THE Overseas Filipino Bank Inc. (OFBank) announced recently its online banking transactions from more than 80,000 accounts in 119 countries have reached P7.22 billion over the past two years.
The country’s first branchless digital-only bank, likewise, reported that it attained the required P1 billion minimum capitalization set by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for virtual banks last May 26—one year after it secured the very first digital banking license from the BSP on March 25, 2021.
In its Circular Letter 2022-044, the BSP said that the Monetary Board, in its Resolution 358 dated March 25, 2021, approved the application of the OF Bank to convert its banking license from a thrift bank to a digital bank. The BSP said the bank started its operations under a digital bank license on April 20, 2022.
OFBank President and CEO Leila C. Martin was quoted in a statement as saying that the products and services of the digital bank of state-run lender Land Bank of the Philippines Inc. “reflect the collective gratitude of the nation to our modern-day heroes who have significantly contributed to the country’s growth.”
“We are also paving the way to expand financial inclusivity for our kababayans here at home,” Martin added.
The bank’s mobile application allows for cashless payments and fund transfers from several locations and time zones. The bank said the app has been downloaded 148,000 times. This is expected to increase as mobility restrictions ease, according to the bank.
Apart from facilitating online transactions, the bank has also leveled the investment playing field, enabling Filipinos to grow their hard-earned money, it added.
IN 2021, new and long-time investors were able to access through the OFBank mobile app medium-term and long-term government investment products, such as the Bureau of the Treasury’s Retail Onshore Dollar Bonds (RDBs) and the 25th and 26th tranches of the Retail Treasury Bonds (RTB).
These low-risk, fixed-income investments allowed the bank’s members to invest as low as P5,000 for RTBs and $300 for the RDBs. They also offered attractive interest rates: RTB-25 with an annual interest rate of 2.375 percent (three-year maturity), RTB-26 with a gross interest rate of 4.625 percent per annum (5.5-year maturity), and RDBs with interest rates of 1.375 percent (five-year maturity) and 2.250 percent (10-year maturity).
OFBank said it was also able to raise a total of P8.275 million through RTB-25 from February 9 to March 4, 2021; P10.286 million, RDBs, from September 15 to October 1, 2021; and P17.485 million, RTB-26, from November 16 to 26, 2021. Sales generated from these investment instruments contributed to the government’s pandemic recovery and resiliency programs.
The bank said it also offers clients money management advice via online and offline financial literacy webinars. It has facilitated a total of 759 webinars and 99 face-to-face pre-departure orientation seminars (PDOS) in 2021, followed by 240 online seminars and 43 PDOS from January to April 2022.
“For the past two years, we have seen to it that digital banking financially empowers all Filipinos, especially those working overseas,” Martin said. “Serving them has made our anniversary even more meaningful. We will continue to innovate our products and services relevant to their needs towards building better lives.”