Philippines: Landbank, RiteMed, Voyager launch fintech service for medical aid

From left are RiteMed general manager Vincent Guerrero, Landbank SVP and branch banking sector head Liduvino Geron, PLDT, Smart and Voyager chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, Landbank OIC Cecilia Borromeo, Unilab president and CEO Clinton Campos Hess, Unilab senior VP for social partnerships Jose Maria Ochave, Voyager president and CEO Orlando Vea, FINTQ managing director Lito Villanueva.

The Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) together with local generics medicine brand RiteMed, and Voyager Innovations announced a new financial technology service on Friday that enables access to cheaper medicines via digital lending service.

The government financial institution partnered RiteMed for the all new TxTMED program, which allows borrowers to allocate a portion of their approved net loan proceeds for the purchase of medicines. RiteMed will make available a range of maintenance medicines at special discounted prices.

TxTMED serves as an expansion of the Landbank Mobile Loan Saver (LMLS), the first paperless and fully electronic loan application service in the Philippines powered by Voyager’s financial technology arm FINTQ.

Voyager is the digital innovations unit of telco giant PLDT and its wholly owned mobile phone and internet service subsidiary Smart Communications Inc (Smart).

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Now also telco-agnostic, LMLS is available across all telco providers and has been expanded to include private sector employees. The inclusion of small farmers and fishers, microenterprises and SMEs, and Overseas Filipinos is also underway, making it more expansive to promote inclusive growth and digital financial inclusion.

The LMLS has been recognized by the GSMA Mobile Money Programme as the first of its kind in the world for being a three-in-one mobile loan application service with auto-savings build-up features.

Voyager disclosed the TxTMED program will be available within the last quarter of the year, and is expectd to enable government employees and private sector workers with payroll accounts with Landbank to seamlessly order and purchase medicines through their mobile phones, without the hassle of outright cash payment.

Landbank officer-in-charge and executive vice president Cecilia Borromeo said the initiative was launched to help address the financial burden of high medicine costs on many Filipinos.

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“This is yet another showcase of the endless possibilities in terms of financial technology and digital lending, especially as we hope to reach out and provide financial and other services to more Filipinos across the country,” Borromeo said.

RiteMed general manager Vincent Patrick Guerrero said the TxTMED program will initially cover more than 700,000 government employees but will not include teachers, military and police personnel.

Medicines ordered via LMLS will also be delivered for free in sealed packs to the concerned government agency or company office where the borrower is employed, within a week from the time of loan approval and release.

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“The burden of coping with the daily cost of maintenance medicines, not to mention certain catastrophic diseases, have caused much physical, emotional and economic strains to Filipino families most especially to the public sector who have limited earning capacities,” Guerrero said. “We are quite optimistic that with the technology of FINTQ and the nationwide network of Landbank, we would be able to fulfill the objective of RiteMed’s Tamang Alaga program of providing access to quality healthcare for all Filipinos.”

The latest collaboration of public and private organizations takes the LMLS to another level, following its successful roll-out among government employees, with loan releases amounting to over P12 billion as of August 2016 since it started. This has benefited more than 80,000 employees from over 1,200 participating agencies since the program’s commercial launch in January 2015.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.