Originally published by The Manila Times

Financial technology startup PearlPay has signed a strategic partnership with the Association of Pangasinan Rural Banks (APRUB) as part of its push to enable financial institutions to be more commercially competitive through digital transformation.

The agreement was signed during the 62nd Charter Anniversary Symposium of the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines at the Manila Hotel. It allows 16 member banks of APRUB to access PearlPay’s end-to-end cloud-based banking solutions, namely Core Banking Solutions, Agent Banking Solutions, and white-label e-wallet solutions.

Rural banks have proven to be important vehicles in the overall development of the Philippine economy as they cater to the financing needs of farmers, fisherfolk, and rural communities for financial inclusion,” Spark Perreras, co-founder and CEO of PearlPay, said.

As a fintech company, one of our core goals is to empower these institutions with digital solutions that allow them to streamline processes, scale operations, and reach customers.

PearlPay’s end-to-end banking solutions, which use Amazon Web Services (AWS), will enable rural banks to improve and grow their capabilities so more people can enjoy convenient and affordable access to financing services.

“PearlPay believes that all Filipinos should have access to world-class and up-to-date technological solutions that will help them save time, money, and connect better to their loved ones,” Perreras added.

According to the Financial Inclusion Survey of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), approximately 77.4 percent of the Filipino population remains unbanked. Perreras describes this as a basic indicator of the current state of financial inclusion in the country and believes fintech solutions could go a long way in bridging this gap.

“Our range of products and services are designed to address the very reasons why Filipinos remain unbanked or underbanked, such as expensive fees, reliance on the internet or latest mobile device and software, and lack of providers with solutions specifically tailored to address these problems,” Perreras said.

PearlPay also signed a pilot program agreement with Dagupan City-based provincial bank BHF Rural Bank, Inc., also a member of APRUB.