Friday, January 21

OCBC taps into Peoplender to enhance micro access to financing

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(From left) OCBC Bank Malaysia head of emerging business Wong Chee Seng, Ong; Peoplender chairman Jeffrey Chew and Peoplender chief executive officer Kristine Ng at a ceremony to mark the partnership between the two firms.

KUCHING: OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Bhd (OCBC Bank) and Peoplender Sdn Bhd (Peoplender) have entered into a collaborative agreement to enhance access to financing for micro, small and new businesses.

The effort will be operationalised through Peoplender’s wholly-owned peer-to-peer financing platform Fundaztic.com, which is licensed by the Securities Commission.

The effort will see OCBC Bank referring to Peoplender viable SMEs seeking wider financing options to enhance and support their business growth.

Micro, small and new businesses collectively form the largest base of SMEs in the country and often face difficulty obtaining funding for business growth.

According to OCBC Bank chief executive officer Datuk Ong Eng Bin the current effort represents a meaningful partnership with viable businesses that might not easily qualify for standard bank loans.

“With the emergence of peer-to-peer financing platforms, opportunities that were previously unheard of are now available.

“However, there continues to be a gap between those in need and those in a position to meet the need. We are delighted to play our part in bridging this gap through our partnership with Peoplender,” he said.

Since its launch in July 2018, Fundaztic has successfully disbursed almost RM15 million in funding to more than 170 SMEs, of which more than half are businesses that have been in operation for three years or less.

According to Peoplender CEO Kristine Ng alternative funding platforms are part of an entirely new industry, with Fundaztic itself having been in the market for barely a year.

“This limits our ability to reach out to all the viable SMEs out there, which is why the collaboration with OCBC Bank is a promising endeavour as the Bank has a much wider reach both in terms of network and personnel.

“This collaborative effort is poised to be a win-win in enhancing access to financing for SMEs and strengthening the lending ecosystem to boost the economy,” she said.

Fundaztic’s investors can expect to receive returns on investments of between 13 per cent – 23 per cent per annum depending on the risk grades of the SMEs they invest in.

“The platform has always advocated the importance of diversifying their investments across as many Investment Notes as possible.

“Through this partnership, Fundaztic hopes to be able to host even more Notes each week, creating more choices for investors to practice the principle of diversification,” Ng added.

Once OCBC has passed the details of the SMEs to Peoplender, they are guided by Peoplender’s team on the application process which is fully online.

With this, SMEs across the country are able to gain the opportunity to raise funding via a new alternative platform anytime, anywhere and across virtually any device.