said, welcoming RCBC’s DiskarTech assistance in “aggressive digital scaling and adoption of the industry to keep farmers afloat during this time with digital financial services.”

DiskarTech will also allow the farmer-users to earn through referral incentives program and performing transactions on behalf of others. These services are bills payment, cash in and withdrawal, fund transfers, top-up of electronic load and gaming pins, and purchase of loans, sachet insurance, and telemedicine products.

“Truly inclusive efforts should benefit the unbanked and underserved members of our community so we are more than willing to help the coffee industry to address the pain points that keep its farmers from transitioning to our new normal,” said Angelito M. Villanueva, executive vice president and chief innovation and inclusion officer of RCBC.

Recently, RCBC said 1.43 million unbanked Filipinos now have digital accounts with DiskarTech.

The new accounts consisted of at least 610,000 DiskarTechbasic deposit accounts—accomplished through electronic know-your-customer verification—and 822,720 DiskarTech Lite accounts for the receipt of emergency cash grant from the social amelioration program.

The listed bank saw its net earnings surge 17 percent to P3.1 billion in the first half, from P2.66 billion last year on the back of higher trading gains, which rose by 80.3 percent to P5.9 billion. Provision for potential losses increased by 94 percent to P5.2 billion as of end-June, from last year’s P2.68 billion.

Source: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/08/31/rcbc-helps-coffee-farmers-go-digital-during-pandemic/