Bixie, a financial empowerment app for women, partnered with FirstShoshin Holdings Corp. (FSHC) for the development of its upcoming features — slated for launch in the third quarter of 2022.
FSHC, a technology investment firm, will help Bixie in its plans to offer a payment wallet and a financial products marketplace on its platform through the former’s APIs (or application programming interface, which allows applications to talk to each other) and blockchain technology, said Rosalia Gitau, co-founder and CEO at Bixie. The app will likewise leverage FSHC’s Operators of Payment Systems license from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
The collaboration provides Bixie the ability to scale its offerings to become a central access point for its users.
“Bixie’s UVP [unique value proposition] is that we are able to trigger women to start their investment journey by uniquely designing an investment journey tailored to how women interact with money,” Ms. Gitau told BusinessWorld in an e-mail.
The current tools available within the Bixie app are: a gamified learning experience on investments, savings, and budgeting; personalized calculations of one’s FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) number; and a goal setting function.
Proponents of FIRE, a retirement movement, save up to 70% of their annual income with the aim of retiring early and living off small withdrawals from their savings.
Ms. Gitau said that the app also has partnerships with humanitarian organizations that help realize its financial inclusion mission. One is with the international non-profit Catholic Relief Services, which Bixie and Unionbank are partnering with on April 19 to provide capital and investments to Filipina-owned businesses.
According to the World Bank Group’s 2017 Global Findex report, more than 1 billion women still do not use or have access to the financial system.
Bixie’s user base grew to 5,000 within two months after its market launch on November 2021, Ms. Gitau said in a subsequent WhatsApp call. It has a wider community of about 12,000 members that attend both offline and online meetups.
While the vast majority of its users are Filipinas, Bixie is a global company that has plans to expand across Asia and Africa, she added.
The FSSI-Bixie partnership came about through a mutual contact, Ms. Gitau told BusinessWorld. “There was a lot of alignment in our vision…They’re strong on the technical side; we’re strong on creating a community of women interested in finance.”
In a press statement, FSHC co-chairperson Sally Ponce-Enrile said the company was “thrilled” to partner with Bixie and further its mission of providing better finance management for Filipino women.
“[We] share the vision of banking the unbanked majority. With our digital payment capabilities, we are humbled to scale Bixie’s comprehensive app and be a part of their movement to provide better ways for women to manage their money,” Ms. Ponce-Enrile said. — Patricia Mirasol