Category : Press Release
Date : November 11, 2020
Agency : Department of Finance
Title : PHL first digital-only OFBank opens 12,000 accounts in 1st 100 days
Article : A total of 12,542 new deposit accounts were opened with P173.8 million transacted online in the first 100 days of the Philippines’ first digital-only and branchless Overseas Filipino Bank (OFBank).

In her report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, OFBank president-CEO Leila Martin said these online accounts were opened by depositors based in 55 countries and territories.

These new depositors include overseas Filipinos based in Rwanda, Malta, Belarus, The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

OFBank accounts were also opened in the top 10 countries and territories for deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

These are the OFW-depositors in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Singapore, Hong Kong, Qatar, Kuwait, Taiwan, Italy, Bahrain and Malaysia, Martin said.

In its first 100 days of operation from July 29 to October 7, the OFBank reported electronic cash inflows of P108.77 million and OFW remittances of P65 million coursed through the bank, for total inflows of P173.77 million, Martin said.

Total outflows such as withdrawals done via automated teller machines (ATMs) and electronic banking amounted to P121.79 million, leaving the bank with an outstanding balance of P51.98 million as of October 7, she said.

Dominguez said the establishment of the digital-only OFBank fulfills President Duterte’s 2016 campaign pledge to create a bank catering exclusively to the needs of overseas Filipinos.

Dominguez had envisioned the bank to be a digital-only, branch-less financial institution to rapidly expand its reach worldwide and serve as a vehicle that would let the Philippines leapfrog to the digital economy.

Martin said that since the bank was launched last June 29, it has so far conducted 44 webinars to drum up interest about its services and educate overseas Filipinos about the importance of saving and investing to improve their financial literacy.

These webinars, which also taught overseas Filipinos how they can easily open their bank accounts online, were conducted in coordination with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK)’s Overseas Remittance Group and the Philippine embassies and consulates across the globe, Martin said.

Martin said the webinars also became a venue for the rollout of OFBank’s promotional campaign, in which participants were each provided with a P100-credit in their accounts opened during the online sessions–to demonstrate to them the convenience of doing inbound and outbound fund transfers via electronic means.

This campaign was done in partnership with financial services firm VISA.

“We also harnessed the power of social media in engaging customers and in encouraging overseas Filipinos to open accounts with OFBank via our mobile banking app,” Martin said.

The OFBank Mobile Banking app is available on both IOS and Android devices, which received high feedback ratings.

Martin said that as part of the mobile app’s value added services, it also includes a link to the LANDBANK’s website for its Bahay Para sa Bagong Bayani Housing Loan Program and the OFW Re-Integration Loan Program.

The app also includes a Premyo Savings Bond Facility, which allows investors to purchase these retail bonds in five minutes or less.

“This would be available in time for the launch of the second tranche of the Premyo Savings Bonds scheduled in November,” Martin said.

An eMulti-Purpose Loan facility will also be made available in the app once the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA) signs a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the OFBank regarding the loan parameters of the program, she added.

As a digital-only facility, the OFBank–a fully-owned subsidiary of LANDBANK–now utilizes the Digital Onboarding System with Artificial Intelligence (DOBSAI) to facilitate real-time account opening via the OFBank Mobile Banking app.

The new digital account opening platform allows Filipinos abroad and their beneficiaries to securely and conveniently submit all requirements online.

Opening an account using DOBSAI via the OFBank Mobile Banking App is safe and secure.

The applicant only needs to take a “selfie” and the system will compare this photo with the photo in the valid identification (ID) card uploaded by the client.

Also, this app has advanced encryption and security technology that protects sensitive information belonging to OFBank depositors.