By mid-2020, the government is planning to convert the Overseas Filipino (OF) Bank into Philippine’s first digital lender to cater to the needs of 10 million Filipino working and living abroad.

“We’re working to transform it into a branchless digital bank, and we are in close coordination with the BSP [Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas]… Together with the BSP, we are crafting the rules [and regulations on digital banking] because there are no rules yet,” says Cecilia C. Borromeo, president, and chief executive of LandBank of the Philippines.

“Just exactly like those lenders online—there are a lot of them, right? Some lend to businesses, some lend to individuals, but they have a salary-deduction scheme. [OF Bank will be] similar to that, but we will not be only lending—we will also be providing other financial services like insurance, like helping them invest their money, etc.,” says Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III.

Other services which will be rendered by the OF Bank includes bills payment. Dominguez thinks that shifting to digital is a lot helpful as it could mean a massive reach.

“The potential customers of the OF Bank—overseas Filipinos—are more than 10 million already. If you’re going to go to the traditional way of doing banking, of setting up a branch, getting permission from the different countries to set up a branch—it’s going to take you forever. It’s better to spend time on doing it digitally, and that’s easier to reach all your potential customers,” says Dominguez.

It is expected that once the OF Bank gets launched, it will “leap-frog every other banking institution in this country.”

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