Branchless, digital bank for OFWs ready by June
With a major shift to digital transactions inevitable amid COVID-19-induced physical distancing restrictions, the government will soon launch a branchless bank catering to Filipinos abroad as well as a pilot issuance of electronic receipts.
“Land Bank of the Philippines has made good on its commitment to have the country’s first-ever digital-only, branchless bank up and running by the end of June this year,” Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said in a statement Friday, referring to the relaunch of the Overseas Filipino Bank (OFBank).
“We set up this OFBank a couple of years ago. We’ve had problems with the technology but I think with Cecile’s leadership, we are almost ready to launch,” Dominguez said, referring to Landbank president and chief executive Cecilia C. Borromeo.
“The OFBank, which will primarily benefit the country’s migrant workers, will use digital technology and smartphone apps to provide banking and other financial services,” Dominguez explained.
In January, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) gave its go-ahead for OFBank to use and implement a “digital onboarding system (DOBS) with artificial intelligence facilitating an electronic know-your-customer (KYC) process,” the Department of Finance (DOF) said.
The DOF quoted Borromeo as saying that “we are on our way to making OFBank a fully digital bank by end of June.
In 2017, Landbank acquired Philippine Postal Savings Bank (Postbank) and converted it to OFBank, a savings bank catering to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), a campaign promise of President Duterte.
“Overseas Filipinos with Postbank accounts who migrated to OFBank were issued EMV-enabled Visa debit cards they could use for automatic teller machine withdrawals, fund transfers, bills payments and online purchases, among others,” Borromeo said.
Meanwhile, Dominguez said the electronic receipt and invoicing, and electronic sales reporting system or e-invoicing under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act would be possibly launched by the third quarter of this year to provide better and faster services to taxpayers.
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