TIO Networks Corp., (TSX-V: TNC) ("TIO"), North America's leading
expedited bill payment company, is expanding bill pay options for
America's growing Hispanic community through a new strategic alliance
with Progreso Financiero. Progreso is a provider of responsible
financial products for underserved Hispanics in the United States. TIO
will launch the first five bill-pay kiosks at Progreso Financiero
locations across California and Texas, with the intention to expand the
program and offer Progreso payments as an option at thousands of
TIO-powered third-party retail bill payment locations.
The self-serve kiosks will help Progreso customers make same-day bill and loan payments quickly, without having to wait in line to see a teller. Progreso will also benefit from improved automation in its payment collections process while reducing teller lines and saving operational staffing costs.
"More than 23 million Hispanics in America are considered unbanked or underbanked, meaning they don't have access to mainstream financial services that make bill paying easier," said Hamed Shahbazi, Chairman and CEO of TIO Networks. "The Progreso integration was completed in record time by using our new TIO Connect interface. It sets the stage for a partnership where TIO and Progreso can further leverage our respective strengths and innovations in financial services."
Progreso Financiero is a pioneer in helping underserved Hispanic families build credit and gain access to mainstream financial services. Since its launch in 2005, the company has extended $400 million in capital through more than 350,000 loans. Progreso's typical customer makes 16 to 30 small, in-person payments of equal amounts per loan, usually around the time of their paycheck. With the new self-service kiosks, customers will be able to make payments against their loans more conveniently with 24 hour access, seven days a week.
"Progreso is committed to meeting our customers' needs by offering responsible financial service products and a superior level of client service in a way that is sensitive to their culture and lifestyle," said Raul Vazquez, CEO of Progreso Financiero. "This partnership with TIO combines the high touch world of small dollar lending with the high tech world of automation to give our customers a greater degree of flexibility and choice when making their payments."
Approximately one in four people in the United States, an estimated 68 million people, are considered unbanked or underbanked. The ability to make emergency bill payments in cash is fundamental to this population. TIO currently powers more than 2000 self-serve bill pay kiosks across the United States, processing more than 250,000 payments a month and allowing customers the option to pay their bills by cash with same day processing.
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