Financial literacy in reach for more with GoBear’s loan search engine

July 31, 2017 | 12:56
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Unsecured loans from financial companies are becoming a popular consumer finance product in Vietnam, thanks to their simple procedures and rapid disbursement time.
Tran Nhat Khanh, country director of GoBear Vietnam

GoBear Vietnam has launched an unsecured loan awareness campaign that provides users a tool to quickly search for unsecured loan offers from many different finance companies in Vietnam. Tran Nhat Khanh, country director of GoBear Vietnam, sheds light on this pivotal initiative.

What is the idea behind GoBear’s new unsecured loan awareness campaign?

In Vietnam, GoBear is the first metasearch engine for insurance and banking products. It was founded based on the simple premise that a user should find freedom and ease when making financial decisions related to consumer finance products. Unlike other markets GoBear operates in, where the consumers are by and large eligible for the majority of financial products on offer, Vietnamese consumers – the majority of which lack bank accounts and a means for proving their income – are underserved by traditional financial service providers. These “unbanked” users cannot access traditional banking products, and often borrow from unofficial sources.

We realised that there was a need to inform these users about alternatives to traditional banks and why they should stay away from unlicensed lenders. Efforts are also being made to simplify financial terms such as interest rates and tenure. It is important to explain these terms in a comprehensive way so an average financially aware (or unaware) person can be well-informed and ultimately make his or her own decisions.

Under a recent survey conducted by Visa, only 51 per cent of Vietnamese respondents gave themselves a pass (six-10 points) on their financial literacy. How would you expect GoBear’s initiatives to improve this situation?

Headquartered in Singapore and founded in 2015, GoBear also has a presence in Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines,

Thailand, and Vietnam. In just over two years since its conception, more than 11 million users have signed up for GoBear’s fast and personalised comparisons of financial products. As one of the fastest growing fintech startups in Asia, GoBear is leading the way in democratising the financial shopping experience with its unbiased and personalised comparison process.

GoBear’s user-oriented platform neither aggregates nor sells products. GoBear simply offers consumers a free and transparent comparison process based on their financial needs. The result is a user-friendly and informed experience that saves consumers both time and money.

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For the unsecured loan awareness campaign alone, GoBear helps many users access services from licensed and professional service providers for the very first time. GoBear is also one of the first websites in Vietnam that offers users a fast, free, and personalised tool to search for unsecured loan offers from finance companies, thus helping underprivileged users to find the unsecured loan offer that best fits their needs.

Since last year, GoBear Vietnam has landed over 500,000 comparison hits on our website and became a trusted provider of search and compare services for financial products in Vietnam. The long-term goal of GoBear is to leverage the virtually unlimited reach of technology to increase the banking penetration rate of Vietnam, and hence increase financial literacy in general. I believe we can achieve this goal faster via close collaboration with our partners in the local finance industry.

GoBear has already been collaborating well with many well-known financial institutions in Vietnam. What kind of partners will you be looking forward to working with in the future?

The partner selection process at GoBear is rigorous, and for good reasons. It is critical that we find partners that share our vision and mission of bringing the best services to Vietnamese consumers.

Apart from well-established partners such as banks and insurers, we always look out for partners who are innovative in ways of serving consumers, and that includes startups in both fintech and insurtech. We have a series of potential partners in the pipeline, which includes providers of electronic payment solutions, group savings, social impact financing, and micro-financing. Every one of us is excited about the prospect of the Vietnamese market.

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