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Overseas Filipino Bank to go completely digital

The Overseas Filipino Bank (OFBank), a state-owned bank and a subsidiary of LandBank, will become the country’s first-ever digital-only, branchless government bank by 29 June.

According to a press release, the bank will serve overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and those who have returned home.

The virtual launch will also introduce OFBank’s new digital account opening platform, and improved website and Facebook page designed for overseas Filipinos worldwide and their beneficiaries in the Philippines, Landbank’s Corporate Affairs Specialist, Noelle Manansala, said.

Recently, Philippine’s central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, approved the OFBank’s petition to become a fully branchless, digital lender, capable of providing online lending, investments, insurance, bills payment, and other financial services to overseas Filipinos.

All OFWs who are registered with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) will be given a bank account with the OFBank.

Among the features and services to be introduced by the OFBank include its mobile payment technology that would allow OFWs who regularly remit money to the Philippines to do it through the platform, the release said.

To be able to do this, however, the government had sought regulatory approvals from countries with many OFWs in order for the OFBank to be allowed to operate overseas.

Similarly, the OFBank would offer loan programs to OFWs who are planning to return to the Philippines by helping them finance their business or build their homes.

In March, LandBank urged its clients to utilise its electronic and digital platforms to serve banking needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As OpenGov reported earlier, the government was promoting the use of the LANDBANK Visa Debit Card and LANDBANK Mastercard Credit Card to make cashless payments at merchants that accept online payments.

Likewise, the public is urged to utilise LANDBANK’s 2,196 ATMs and 159 cash deposit machines nationwide, including online and electronic channels to access secure and convenient banking services.

These channels include the LANDBANK Mobile Banking App, iAccess, WeAccess, Electronic Tax Payment System, and Phone Access, which offer a wide array of services such as the viewing of account balance, viewing of transaction history, and transferring of funds, among others.

LANDBANK is also one of the first banks in the country to adopt the national QR standard in its mobile banking app, which facilitates faster and seamless person-to-person (P2P) fund transfers with greater ease and convenience.

Through LANDBANK’s Link.BizPortal, clients can also pay for products and services via the internet from 700-enrolled private merchants and government institutions. This includes the payment of income tax returns (ITR) which are to be properly filed to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

Several LANDBANK branches in the NCR and Luzon, as well as in Visayas and Mindanao, will remain open and continue banking operations.

LANDBANK branches are now carrying out screening procedures for clients, which include temperature checks and provision of hand disinfectants before entry. Those with temperature readings of 38°C and above will not be allowed to enter the bank.

Social distancing is also promoted by limiting the number of customers on seating capacity inside the branch premises at any given time.

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