With the rise of digital adoption, more financing companies in the Philippines are able to offer business loans to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through apps and websites. Thanks to technology, business owners have more SME loans to choose from – and they can easily compare interest rates, terms, and accessibility on the pages of these SME loan providers.
One of the financing companies in the Philippines that you may frequently see for SMEs is SeekCap. In this article, we give you a brief overview of SeekCap’s services, partners, reviews and offers.
What is SeekCap?
SeekCap is an online marketplace offering various loans for SMEs. It was created by UnionBank of the Philippines in 2019 to serve as a fully-digital lender. Unionbank Business Platform usually redirects SMEs looking for financing to SeekCap, promising fast financing for working capital, payroll, inventory, equipment, or expansion needs.
What are the lenders under SeekCap?
As of writing, SeekCap provides SME loans from the following financing companies in the Philippines:
- Zenith Capital
- Lazada (Lazada Seller Loan)
- RSFC, powered by Radiowealth Finance Company (RFC Loans)
- Esquire Financing Inc
- Bangko Kabayan (BK) Private Development Bank
- Right Choice Finance
- RAFI Microfinance
All of these lenders are in the list of SEC registered online lending companies 2021, except Bangko Kabayan (which is BSP-supervised as a bank), SeedIn and Investree (which has SEC crowdfunding licenses), RAFI Microfinance (registered as a microfinance NGO), and Lazada (which is partnered with Unionbank Business Banking).
Pro-tip: Whenever you deal with financing companies in the Philippines, check if they are registered on the list of SEC registered online lending companies. This means they are legitimate and under SEC jurisdiction in case you experience a violation of your consumer rights.
What are the business loans in SeekCap?
The SME loans in SeekCap are mostly term loans, which are SME loans disbursed in a lump sum of cash upfront. Most are non-collateral loans, but some also offer higher amounts in exchange for collateral.
SeekCap loan amounts start from ₱5,000 to ₱20 million, with interest rates starting at 2% per month. SeekCap also promises approvals as fast as 1 day, minimal requirements, and transparency on your loan application status – something that many financing companies in the Philippines cannot provide.
Each lender has a Union Bank online calculator on the website, which determines your monthly repayments. Take note, however, that the resulting amount excludes other charges and fees.
Here are the loans for SMEs in SeekCap from the lowest to highest interest rates. Do note that the final loan terms and interest rates may vary depending on your business finances and other factors. The lenders listed below may also have different offers on their own websites and platforms.
What are the SeekCap loan requirements?
Requirements vary per loan offer. Most require income tax returns, proof of sales or bank statements, and business registrations from BIR, SEC and/or DTI. In addition, some lenders also require documents that depend on your company ownership, such as Audited Financial Statements and General Information Sheet, and business operations of at least 1-3 years.
Financing companies in the Philippines generally require collateral for loan amounts higher than ₱2 million, and the lenders in SeekCap are no exception. Aside from collateral, some lenders also require a business continuity plan.
What are the advantages of SeekCap?
Tech-savvy business owners will find the SeekCap website very convenient to use. The Union Bank loan calculator under each loan offer also gives you a quick estimate of your monthly repayments, which changes depending on your loan amount and preferred repayment term.
With several lenders on the site such as Zenith Capital, Esquire Financing and RFC Loan, SMEs will also have an easier time comparing offers and finding a business loan that meets all of their needs. A loan for SMEs of any size is available – business owners can borrow as low as ₱5,000 to as much as ₱20 million.
The RFC loan and Unionbank Business Banking loans mention an approval process of as fast as 1 day, which may be important to SMEs needing urgent funding.
Lastly, after registration and application, SME applicants can view the status of their application from SeekCap’s website.
What are the disadvantages of SeekCap?
The biggest disadvantage is that SeekCap’s loan offers are not the most affordable. Their Lazada Seller Loan is at 2% monthly, but is only limited to Lazada sellers and ₱1,000,000 in loan amount. The rest of SeekCap’s SME loans start at 3% interest rate per month. In comparison, other financing companies such as First Circle can offer loan interest rates of as low as 1.39% per month.
SeekCap reviews on their social media pages are mostly favorable, but negative SeekCap reviews complain about long disbursement processes, slow responses to customers, and SeekCap not having a dedicated customer hotline or dedicated financing agent to attend to client needs. A lot of SeekCap reviews and comments on their Facebook are from disgruntled customers waiting weeks or months without getting their approved funding. Others complain about the poor customer service.
At the moment, SeekCap fields inquiries and requests solely via email and their Facebook page. If customer service is an important factor for you, other financing companies in the Philippines such as First Circle provide dedicated account managers to ensure a smoother, faster application process.
SeekCap’s loan offers also mention that the monthly amortization shown in the loan calculator excludes fees and charges, which means that you may have to pay more than you expected for your loan. Some of the loan offers require collateral, which puts more risk on borrowers as you can lose your property if you miss loan payments.
Approval times vary depending on the lender you choose in the SeekCap site. The RFC loan and Unionbank Business Banking loans have the fastest approval at 1 day, but the rest of the loan offers can take as long as 10 days for approval.
Like other financing companies in the Philippines, the loan requirements under each lender is not as simple as what is listed on SeekCap. Some lenders, such as Investree, have over 15 documentary requirements which they request after your initial application.
Some loan offers such as Right Choice Finance and RAFI Mauswagon Plus Loan are limited to borrowers in certain locations. You’ll have to open each loan offer on the website one by one to confirm.
Lastly, SeekCap’s short questionnaire on their homepage is of little help, as it does not automatically recommend the best SME loan for your needs. You’ll still have to open each loan offer one by one even after typing in your needed amount, monthly income, loan purpose, and business location.
SeekCap Review & Summary
SeekCap, the digital lending marketplace of UnionBank business banking, is a convenient alternative to more traditional lenders. It shows you multiple loan offers from several financing companies in the Philippines. It also gives you a rough estimate of your monthly repayment should you decide to proceed with a loan.
In terms of affordability and customer service, however, SeekCap is not the best option. Most of their loans start at 3% interest rate per month, with the exception of their Lazada Seller Loan at 2% per month. Their approval process of 1 day should also be taken with a grain of salt: while it is true for some loans on the website, the final approval process can take up to 10 days for selected lenders. SeekCap users have also complained on their Facebook page that the actual loan disbursement takes weeks or even months. SeekCap has no customer hotline and only receives inquiries and messages via email or Facebook, so it’s difficult to follow up.
An alternative option that is also on the list of SEC registered online lending companies in the Philippines is First Circle, a financial technology company empowering SMEs since 2016. First Circle’s Revolving Credit Line offers up to ₱10 million for as low as 1.39% interest rate monthly. Aside from being non-collateral, First Circle also distinguishes itself by providing a dedicated account manager and completing disbursements for approved business loans in as fast as 2-5 business days.