December 17, 2020
SAN PABLO CITY – CARD SME Bank opens its 36th branch on December 7, 2020, to cater to the financial needs of more MSMEs in Brgy. Lagao, General Santos City. The Lagao Branch, located at Sestina Building, Lucio Velayo Sr. Road, Brgy. Lagao, General Santos City, is officially the 6th CARD SME Bank branch in Mindanao and one of the two (2) branches in the city.
CARD SME Bank President and CEO Aristeo A. 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,” says Dequito.
While the first branch in General Santos City already caters to more than 25,000 clients, Lagao Branch “will be the home of thousands of MSMEs in the area,” says Dequito. He continues, “We assure that this expansion will provide easier transactions for our clients with us.”
As the quarantine protocols ease, Dequito also shares how the bank braves 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 adds. 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 shares 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.”
Dequito continues, “We at CARD SME Bank, together with the other institutions under CARD MRI, are in full swing to continue our mission in improving the lives of the socioeconomically challenged families in the country.”
CARD SME Bank is expecting to initially serve more than 7,000 clients from five (5) branch lite units.
The grand opening of CARD SME Bank Lagao branch was personally attended by several CARD MRI clients and staff, representatives from local government units, and other members of the community. Virtually present via Zoom conference were CARD MRI Executive Committee Members, including CARD MRI Founder and Chairman Emeritus Dr. 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 loans, and has a total asset of P8 billion.