OFBank is 1st branchless, digital-only bank in PH

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    The Overseas Filipino Bank (OFBank) has secured a digital banking license from the Monetary Board (MB) of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), making it the first branchless digital-only bank in the Philippines, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.

    The DOF said in a statement over the weekend the MB issued OFBank’s digital banking license last March 25.

    A wholly owned subsidiary of the Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank), OFBank was able to commence its banking operations in June last year using its then existing license to operate as a thrift bank.

    “This milestone in the country’s banking history not only fulfills President Duterte’s campaign pledge to create a bank that caters to overseas Filipinos, but will also help the Philippines leapfrog to the digital economy,” Carlos Dominguez, DOF secretary, said.

    “I commend the OFBank and the Landbank for their tireless efforts that have led to the bank’s transformation into the Philippines’ first branchless and digital-only banking institution,” he added.

    OFBank offers four digital products and services that include a Digital Onboarding System with Artificial Intelligence (DOBSAI), which allows the real-time opening of a mobile banking deposit account on supported iPhone or Android devices.

    As of December 2020, a total of 19,887 DOBSAI accounts in the OFBank have been opened with an outstanding balance of P104.37 million, the DOF said.

    Aside from deposit savings accounts, OFBank’s digital services also include fund transfers, bills payments and applications for multi-purpose loans.

    The volume of OFBank’s electronic banking inflows totalled 45,997 accounts as of December 2020 for transactions amounting to P467 million, with outflows from 62,633 accounts of P372.41 million, the DOF said.

    A total of 3,517 transactions amounting to P40.72 million were done by OFBank clients for the Premyo Bonds second offering and 380 transactions valued at P8.27 million were for the retail treasury bonds issuance that were all coursed through the bank’s mobile application.

    OFBank’s global digital reach spans 112 countries, with its clients able to access online the services of 763 merchants onboarded in its mobile application via the LinkBiz.Portal.

    These merchants include 124 utility and service companies, 186 educational institutions, 277 government agencies and local government units, 140 cooperatives/associations/foundations/corporations, 20 hospitals/healthcare/clinics, and 16 banks, credit card companies and insurance companies.

    The DOF said OFBank’s approved conversion to digital bank is the first phase of the three-stage licensing framework of the BSP on the establishment of new digital banks. – Angela Celis