Whether matching credit card deals, applying for a personal loan or signing up for a travel insurance, GoBear offers a comprehensive and transparent comparison of various financial products, its officials said recently.
GoBear is a “metasearch engine in insurance and financial products.” It simplifies comparison between financial products such as a personal loan and allows people to easily decide which one to pick, said GoBear Philippines country director Rommel Torres during a press briefing in Cebu.
GoBear is a play on the phrase “go bare” to emphasize transparency in providing information about the products, said GoBear Philippines content and communications manager Kristine Esperacion. It launched in Cebu with a media briefing last August 11.
GoBear started in Singapore, where its headquarters is located, and is now in Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines. GoBear Hong Kong and Vietnam will launch later in the year, the company said.
“Many of the financial products in the Philippines are not online,” said Torres. GoBear helps customers by talking to the companies and bringing their products online where it can be matched with other offerings.
Torres also highlighted the transparency they bring to the decision-making process. In personal loans, for example, people are immediately shown the actual amount of interest and not just the percentage that they will be paying the lender.
Available financial products
What GoBear is providing is an “unbiased and personalized comparison process” in an easy to use platform, the company officials said. Torres said the listings are not influenced by their advertisers.
What are currently available in GoBear Philippines are credit cards, personal loans, and travel insurance. In looking for credit card options, for example, users are asked about spending habits and amounts and their choice of rewards, whether cashback or miles.
Home, car loans soon
Torres said they will offer home loans and car loans in September and health insurance by next year. While you can use the site even without signing up, Torres encouraged users to open accounts because they can have features like alerts whenever a financial product is set to expire. He said the system can offer a customer best options for car insurance, for example, when the policy is set to lapse.
Torres said they had a beta test of the products for 2 months and already, 220,000 people started using it. He said they are targeting 2 million users for the Philippines by the end of the year.
There were already people from Cebu using the site during the beta test, said Esperacion. This means “Cebuanos were already searching for the financial products we provide even before the launch.”
Max Limpag is a journalist, blogger, and developer based in Cebu. He started as a reporter covering City Hall in 1996. He has written on technology for various print and digital publications since 1999 and twice won the Philippine Blog Awards for technology and sports. He co-founded the new media start-up InnoPub Media.