Mobile Loans do Much to Ease Unbanked Filipinos’ Financial Burden

81% of borrowers report quality of life improvements; 86% of women borrowers gained confidence; 99% of borrowers trust Tala

With 36 million Filipino adults remaining unbanked as of 2022, mobile micro loans have emerged as the biggest step forward in terms of achieving true financial inclusion. A recent report on the real world socio-economic impact of Tala, a global digital lending platform with a strong presence in the Philippines, reveals that Tala customers experienced improved quality of life after having utilized the company’s services.

Among the findings of the “Lender’s 2022 Impact Report” is that out of 250 Filipino Tala borrowers interviewed, 81% of respondents shared that their quality of life improved thanks to Tala’s service. The Report was prepared by 60 Decibels, a global, tech-enabled impact measurement company, between October – November 2022. It details the real world societal impact that that lending service has had in the countries in which it is present.

The report further showed that the top three self-reported outcomes for the 81% of borrowers who reported quality of life improvements were: 55% talked about having improved access to finance, 31% reported being able to better afford household expenses and 17% reported the ability to face emergency expenses.

“We’re happy to see that our services have granted our customers confidence where they didn’t before, gave them the ability to better withstand emergencies, and provided them the avenue to pursue their dreams. Tala has definitely made a big impact in the Philippines,” Missy Santos, Marketing Manager of Tala shared at the briefing.

Since its inception in 2014, Tala’s mission has been to create a world where even the unbanked and marginalized can have access to basic financial services, enabling them to safely and efficiently manage their finances with ease and confidence. “Tala continues to provide a unique microloan service to the underserved market in the Philippines. Many of our kababayans challenges include paying off their bills, having the confidence to avail a loan, and being able to have financial independence,” elaborates Donald Evangelista, General Manager of Tala Philippines. “Helping them address these challenges has been part of Tala’s mission.”

Apart from improvements in quality of life, Tala respondents also reported improvements in how they manage their finances. As a result of Tala’s microloans, about 45% respondents said they increased their savings, 69% were able to reduce their financial stress, and 89% improved their financial management skills.

Positive impact on women

Sharing the most significant impact Tala has made in the lives of Filipino women, Iona Iñigo-Mayo, Tala’s Senior Director and Global Customer Experience Operations said, “It gives me great pride to share that 70% of female borrowers cite an increase in their influence on household decision-making thanks to financial access. For these women, their financial independence (56%), capability to pay for household bills/expenses (53%), and money for education (15%) improved the most because of Tala. Moreover, the self-confidence of 86% of Tala’s female borrowers increased while another 78% experienced a rise in respect from their household.”

Tala customers’ satisfaction was also rated highly by the interviewees, citing the efficient loan approval process and the reliable and easy-to-use Tala application as one of the key reasons. About 98% of borrowers agree that they understand the terms and conditions of their loan, and 99% of them trust Tala with their personal information.

“The Philippines is a key market for Tala as it provides opportunities for growth. All the figures and statistics we’ve shown today showcase the love, dedication, and care we have for our Filipino customers which, in turn, is returned by them in full. We strive to continue to be a trustworthy, transparent, and life-changing service to all Filipinos,” said Kunal Kaul, Chief Risk & Strategy Officer, Tala.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Sasha Dichter, CEO and Co-founder of 60 Decibels said, “We are delighted to partner with Tala on this important work. It’s exciting to see Tala outperform the 60 Decibels Financial Inclusion Benchmarks on a number of core indicators, including First-time Access, Access to Alternatives and Customer Satisfaction. It also speaks volumes that a market leader like Tala is taking the step to listen directly to their customers about social impact in such a rigorous fashion. It means that the company, and the market, see that offering a service at scale is just the first step. To truly understand impact, we need to listen directly to customers, so we know we are building financial inclusion solutions that solve real problems for people.”

In the report, an average Philippine Tala user was defined: a 37-year-old who has been a Tala member for about 32 months; with 56% of them having to take out loans every two months. They’ve experienced challenges including paying off their bills, having the confidence to avail of a loan, and acquiring financial independence. When asked if they have experienced a similar service elsewhere, 70% said they did not, and 84% could not find a good alternative to Tala’s digital loans.

About Tala

Tala is a global technology company building the world’s most accessible financial services. More than 7.5 million people across Kenya, the Philippines, Mexico, and India, have used Tala products to start and expand small businesses, manage day-to-day needs and pursue their financial goals with confidence. Tala has raised more than $350 million from visionary investors including Upstart, the Stellar Development Foundation, RPS Ventures, the J. Safra Group, IVP, Revolution Growth, Lowercase Capital, and PayPal Ventures.

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Tala is operated by Tala Financing Philippines Inc., a licensed financing company with SEC Registration No. CS201710582 and Certificate of Authority No. 1132. Always study the terms and conditions and the disclosure statement before proceeding with any loan transaction.

About 60 Decibels

60 Decibels is a global, tech-enabled impact measurement company that brings speed and repeatability to social impact measurement and customer insights. We provide genuine benchmarks of impact performance, enabling organizations to understand impact relative to peers and set performance targets. We have a network of 1,000+ researchers in 80+ countries, and have worked with more than 800 of the world’s leading impact investors, companies, foundations, corporations, NGOs, and public sector organizations. 60 Decibels makes it easy to listen to the people who matter most.

(Top L-R) Luigi Jacinto, Senior Associate Marketing Manager, Tala Philippines; Iona Iñigo-Mayo, Director for Global Customer Experience Operations, Tala Philippines; and Missy Santos, Marketing Manager, Tala Philippines

(Bottom L-R) Kunal Kaul, Chief Risk and Strategy Officer, Tala; and Donald Evangelista, General Manager, Tala Philippines

 Tala’s event, Life with Tala: Empowering Borrowers to Face Life’s Challenges, discussed the positive impact of its microloans on the lives of its customers.