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Customer Calling

Mission possible: Providing access to financial services for more than 6 mln. people in the Philippines

At Software Group, we are passionate about creating and implementing technology that has a high positive impact on people’s lives. Excited to see the outcomes from our solutions on-site, we started an initiative to share the stories of some of our most valued clients around the world and inspire others in the sector to follow their journey of success. 

Our team traveled to some of the most rural parts of the Philippines to interview end-users of the KAYA, a cloud-based payment platform implemented by the National Confederation of Cooperatives and the Philippines Federation of Credit Cooperatives – National in partnership with Software Group. It was amazing to see the real visible impact on the field and discuss the transformation of the credit union sector with some of the biggest credit union networks in the country. Read the story of our journey here:


"I sell basic commodities; my store was found in 2016. I use KAYA when the Barbaza Coop opened the account. When I buy products for my shop, I use KAYA to pay because it is more convenient and safer than cash", said Lucilla Modesto, store owner based in the Philippine Municipality of Barbaza, Antique, and member of Barbaza Multipurpose Coop.

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Lucilla is one of the thousands of cooperative members in the Philippines using KAYA, a cloud-based payment platform that is transforming the credit union sector and improving the lives of many.

The platform was launched in 2017 by the National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO) and the Philippines Federation of Credit Cooperatives – National (PFCCO-National) in partnership with Software Group. The initiative supported by the Asian Association of Credit Unions (ACCU) aims to fully enable the cooperatives to become a hub for financial services.

"The main challenge is that there is no connectivity across the cooperatives. You cannot transact with another coop. Even if there are 2000 offices in the network. That is the current number of offices right now. We are not able to maximize the benefits of the network", shared Sylvia O. Paragua, CEO of NATCCO, the biggest federation in the Philippines in terms of an array of services.

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Presently, KAYA is adopted by more than 150 cooperatives in the Philippines and is gaining interest and adoption by many new ones. The technology provides them with the opportunity to expand the range of services available to their members, generate additional revenue and increase member share value.

 

What does KAYA mean for the end-users?

We met with Leonil Alabado, Chief Operating Officer of Barbaza Multipurpose Coop, one of the coops with the biggest usage of KAYA, who is overseeing the implementation of the ATM side of the Platform. In the local dialect KAYA means “to be capable”, Alabado explained to us. He is convinced that the project will enhance access to financial services in the cooperative.

The platform is a convenient way for members  to:

  • Have a mobile account
  • Send or receive money
  • Pay bills
  • Top up mobile talk time
  • Use a card for transactions at any ATM in the country
More functionalities will be added to KAYA in the future. The goal of NATCCO and PFCCO is to provide the members of the cooperatives access to all types of financial services including savings, credit, payments and remittances, insurance, as well as investments and financial education.

Virgilio Modesto, a school teacher for 5th-grade students in Barbaza, knows that KAYA is the only convenient way to financially support his brother and send him a monthly allowance for his studies.

“I use KAYA mobile app to transfer money for my brother, who is recently studying in Iloilo city. I was able to transfer funds to pay his rent, able to buy the necessities needed for the school and at home,” said Modesto to our team.

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He explained that before having the app it was very challenging for him because it took more than 1-2 hours for traveling to the payment center every month. Now, he can dedicate this time to his students and family.

Traveling south, we reached Bacong, the smallest municipality in the province of Negros Oriental. We met with Bacong Small Coconut Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative - BASCOFADCO, a member of PFCCO, which uses KAYA to help their members pay bills.
 
“They just text the name of the bill, the account number, the amount, so effortless, no expenses for traveling. They save time,” shared Valeriana Rocas, General Manager of BASCOFADCO.

Among the services that the coop is planning to launch in the future is a loan payment through an Android phone, so the members would no longer be required to come to the office and would save time for travel and transportation costs. 

A glimpse into the future

NATTCO and PFCCO are convinced that KAYA is the future of the credit unions. Both networks believe that the adoption of the platform by more cooperatives will help them stay more competitive in this dynamically changing financial services industry.

“When it is adopted the transactions that will be done through the payment platform will not only be confined to the members of PFCCO. That’s why we say that it is intra-cooperative and inter-cooperative transactions that can be done through KAYA,” explained Atty. Gloria G. Futalan, Chairperson of PFFCO-National.

In the next 3 years, more than 300 cooperatives which represents half of NATCCO’s network, plan to adopt the Kaya Payment Platform.

The CEO Sylvia O. Paragua believes that KAYA will be the way not only to connect the cooperatives in the Philippines but in the future also all the cooperatives in the world.
 
Watch the video of the Kaya Payment Platform here.