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Overseas Filipino Bank uses AI in virtual account opening platform

The state-owned Overseas Filipino Bank (OFBank) has announced that its digital-only facility incorporates an artificial intelligence-based system to facilitate real-time account opening.

The new virtual bank account opening platform allows overseas Filipinos, overseas Filipino workers, and their beneficiaries to submit all requirements online securely and conveniently, the OFBank President said during the Laging Handa public briefing.

According to a press release, currently, there are three types of accounts available in OFBank’s Digital Onboarding System with Artificial Intelligence (DOBSAI). These include:

  • The OFBank Visa Debit Card for overseas Filipinos and OFWs
  • The OFBank Visa Debit Card for beneficiaries
  • The OFBank Debit Card for beneficiaries below 18 years old

In a statement by the Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) earlier, the three types of accounts being offered by OFBank are interest-bearing peso savings accounts with no minimum initial deposit and monthly average daily balance, as well as dormancy fee.

To earn interest, however, the accounts need to have a daily balance of PH ₱500.00 (US $10), it said.

The OFBank official stated that on average, around 300 accounts are opened daily in the OFBank that came from several countries using their online platform.

She added that account holders can easily send money to their beneficiaries in the Philippines and pay bills online using the bank’s mobile app.

The OFBank is a campaign promise of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in 2016 as a means to not only recognise the contribution of overseas Filipinos to the Philippines’ economic growth but to also respond to their financial and remittance service needs.

In September 2017, the President signed an executive order approving the LandBank’s acquisition of the Philippine Postal Savings Bank and its conversion into the OFBank.

The OFBank also launched as a digital-only bank in late June this year. Along with this, it introduced an improved website and Facebook page designed for overseas Filipinos worldwide and their beneficiaries in the Philippines.

The country’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, bill payments, 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, as OpenGov reported.

For this service, the government sought regulatory approvals from countries with many OFWs.

Similarly, the bank is also offering loan programs to OFWs who are planning to return to the Philippines by helping them finance their business or build their homes.

To accelerate digital transformation amid the pandemic, the public has been 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 AppiAccess, 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.

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