Top Fintech Apps of 2020

Anjie lou delos Reyes
2020 has seen big shifts in the way we live, function and play. We had to adjust our everyday habits and use technology more than ever as people remained in the comfort of their homes for weeks and months on end. Our smartphones, tablets, and the all-powerful internet have become absolute musts in the new standard, from Zoom meetings and food deliveries to online shopping and Netflix bingeing, and even doing all these things at the same time.

Top Fintech Apps of 2020
Top Fintech Apps of 2020

So it comes as no surprise that technology has now become important in helping us to purchase, fund or otherwise acquire all the delicious food, enticing shopping deals, and other great items and daily necessities that have kept us alive and well in 2020. Now more than ever, people need fast, safe and secure ways to make payments, send or receive money from loved ones, and apply for loans or other financial instruments, particularly those who, under extraordinary circumstances, use these tools for the very first time.

The products were delivered to us in 2020 by a range of fintech apps and continue to do so as we begin the new year. The Fintech applications that blew up our minds are here:

RCBC/DiskarTech: providing links to ordinary Filipino online banking

It's no surprise then that an app that aims to provide "satchet banking services to millions of Filipinos" has quickly gained a following among customers, considering that the country qualifies as a sachet economy. DiskarTech has become the go-to banking app of choice for RCBC, especially those who are first-timers of fintech and customers of the tingi tingi range. With its Taglish interface and easy-to-understand features, the app is particularly targeted at MSMEs as part of the mission of RCBC to involve more small businesses in the financial system and help them go digital.

Home Credit: with HC's app and QR-enabled credit card, consumer finance goes digital

Many people know them in malls and gadget shops for their ever-present sales associates in red tops, or for being the leader of easy and inexpensive phone and other products payments even without a credit card. But since then, Home Credit has also gone digital, enabling clients to apply for loans through the My Home Credit app and even do their in-app shopping via the Marketplace feature. And it is not only the first non-bank entity in the country to issue a credit card, it is also the first QR-enabled credit card, ensuring that home credit card holders will simply use their smartphone to scan QR codes instead of swiping their cards to make payments, creating a completely cashless, contactless and secure shopping experience. Aside from gadget loans, qualifying customers of Home Credit can also apply for cash loans right within the app and can have their loans disbursed to them almost instantly once accepted.

See Also: Home Credit Helps Customers Adapt to New Normal with QR Payment Feature

EastWest: from the comfort of your Facebook messenger, online banking

Although it is now the standard for most, if not all, banks to have a multifunctional app, there are many who understand that not everyone might be prepared to dive into these applications, or simply do not have the ability to install them on their phones. Enter EastWest Bank, whose AI-powered ESTA (short for EastWest Machine Tech Assistant) chatbot enables customers from your Facebook messenger chat box to perform a wide range of self-service transaction functions, from checking balances to converting transactions to installments and applying for credit cards. ESTA is highly sensitive and a fantastic tool for FB-savvy banking customers, but not quite ready to call themselves techies, or just find ESTA much easier to reach.

In the new standard, GCash and PayMaya: bringing e-wallets to higher heights

When more and more customers choose to go digital in sending money and paying bills, as well as using these platforms for online shopping and food delivery, the once niche segment of e-wallets and online payments went full-on mainstream in 2020. Even before the new standard, GCash and PayMaya had already made a big name for themselves, as more Filipinos started to discover the joys of cashless transactions and quick and easy transfers of money. But as 2020 rolled along, now everybody probably has a GCash or PayMaya account from your sucking sari-sari shop owner to your favorite online seller to your dear old Lola. Anyone else get virtual ampaos last Christmas?

Lazada and Shopee, Grab and Foodpanda: The way Pinoys shop and dine forever changes.

Okay, so they're not really strictly fintech apps per se (although with their own e-wallet, Grab has branched out into that space), and they may not have 'helped' our wallets so much as lightened our wallets (thanks to 11/11, 12/12 and all those sales in between). But can you imagine going through lockdown months without being able to catch a Lazada or Shopee flash sale deal or order your favorite cheat meal through GrabFood or Foodpanda? These shopping sites, plus countless others, helped drive demand and use of the above fintech apps. And they helped to describe a year that was unlike any other, even with these apps.

All these digital technologies, not only in 2020, but in years to come, have become integral parts of our lives. More tech applications and more digitized Filipinos in 2021 are here!

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