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What do Asian and European borrowers ask call centres about?

by Dung Duong

To determine the difference between customers of online financing services in Asia and Europe, the financial holding Robocash Group studied questions, which customers in the Philippines and Spain have asked call centres in 2019 most often.

The primary differentiating feature of Filipinos is that more than one third (31.2%) of local customers’ calls are about what’s an online loan like, and how the service works. In Spain, the share of such calls amounts to only 2.7%. The company analysts assume that the reason is the lower financial inclusion in the Philippines. “According to the World Bank, in 2017, 93.8% of people in Spain had a bank account. In the same year, only 34.5% of Filipinos had it. It allows saying that the Spanish are more accustomed to online micro lending. In this sense, Filipinos have only started using digital financial services actively”, mentioned the analysts.

Another distinction is the higher interest in the status of a loan among Filipinos right after they fill in an application. In particular, almost every fourth (39.1%) call to the contact centre in the Philippines is made to find out whether the loan is approved. In contrast, the Spanish call centre of the company receives only 8.2% of similar questions. Two reasons may explain it. The first one is that the developed financial framework in Spain allows faster processing of digital transactions. Then, short-term online loans may often be the only opportunity for Filipinos to obtain finance quickly.

On the other hand, Spanish customers more often ask in advance how to repay a loan (24.2%). That is primarily due to the higher significance of credit history for customers in Europe, which says about their reliability in general. For instance, an overdue may not only result in rejected loan applications in the future but also become an obstacle for employment and getting different contracts. In this sense, Filipinos are less concerned about it beforehand (3.5%).

Remarkably, the same reason also makes Spanish customers ask details on how to extend a loan or settle an overdue. The share of such questions amounts to 10.4% and 14.2%, respectively. In contrast, the Philippines has lower figures: 1.3% and 2.8%, respectively. Still, such a difference does not affect the default rate: Spain and the Philippines have an approximately equal level.

Overall, Spanish customers show a deep understanding of digital financial products and ask about peculiarities more often. Filipinos, like many other people in the emerging Asian markets, have only started exploring the services. Asking general questions helps them to know new opportunities better. At the same time, the dynamics of the demand helps to see the changes. According to the company statistics, in the past two years, the monthly payable demand for online loans in the Philippines has been growing on average 2.5 times faster than in Span.

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