OPEN finance is gaining ground in the Philippines as shown in the success of digital platform Smile API, which provides real-time user-authorized access to recent, verified and comprehensive employment data.
At the recent webinar “Let Your Data Work for You,” Smile API chief product officer Jan Pabellon told reporters that their service now covers 40 million Filipinos, consisting of 25 million salaried workers, 11.7 million self-employed individuals, and 4.1 million government employees.
With its efficient digital platform, the company has helped reduce the recruitment processing time of its customers, like business-to-business logistics firm TaraNa PH. “Prior to Smile API, 20,000 applications used to take weeks to process; it can now be done in a matter of seconds. With Smile, we are now smiling,” said TaraNa PH chief operating officer Analyn Quizon.
By utilizing its services, she bared that they are able to quickly expand their delivery fleet to meet the growing demands of customers.
Plentina, an app-based Buy-Now-Pay-Later service, was also drawn to the third-party provider’s ability to deliver data even for the unbanked and underserved. In fact, 15 percent of its customers can be served by Smile API’s platform at present, per Plentina product manager Ashley Uy.
“As we develop both our technologies, we can see a chance of that percentage growing higher and higher over time,” she noted. Positive that it’s wide scope and coverage will enable them to unlock over 90 percent of the local labor force, she projects that their approval rates will grow by about 12 percent “with the partnership moving forward.”
Smile API was founded late last year and since then has already attracted substantial funding, recently of which is from Afore Capital, a $300 million American venture capital firm based in San Francisco. Beyond its wide coverage, the regional app developer looks to reach out to various online platforms and institutions to provide even more comprehensive data.
Keen on the end-user side of the process, it will be running a three-month survey on different digital channels. In line with its corporate citizenship efforts, the company will be donating P50 per completed online survey (bit.ly/3uveGMI) to its chosen nongovernment organization-partner Tahanang Walang Hagdanan.