Power in the people’s hands
- “The majority of the population in the Philippines are unbanked, meaning they can’t make online payments as they don’t have credit cards or e-wallets. Also, many people don’t have easy access to stable internet connections or mobile data,” said Nel Laygo, Founder & CEO of 500-backed fintech startup Peddlr, adding that many also don’t have the technological literacy and savviness to use mobile apps.
- These are the reasons why consumers in the Philippines prefer paying their utility bills at brick-and-mortar stores over fintech mobile apps. But Peddlr is looking to change all of that.
- The team’s success is evident. They have raised US$4.9M so far — an impressive feat for a startup headquartered outside of Metro Manila — and their app has been downloaded 2 million times since launching in July 2021!
- Peddlr currently offers digital bookkeeping and inventory management, and in the next two months, the team will be releasing a bill pay feature on their app, allowing MSMEs, especially Sari Sari (neighborhood convenience stores), to receive payment for utility bills and essential services from their customers.
- The company also recently launched a pilot “e-Supplies” feature, a B2B e-commerce function that allows Sari Sari stores to purchase fast-moving consumer goods and consumer packaged goods automatically using the Peddlr POS app.
- What’s next? “We’ll look at converting Sari Sari stores into banking agents, so they can start accepting “Cash In” and “Cash Out” transactions from our partnering banks. We will also provide financing for small and micro merchants that are using our app,” Nel shared.
- Read the full interview here.