Overseas Filipino Bank To Go Completely Digital By 2020
The Overseas Filipino Bank (OFBank), a state-owned bank and a subsidiary of Land Bank of the Philippines, is planning to become a fully branchless, digital lender by mid-2020. It’s currently pending and is waiting for the approval of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). The main purpose of the bank is to provide online lending, investments, insurance, bills payment, and other financial services to overseas Filipinos.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III cited that taking this type of financial service will make it more accessible to OFWs, compared to setting up branches overseas which isn’t feasible due to the bureaucracy that the government has to go through to do such feat. Domingues also added that since the OFBank will be targeted at more than 10 million Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), turning the OFBank into a digital bank just makes more sense.
Land Bank President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo forecasted that the digital bank will be up running by June 2020. She also added that the IT system of Landbank will be tweaked to serve as the primary platform of OFBank’s digital banking infrastructure.
All OFWs who are registered with the Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) and Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) will be given a bank account with the OFBank once it’s fully established.
Mobile payment technology is also among the features that the OFBank will be introducing, allowing OFWs who regularly remit money to the Philippines to do it through the platform. Loan programs will also be offered to OFWs who are planning to return to the Philippines, to help them start a business or build their homes.
The government will be seeking regulatory approvals in countries with many OFWs for it to be allowed to operate.