OFBank will facilitate overseas Filipinos (OFs), overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their beneficiaries to securely conduct banking transactions

Philippines OFBank

OFBank head office in Liwasang Bonifacio, Manila. (Credit: Wikipedia.org/Sweeden Velado of Peoples Television Network.)

The Philippines Government has partnered with Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) to launch the Overseas Filipino Bank (OFBank), the first branchless, digital-only bank in the country.

As the first branchless bank, OFBank will allow its clients to conduct banking transactions anytime and anywhere across the globe.

OFBank will function as a subsidiary of LandBank and as a digital-only bank, it will use Digital Onboarding System with Artificial Intelligence (DOBSAI) to facilitate real-time account opening via the bank’s mobile app.

With the new banking platform, overseas Filipinos (OFs), overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their beneficiaries can securely and conveniently submit all the requirements online.

Due to physical distancing to fight the global pandemic Covid-19, the bank was launched virtually.

OFBank chair and LandBank president and CEO Cecilia Borromeo said “Despite the global health crisis besetting the country today, our government remains true to its commitment of upholding the welfare of all Filipinos abroad and their families. The launch of OFBank today as a digital-only, first branchless Philippine bank is a testament to this.”

The new bank offers three types of accounts

OFBank offers three types of accounts including the Visa Debit Card for OFs and OFWs, the Visa Debit Card for beneficiaries, and Debit Card for beneficiaries below 18 years old.

The bank further claims that all the three accounts are interest-bearing peso savings accounts and contain no minimum initial deposit  monthly average daily balance (ADB) and dormancy fee.

To earn interest, the account-holder needs to maintain a daily balance of PHP500 ($10).

With the OFBank Visa Debit Card, cardholders, especially the beneficiaries of OFs and OFWs, to receive, secure and convenient real-time fund transfers through Visa Direct, a real time payment solution through the 16-digit card number.

Visa the Philippines country manager Guam Dan Wolbert said: “We’re extremely pleased to join our valued partner, OFBank in this launch to support OFWs, OFs and their beneficiaries.

“The reintroduction of OFBank as a digital-only, branchless Philippine bank is extremely timely when Filipinos are becoming more digital, and our research also shows that close to 80% of Filipinos are interested to use services from a digi-bank.

“We are glad to show our support to this community by enabling beneficiaries of OFWs and OFs to receive money in real-time by seamlessly and securely using the 16-digit OFBank Visa debit card, which they can also use to make face-to-face and online payments wherever Visa is accepted.”

For opening an account through OFBank mobile app, a user only needs to take a ‘selfie’. The DOBSAI will compare the ‘selfie’ with the picture in a valid identification (ID) card uploaded by the person.

The app is also claimed to have put in advanced encryption and security technology to protect sensitive information.