CARD SME Bank opened its 36th branch on December 7 to cater to the financial needs of more micro, small, medium enterprises in General Santos City.
CARD SME Bank president and chief executive officer Aristeo Dequito is positive that the products and services of the bank will ignite hope despite the challenges of 2020.
“We want to end 2020 reaching more entrepreneurs and helping them recover from the adverse impact of the pandemic,” he said.
While the first branch in General Santos City already caters to more than 25,000 clients, the Lagao branch “will be the home of thousands of MSMEs in the area,” he said, adding “we assure that this expansion will provide easier transactions for our clients with us.”
As the quarantine protocols ease, Dequito also shared how the bank braved the pandemic to constantly provide financial access to the unbanked and underbanked families.
“The branch strictly follows the safety guidelines and protocols to ensure the safety of our clients and staff,” he said.
Like all its branches nationwide, CARD SME Bank Lagao Branch is equipped with plexiglass dividers and hand sanitizer dispensers, while strictly following government-mandated health protocols like social distancing and wearing of face mask.
Dequito also shared how the pandemic led the institution to accelerate its digitalization to advance its banking system.
“Throughout the decade, we have been investing in our digital transformation, but with the current situation, our banking technological solutions need more urgency to provide our clients the safety and convenience they need amid the pandemic.”
With digital banking, clients can now experience hassle-free banking transactions anytime and anywhere using their mobile phones through konek2CARD, a mobile banking application, offered free to all account holders of CARD SME Bank. “With our continuous journey to digital transformation, we will advance more of its capabilities, he said.”
CARD SME Bank is expecting to initially serve more than 7,000 clients from five branch lite units.
The opening of CARD SME Bank Lagao branch was attended by several CARD MRI clients and staff, representatives from local government units, and other members of the community, while attending virtually were CARD MRI executive committee members, including founder and chairman emeritus Jaime Aristotle Alip and managing director Flordeliza Sarmiento.
As of October 2020, CARD SME Bank has already served more than 1 million clients, has disbursed more than P7 billion in loans, and has a total asset of P8 billion.*