Bridge Southeast Asia

Day: October 26, 2018

The Game Should Define the Score

This is Part 2 of an article I wrote titled Escape Velocity.

If you were to score 100 points in basketball, that would be quite a high scoring output, and generally seen as a good thing (unless your competitor scores more). But if you were to score 100 in golf, now that would be horrible because your score reflects the number of shots it takes you to close a hole. The less shots the better in golf. The point is this: it’s not so much about the number of your score but about what the score represents depending on the game your playing.

Many of the credit scoring systems were not developed for today’s emerging market. A credit score that was developed for another time, another condition, and another market is what is used to score credit in emerging markets. And then we wonder why most people in emerging markets don’t have access to credit cards and still go to loan sharks. Of course! He or she is scored for another game! We are expecting basketball scores when they’re playing football.

Just as we (Bridge) believe that traditional credit scoring does not work in the emerging market game, traditional materialistic, short-term gains driven, and purely financial scores are the wrong scores for helping an organization serve the underbanked. I don’t know how many times we have been questioned for “leaving money on the table” by aggressively dropping our interest rates. We do this because we are clear about our game: provide Access to the underbanked, and we are clear about our score: the number of people who have reached Financial Escape Velocity. Profitability, sustainability, and efficiency are important to us, but only because it allows us to beat those who would insist on keeping the poor grounded.

Let me end this post with two questions we hope everyone will ask themselves:

  1. What am I doing to achieve Financial Escape Velocity?
  2. How am I helping the people I care about achieve Financial Velocity?

If these questions matter to you, we would love to connect.

Escape Velocity

I really dislike it when people compare Bridge Access to other loan companies.

I dislike it because “loan company” fails to capture what we do, how we do things, and why we do things.

Yes, we do offer loans, with some of the lowest monthly interest in fact, but that is just part of the full value we offer our customers. What we really provide is Access.

Access to what?

Financial Escape Velocity.

In physics, escape velocity is the minimum speed needed for a free object gravitational influence of amassive body.

At that speed, the object is able to zoom to escape from the off into space, no longer hindered by the forces that keep other objects grounded. Similarly, our low cost loans are about removing the gravitational influence of high interest rates on our finances. Our auto deductions are about removing the gravitational influence of our lack of discipline as well. Our low cost insurance removes the gravitational influence of life’s risks. And our low cost savings and investments remove the gravitational influence of lack and slow financial growth. To put it simpler, Bridge Access removes the forces that keep the finances of millions people grounded.

The reason why the rich get richer is because they’re beyond escape velocity. Financial Physics, such as the benefit of compounding interest work in their favor. The poor, those who haven’t escaped, suffer from the same forces that help the rich get richer, such as compounding interest, but this time to their detriment.

Picture this: A 43 year old man, who used to spend P2000.00 on interest monthly, on a P10,000.00 loan, and he’s most likely earning P12,500 in pre-tax income. With Bridge Access, he will only be paying P200 a month in interest. P200! Even more, he is incentivized (by even lower interest rates) to flip some of his interest savings into our low cost savings, insurance, and investment products, which are as low as P550 a month.

With other loan companies, even the new digital lenders, they’re only offering the ability to borrow, and at usurious rates! As you can see with Bridge Access, the savings we provide is so significant that it enables our customer to escape the pressures of high interest (through low interest rates), of bad financial decisions (through forced savings), and some of life’s risk (through low cost insurance). This allows them to reach a higher level of financial security, which is one step closer to financial escape velocity. Remember, Bridge Access is not about digitizing lending. We are about giving the millions of emerging underbanked workers Access.

Here’s a recap: Bridge Access provides low-cost Financial Access to the Emerging Underbanked Workforce so that they can achieve Financial Escape Velocity. We are building a financial rocket ship. This covers what we do and how we do what we do.

Now let me tell you about WHY we’re doing this.