But fret not, our wishes can be answered through salary advances. These types of loans help employees overcome sudden financial dilemmas, but unfortunately is not a luxury provided by many companies, leaving thousands of employees seeking alternative forms of financing, which can either be tedious, lengthy, or very expensive.
With the intention to provide convenient, fair, and instant salary advances to Filipino employees, the digital lending platform called Advance was created by Co-Founder and CEO Jaime de los Angeles.
Advance provides employees with individualized flexible credit lines at 0% interest for those who need quick, affordable credit on-demand. TechShake spoke with Jaime to learn his story and to talk about the impact they are making through Advance.
Shifting careers to make a difference
For most of his life, Jaime had been living around the world, travelling back and forth between countries. His father was involved in banking and operated a business abroad, which required the family to fly in and out of the Philippines.
“I think being exposed to living in several countries growing up was really helpful for me,” Jaime shares. It was instrumental in helping him come up with ideas for technology and innovation, especially for a place like the Philippines, where there were so many areas to potentially make a difference.
Like his father, Jaime initially developed an interest in business and commerce. After graduating from Bentley University with a degree in Managerial Economics, he dedicated much of his early career to working in the fields of finance and consulting. When he completed his MBA from Babson College, he decided it was the right time to move back to the Philippines and pursued a career in banking.
Upon returning to the Philippines, he spent several years working for Citibank and as a COO for a private holding company. He tells us, “While the experience was fruitful and certainly helped shape me as a professional, it also made me realize that what I wanted was not something I could find in the corporate world. I wanted to do something that gave me purpose and motivation, not just a paycheck.”
It was this realization that led him to a career shift. And thus, began his journey to entrepreneurship.
To map out his plans, he started by identifying what problem he wanted to solve. Jaime reflected and found gaps in the Philippine financial system, particularly in the the non-traditional lending space. “I would always hear about how getting access to credit was not easy, very expensive, and almost hurtful to desperate borrowers, and I just thought that with technology and infrastructure improving, there must be a better way to service the financial needs of these millions of borrowers.”
Dabbling in fintech
Getting into fintech proved to be a great move for Jaime. It was a space that he was not only familiar with, but was also highly passionate about. His goal was to improve financial services for Filipinos, and he started working on that by getting involved in his first startup, Lendwell, a lending company backed by Xurpas President, Nix Nolledo.
After Lendwell, he worked on his next venture, this time with his good friend, and now Co-Founder, Addi Guevara. Together, they set up Advance, today’s fastest and easiest online salary loans provider in the Philippines.
“In a nutshell, Advance is an online platform that allows employees to advance their salary on demand. Imagine never having to wait for payday again,” Jaime says. All it takes is a partnership between a Company and Advance, and they are good to go.
Though there are other lenders in the space, what really sets Advance apart is that they provide access to credit instantly, by way of a flexible credit line, at 0% interest. Jaime explains, “This is something we feel is important because there are other online providers that use the excuse of being a ‘fintech company’ to charge insane rates from borrowers, who are obviously in situations that are not ideal. We were cognizant of this from the beginning, and really designed our business model to give our borrowers a very positive financial experience.”
At the moment, Advance is continuously onboarding different enterprises to extend their services to more and more employees. “We’ve seen how transformational its been with our current clients and borrowers, and are constantly pushing to expand to companies across the Philippines,” Jaime says.
Making an impact
Jaime definitely sees a true social impact behind what he and his team are doing.
“The feedback that we’ve been getting has been fantastic, and it’s not just that people are impressed with the speed and quality of our service. It’s specific things like being able to surprise their families by rebuilding a roof in time for the holidays, or having the peace of mind knowing that monthly medical payments for an ailing relative will no longer be an issue. So for me and my team, it’s been amazing to see that what we’ve built is going far beyond what we initially intended. And it’s because of this that we are so excited for Advance, and why we’re constantly pushing to grow and make a meaningful dent in the regional fintech arena.”
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