And just like that, we’re at the end of 2018.
At Access, this time of the year is when we take a step back to reflect on all that transpired.
The platform grew leaps and bounds with the release of features such as discounted shopping (making your transactions more affordable!), multiple payment options, points and prizes, and Bridge credits among many others.
The app also gained thousands of new customers and will end the year with over 10,000 users and over a hundred thousand users waiting to be onboarded!
Amazing partnerships were formed with wallets, banks and other payroll platforms which greatly improved overall user experience by enabling a more seamless transaction on the platform.
Providing More Access
Nothing though, was more meaningful and rewarding as getting to work one on one with our users, hearing their feedback on what they needed, and being able to build this on the platform.
We heard stories like the one of Jun wherein he was able to pay for his sons hospital bill because of a loan on Access. We heard a story from Grace on being able to refinance her existing loan and is now paying 4% less per month, as well as countless other stories wherein individuals were able to tackle accidents and emergencies because of the funding they received.
We were definitely elated that people now had access to more affordable resources but realized that unless we came up with a plan to steer people in the right direction, we wouldn’t be able to affect real change in their lives. We found out that no matter what salary bracket you were in, many Filipino’s were still living day to day, pay check to pay check, without any real fall back if an illness or unexpected expense were to occur.
More for Savings
Now that the holidays are fast approaching, it would be easy to assume that people would put their 13th month and other company gifts and bonuses aside for savings. We found that even with extra influx of cash, 64% of employees still use their Christmas bonus on shopping and gifts, not setting anything aside (survey conducted by Job Street). The Philippines also has one of the lowest savings rates in Southeast Asia. According to a Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas survey in 2014, only 1 in 4 Filipino households have savings.
With this in mind, we set an audacious goal for ourselves. Access Level 1, for everyone. Through Access, we want every working Filipino to be protected and to have savings.
We then asked ourselves how would we even begin to accomplish this. The most obvious but often forgotten solution was to start with ourselves. We wanted to make sure that every Bridge employee would have Level 1 Access by year end.
Access for Bridge
Instead of the traditional ham and cheese, shopping voucher or cash, Bridge gave each employee a 2 part gift. First was protection. Each employee received Php 15,000 emergency accident coverage valid for a year. If they ever got into an accident, they wouldn’t need to pull from their savings or make another loan. Their lives would be a bit more protected and in turn, their dependents and families would be more protected as well.
Second was savings. If an employee opened up an investment account via Access, Bridge would fund the first Php 1,000 investment. The hardest part about saving is usually taking the initial step and forming a habit. Bridge is committed to its employees, to help them take that first step toward their savings goals.
Though unexpected and untraditional, this Bridge version of a Christmas gift hopes to have a lasting effect on each employee, their families and loved ones, beyond just 1 month of the year. We hope you too are inspired to help your employees and peers protect themselves and save for their future.