FINANCIAL TECHNOLOGY (fintech) company Lentra is looking to help banks in the Philippines in their digital transformation to help serve the country’s unbanked population.
“As a SaaS (software as a service) platform, we’d look at how we can enable banks that have a large population and large customer bases to be able to transform digitally. And that’s what drives us to come into the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam,” Lentra Asia-Pacifc Sales Executive Vice-President Sanjay Kao said in an interview with BusinessWorld.
“As you’ve noticed, these three markets in Southeast Asia are the most populous markets after China and India. In these markets, the demographic structure is pretty much the same as we’ve seen in India. So, we have solved those challenges,” he added.
Mr. Kao said Lentra wants to help banks in these three markets serve the unbanked population to complement their push for digitalization.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas wants to digitize 50% of the volume and value of retail transactions and to have 70% of Filipino adults as part of the formal financial system by the end of this year.
Lentra Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer Ankur Handa said the company recently received Series B Funding worth $78 million led by investors like MUFG Bank, Bessemer Venture Partners and SIG Venture Capital, and Citi Ventures.
The capital will be used for Lentra’s expansion into the three Southeast Asian countries, Mr. Handa said.
Lentra Country Manager Joel Del Valle said the company’s services can coexist with banks’ existing core systems instead of having to completely replace them, which is one of the hurdles to the industry’s digital shift.
“But the biggest problem right now is scaling up and reaching out. We’ve done this in India already. The scale there is massive,” Mr. Del Valle added.
The company aims to partner with banks and offer a faster time to market and implementation.
Mr. Del Valle said they can guarantee banks just 45 days of turnaround time in terms of implementation.
Lentra entered the Philippine market in December after it acquired TheDataTeam.
The company recently registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission to operate as Lentra Digital Solutions Pilipinas Corp., Mr. Del Valle said. — A.M.C. Sy