MANILA, Philippines—Thrift bank Sterling Bank of Asia, the banking arm of the Tiu family, plans to expand its nationwide footprint through 2014.
The bank has set aside P132 million to open 13 new branches next year, bringing its branch network to 51, Sterling Bank said in a statement.
“Sterling Bank is on expansion mode and our goal is to provide our customers with the best possible personal banking experience. We always look for ways to support the needs of the growing number of communities in which we operate,” Sterling Bank president Lamberto Villena said.
Two of the 13 new branches will be located at Bonifacio Global City, Taguig while other branches are slated to open in San Pablo and Calamba, Caloocan, San Fernando (Pampanga), San Fernando (La Union), Puerto Princesa, Lucena, Legaspi, Naga, Boracay and Zamboanga.
The new branches will have a different layout meant to provide its clients a better banking experience, the bank said.
“With our commitment to challenge the status quo, we continuously embark on innovating our services and make banking with Sterling Bank more personal. The new branch layout will make it easier for clients to transact comfortably,” Villena said.
Sterling Bank of Asia has likewise begun to migrate its automated teller machine cards to the more secure EMV-chip enabled cards, aiming to complete the process well ahead of the 2017 deadline set by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
The BSP’s directive was triggered by increasing reports of fraud traced to the use of magnetic stripe cards when transacting through automated teller machines.
EMV, or Europay Mastercard Visa, chip cards are said to offer better protection from fraud than magnetic stripe cards.
EMV chip cards require a unique authentication process and the data in the cards are more difficult to copy than those in magnetic stripe cards.
Sterling Bank said it was the first bank that issued Visa EMV-chip enabled ATM cards when it launched its ShopNPay Visa debit and prepaid cards in 2008.
Currently, 52 percent of its card base already have EMV chips for better security against ATM fraud.