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PH household finances improve in Q3 – survey

More Filipino households saw their finances improve in the third quarter (Q3) from three months earlier, the local unit of US consumer credit reporting agency TransUnion said.

TransUnion Philippines said its Q3 Consumer Pulse Study also found that more Filipinos were now comfortable with credit products and digital transactions, likely due to the growing presence of digital banks and financial technology firms.

Concerns about cybersecurity, meanwhile, mounted.

Fifty-two percent of the Filipino respondents reported better-than-expected household finances, up from 49 percent in the previous quarter, while 44 percent reported a rise in income, a slight increase from 41 percent.

Comfort with owning credit accounts rose to 41 percent from 35 percent and 51 percent said they planned to apply for personal loans next year, up from 46 percent.

"Credit can be a powerful tool that helps people improve their lives. It is a very encouraging sign to see more Filipinos growing comfortable with credit and using it to unlock better economic opportunities," TransUnion Philippines President and Chief Executive Officer Pia Arellano said in a statement.

"The proliferation of digital banks and financial technology players is also a positive sign. These entities are helping to expand access to credit so more Filipinos can enjoy the benefits of financial inclusion."

TransUnion said more Filipinos were turning to different sources for credit products. About 32 percent have credit cards or loans from digital banks that operate solely online and 26 percent have loans from fintech (financial technology) companies.

Forty-two percent still prioritize lowest interest rates when applying for a new loan, whether from a traditional bank, digital bank, or fintech institution. This reflects a discerning consumer base that seeks credit products with the most favorable terms and conditions, TransUnion said.

Speed of loan approvals also matters when choosing credit products, it added, with 91 percent of respondents considering real-time approval for digital loans important, up 3 percentage points from the previous quarter.

And while online transactions increased to 58 percent from the previous 56 percent, 49 percent of Filipinos still have significant concerns about cybersecurity. Filipinos were mostly worried about identity theft (65 percent), data breaches (51 percent) and credit card fraud (45 percent).

"As more aspects of our lives move online, the role of cybersecurity in this progressively internet-centered world is vital," Arellano noted.

"At TransUnion Philippines, we provide a host of identity proofing and fraud prevention solutions to keep fraudsters and other malicious entities from perpetrating crimes against consumers and businesses," she added.

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Source: Manila Times

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