Beneficiaries of the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP) will now have the opportunity to receive their government subsidies through accredited Financial Service Providers (FSP). Recipients identified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will be able to use and withdraw their stipends in accredited banks and institutions in a faster, easier, and safer process.
“This partnership not only helps to advance the Bangko Sentral’s push for true financial inclusion for all, but will also be a safe, secure, and convenient way for the DSWD to distribute to the beneficiaries”, says Lamberto Scarella, President of Starpay Corporation, who has been in the banking and finance industry for more than three decades. He adds, “We’ve seen the state of the beneficiaries and want to show them that the support that they receive can be done without the need to fall in line for long periods of time and without the need to go out of their homes. Through the digital distribution of the government subsidy, Starpay envisions to be the first Filipino financial technology firm to spearhead a robust digital financial system that will include the unbanked and underbanked segment of the population”.
The DSWD’s initiative to tap Starpay comes on the heels of the growing need to implement safety precautions, as well as to ensure funds go directly to beneficiaries in a safe and secure manner. Starpay, a Filipino-owned financial technology (FinTech) company built more than five years ago, is now helping DSWD in its responsibility of dispersing billions of pesos worth of social amelioration funds for an estimated 18 million poor Filipino families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Starpay app is available on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store where beneficiaries only need to sign in to their newly-created accounts. The creation of these accounts helps to onboard a significant number of the population who are still unserved and underserved by traditional financial institutions. The app provides users access to convenient services such as e-load and bills payment, with more services on the way. Starpay also has partner conduits where users can conveniently withdraw their funds if needed.
All transactions, withdrawals and funds usage of the beneficiary are recorded in the app and is therefore more convenient for the end-user and more transparent to the government as it goes direct to the user and eliminates mishandling, also guide the government in understanding the needs of every Filipino family whose lives were affected by the recent pandemic.
“This is where technology can also be very instrumental in helping the government identify priorities, opportunities and problem areas of the beneficiaries. The kind of information obtained from the data would guide the government in designing more responsive solutions and policies that would further alleviate poverty,” concludes Scarella
About Starpay. Starpay is empowering the underbanked community and traditional sari-sari stores with technology—supporting users and store owners with digital business solutions, while connecting offline communities to the growing online economy. Led by several industry veterans from the fintech, telecoms, and retail space, Starpay is a licensed Electronic Money Issuer (EMI) and Remittance Agent and is regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.