THE Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) has come a long way since it was founded in 1963 as part of a program of land reform in the Philippines to help with the purchase of agricultural estates for division and resale to small landholders, and the purchase of land by the agricultural lessee.
A universal bank owned by the Philippine government with a special focus on serving the needs of farmers and fishermen, it has grown to be the fourth-largest bank in the Philippines in terms of assets and is the largest government-owned bank. It is also one of the biggest government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCC) in the Philippines today.
Servicing rural-sector clients
UNLIKE most Philippine banks, LANDBANK has an extensive rural branch network servicing many rural sector clients in areas where banking is either limited to rural banks or is non-existent.
It is set to open up 10 branches and extension offices this year, ending 2017 with a total of 380 branches with a total of 1,784 ATM networks throughout the country. The company is also looking at installing 25 CDMs, a lobby-type machine that accepts card-based and card-less cash deposits. It will add to the current 87 CDMs of the bank.
Moreover, it targets to roll out more LANDBANK Inclusive Banking Center (LIBC) this year in key cities and municipalities to make government transactions efficient. In May this year, LANDBANK established the first LIBC at the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) main office in Quezon City, which helped in streamlining LTFRB processes.
“The LIBC is an interconnected and interoperable facility with a point-of-sale [POS] terminal linked to the agency’s cashiering system, cash deposit machine (CDM), ATM and pre-generated ATM cards for
client-payors without ATM card to pay via the POS,” the bank said.
LANDBANK leads the way in promoting ease of doing business in the country by simplifying cashless transactions through the electronic Payment Portal (ePP), an Internet-based payment channel designed to accept payment of fees, dues and charges from clients of enrolled merchants from both government and private institutions.
Convenience and efficiency
LAUNCHED in March 2015, LANDBANK’s ePP aims to provide convenience and efficiency to all involved institutions. “This is one of our major initiatives in support of the government’s thrust of making transactions faster, safer and more convenient for our highly diverse clienteles both from the public and private sectors,” LANDBANK’s Card and E-Banking Group Head FVP Randolph L. Montesa said.
LANDBANK Cash Management Solutions Department Head Ninna Richelle Veran said: “The ePP was conceptualized in 2014 and implemented in March 2015. We incorporated BancNet as a payment gateway about six months later. This was conceptualized by the bank’s Electronic Products Department that is in charge of our e-banking facilities. We then got merchants to enroll in the ePP. The advantage of the ePP is that, for example, in the case of utility companies with recurring payments every month, you don’t need an interactive web site where users have to remember the users’ names and passwords every time they log in. Subscribers will just log in to the ePP, choose the merchant and pay their bills each month. The ePP also has a lot more payment options; we have BancNet and our other nonbank partners.”
Compared to the traditional cash and over-the-counter payment processes, transactions entered through the ePP possess several distinct advantages. For clients, the LANDBANK ePP may be accessed using any computer or mobile device with an internet connection from 12:01 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, including holidays, subject to service periods and maintenance time. It can handle both large and small value payments, and also generates and issues online payment confirmation, which can be printed or sent through e-mail.
For merchants, the ePP is linked to their own Deposit account, offers real-time debiting of client’s account and batch crediting of the merchant’s account, real-time online viewing facility of payment transactions, can accommodate Check Digit Algorithm requirements of merchants, capable of enrolling merchants without a transactional website and interface with merchants with a transactional website (through Web Service), generation of reports in a standard format for balancing and reconciliation, and is available seven days a week, including holidays, except during system maintenance.
According to Veran, qualified partners using this system comprise over 180 merchants, including Government institutions, National Government Agencies (NGAs), Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs), Local Government Units (NGOs) and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs). For the private sector, there are private institutions, schools, colleges and universities, utilities and services companies, cooperatives, corporations and enterprises.
“Another distinct feature of the LANDBANK ePP is its capability to accommodate merchants with or without transactional websites. Merchants with transactional websites are those that have web-based systems that process the application, computation, and assessment of the different products and services they offer. On the other hand, merchants without transactional websites are those that do not have such web-based systems. As such, their clients’ ePayment transactions may be done directly in the LANDBANK ePP website,” Veran added.
LANDBANK employs the latest security technology and works regularly with BancNet where security protocols are always updated.
“For ePP, it’s secure because it’s only used for payments. Here at ePP, all you could do is pay a certain merchant and you could get traced when you enter your credentials. For its part, the ePP has no history of fraudulent transaction because it is easily traceable. It really is a convenient Payment Portal,” she concluded.
To put it simply, LANDBANK’s ePP simplifies the hassles of day-to-day transactions.
“This is one of our major initiatives in support of the government’s thrust of making transactions faster, safer and more convenient for our highly diverse clienteles both from the public and private sectors,” the bank said.