Banks, fintechs provide better service to customers with free digital access via freenet

Dec 2, 2016 12:00:55 AM• Voyager Innovations#DigitalJourneys

By Voyager Innovations

Freenet, the free mobile data platform of Voyager Innovations, has signed up more online banking and financial apps to the unique sponsored-data platform that already hosts over 70 popular brand and enterprise sites.

Without incurring any mobile data charges, users of freenet are now able to access various financial services and complete their transactions online with large commercial banks that include the mobile apps of Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), as well as of exciting fintech startups like Lendr, PawnHero and PayMaya.

“People who have experienced online financial transactions from making a payment, transferring funds, or applying for a loan or bridge financing know just how enabling digital is, in big and small ways,” said Benjie Fernandez, chief operating officer at Voyager Innovations.

“Digital and financial inclusion is at the core of our mission at Voyager, and we are glad to extend these services to as many Filipinos as possible through freenet. By partnering with enterprises for sponsored data and giving customers free access to these financial and banking services, we are enabling our countrymen to participate in the new digital economy that can truly profoundly improve their lives," Fernandez added.

Providing free access to digital financial services is relevant in a country like the Philippines, where only 30% of the population have regular access to the Internet and with 7 in 10 adult individuals belonging to the “unbanked” sector of society.

Nevertheless, according to the recent 2016 Brookings Financial and Digital Inclusion report published this July, the Philippines emerged as the most improved nation in the world in terms of providing wider access to digital and financial services, fueled mostly by the emergence of these new digital services and increased mobile capacity bolstered by platforms such as freenet.

Rise of the new “fintechs”

New fintech players are also enabling wider access to digital financial services by providing their customers with free data access to their websites and apps via freenet.

Take Lendr, which allows users to scout loan products online, choose one that suits them, and apply for the loan right there and then, even if they are not within convenient reach of a physical bank.

PawnHero, on the other hand, puts the typical brick-and-mortar pawnshops in everyone's pockets and enables users to pawn valuable items–ranging from the typical jewelry to electronics, gadgets, and luxury items–through the PawnHero App, all without having to leave their homes.

And then there is PayMaya, a downloadable mobile app that allows consumers to shop online even without a credit card. The PayMaya app generates an instant, ready-to-use virtual prepaid card that can be reloaded in over 15,000 centers nationwide.
"freenet adds a better customer experience dimension to these online banking and digital financial apps by removing the first barrier to enjoying a digital life, which is Internet access,” said Heidi Garayblas, business unit head for freenet at Voyager Innovations.

"Through freenet, Smart, TNT, and Sun subscribers can access these digital banking and financial services without data charges, even if they don’t have prepaid load or an active data package,” Garayblas added.

From the Duterte inaugural to Pokemon GO

Initially introduced as SafeZone in 2015, freenet has opened the gates for millions of people to access popular online shops, airlines, food establishments, and news and entertainment portals, without the burden of data charges. Some 70 brands and enterprises are already using the freenet platform to allow their users to access their sites and apps for free.

To complete the experience, freenet also hosts social networking and social media apps such as Facebook Lite, Twitter, and Instagram, allowing users to be updated, share experiences, engage in the social conversation, chime in on the top trending topics on social media.

Some of the most relevant and trending topics were recently made accessible by freenet for Filipinos nationwide: from livestreaming BilangPilipino,TV5’s special coverage of the 2016 Philippine Elections, to the Duterte Inaugural; from Team Gilas Pilipinas’ shot at the FIBA World finals, to welcoming the sensational PokemonGo to the Philippines by giving free access to users.

For more information, visit like the freenet page on Facebook, or download the freenet app on the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

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