E-COMMERCE continues to gain ground in the Philippines permeating the traditional consumer journey towards purchase.
Merchants on the other end of the consumer purchase spectrum have also reshaped how they do business, and for good reason.
Online sales is a different animal.
Where once merchants enjoyed reigning over a proximate region, today e-commerce makes everyone and anyone accessible, anytime and anywhere, allowing for SMEs to proliferate rapidly.
SMEs contribute about 99% of economic growth in the Philippines yet access to finance still remains to be the biggest hurdle for them. The age-old issue is the impetus behind why First Circle was built. The growth-finance company aims to give small businesses the chance to compete, enabling them by providing easy access to finance.
The length of time saved means giving these businesses an avenue to, for example, but not limited to, win purchase orders which they would otherwise miss. This business model is replicated to a huge volume of online retailers, with Lazada being one of the strongest partners of First Circle.
Catering to varied industries online, the growth-finance company provides a solution-suite based on business need, size and type ensuring bespoke business needs are provided with bespoke business solutions.
The nature of the business solution-suite of First Circle is highly agile, recognizing that one of the pain-points of SME growth was a speedy delivery of operations.
“We realized what we needed to do in order to empower small businesses was to reduce the amount of time it takes to open an account with us and also reduce the time it takes for them to avail of finance,” said Patrick Lynch, President & CEO of First Circle declares when asked how First Circle was built.
First Circle’s cornerstones are built on its promise to enable SMEs by providing them access to financing in the most convenient way.
“The full end-to-end solution from the moment a consumer engages with us is done online. There is no paper exchanged. This also allows us to have great control in the customer journey” added Ly.
In contrast, what takes 14 hours on average to complete for manual applications to traditional institutions takes only 2-3 minutes with First Circle’s proprietary-built secured system.
The development of this financial technology leapfrogs decades of struggles of SMEs to find access to finance.
“Building a wonderful technology stack has been geared towards improving availability of finance to small businesses” said Tony Ennis, Chief Technology Officer for First Circle.
First Circle points to the fact that the Philippine economy is growing at a 6% annual rate. With a 95% return rate for its customers and loan offers returned in under 24 hours for approved applicants, it surely is making huge strides in reshaping how small businesses in the Philippines can expand their wings.
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