Demand for laptops, phones to increase in 2021 as WFH, online classes continue according to Home Credit
With many Filipinos continuing to work from home and students still attending their classes online, the demand for laptops, smartphones and other “new normal essentials” will continue rising. This is according to leading consumer finance company Home Credit, noting that the trend might be seen not just in 2021 but in the foreseeable future.
From new normal to just normal
“One of the most defining buzzwords in 2020—’new normal’—continues to be a relevant word as we welcome the new year,” remarked Sheila Paul, Home Credit Philippines’ chief marketing officer. “And as millions of employees and students continue to live, work and play from the comfort of their homes, we believe that it is starting to shift from ‘new normal’ to simply our normal way of life from now on.”
Ms. Paul explained that the rising demand for these devices has been evident even prior to the pandemic, with Home Credit—which has a nationwide partner store presence and rapidly growing base of mobile app users from its 7 million customers—listing these gadgets in their top five most-loaned items on a regular basis.
Love affair with gadgets
“Filipinos’ love affair with smartphones and other gadgets is well-documented, and as these became even more affordable and feature-packed in recent years, the demand for these products—and in turn, Home Credit’s financing services—rapidly grew as well,” noted Ms. Paul, adding that the company’s My Home Credit app has especially grown in recent years with 1.3 million active users at present.
“And while the pandemic impacted everyone, consumers and businesses alike, we still saw a good amount of demand for these products; in fact, they remained in our top three, with TVs rounding up the list. And this really says a lot about the things that people needed the most especially during lockdown,” she added.
Smartphones still on top as demand for fintech also rises
Data from Home Credit shows that the company financed nearly 900,000 smartphones in 2020, the most-loaned item for the year with TVs and laptops taking 2nd and 3rd place respectively. Among the top smartphone brands purchased via Home Credit include OPPO, Vivo, realme, Samsung, and Huawei, while ACER, Lenovo, and ASUS were determined as the best-selling brands for laptops. As for TVs, popular brands TCL, Sony, and Samsung topped the list.
Customers availing loans for phones ranged from employees and students, to entrepreneurs needing new phones for their online businesses, or consumers simply wanting to upgrade to the latest model of their favorite brand through installments.
Ms. Paul added that the continuing demand for smartphones is also linked to Filipinos’ increasing use and adoption of digital tools such as fintech apps that are especially crucial in the new normal. “More than ever, we need online digital tools that allow us to do things like borrow and transfer money, pay bills, and make purchases in a safe and convenient way. And apps such as our My Home Credit App do exactly that, with more and more users embracing these platforms.”
“It is important for consumer finance and other financial institutions to continue catering to the needs of Filipinos in the new normal by offering products that are accessible and affordable to them. This is why we remain supportive of BSP and its continuing efforts to drive financial inclusion in Philippines,” Ms. Paul shared.
Home Credit’s app gives users the option to apply for gadget and cash loans right inside the app, instead of the usual process of in-store application. It also comes with a slew of “new normal-ready” features such as enabling Home Credit card users to make payments via QR; making payments to a growing list of billers such as utilities; an in-app Marketplace where users can shop for gadgets and apply for loans all within the app; SMILE that offer a vast lineup of discounts and deals from thousands of partners; and real-time disbursement of cash loan proceeds.
Home Credit Philippines (“HCPH”) is a consumer finance provider that promotes the principles of financial inclusion and safe lending, providing world-class financing services to qualified customers, often first-time borrowers. Home Credit arrived in the Philippines back in 2013 with the ambitious goal of giving out loans to people who have never experienced them before. Within 7 years, HCPH has helped around 7 million customers buy the things they need through fast, convenient and affordable financing in thousands of stores around the country. In 2019, HCPH was also granted the license to operate as a credit card issuer by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), making it the first non-bank institution in the country to issue credit cards. And now, as the consumer finance landscape continues its shift to digital, HCPH has transformed into a company that is there wherever the customers are, whether they are in the store or at home on their phones. HCPH continues to expand its digital and online presence, and now has nearly 5 million downloads of its My Home Credit app. HCPH is part of Home Credit B.V. (HCBV), an international consumer finance provider. More information on HCPH is available at www.homecredit.ph.