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What impact could better access to banks in The Philippines have on money transfer?

27 Aug 2020 - Category:
send money

More than 50% of the population of The Philippines is rural (Trading Economics) and, according to Business World just 29% of Filipinos had bank accounts as of 2019.

For much of the world a digital revolution is changing (or already has changed) the way we access, receive and, of course, send money.

However, for many developing countries, there are a number of stumbling blocks.

These include:

  1. Inaccessibility of the internet
  2. Affordability and administration of bank accounts
  3. Availability of the game-changing smartphone
  4. Fear and intimidation of banks

The banking situation in The Philippines

Business World has reported on the relationship between Filipino adults and banks:

  • Around 27% said they do not need one
  • 26% lack the documents required to open a bank account
  • 45% of unbanked Filipinos didn't have enough money to open an account
  • 51.2m of adults (of an adult population of 72m) still unbanked (2019)

What is financial inclusion?

“Access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs,” according to The World Bank. The World Bank goes on to say that people across the world in all kinds of locations should be able to rely on access to services, such as:

  • Transactions
  • Payments
  • Savings
  • Credit and insurance

These should be available to both businesses and individuals and should be delivered in a “responsible and sustainable” way, explained a spokesperson for the World Bank.

Access to these financial services make a huge impact on day-to-day living and also means long term planning and investment —in things like businesses and education — becomes more possible.

In short, it significantly improves the quality of people’s lives.

How are things changing for money transfer to The Philippines?

Small World partner, BDO, is striving for financial inclusion in The Philippines. The bank wants to support the people of The Philippines in accessing financial services easily. To do this, people must set up a bank accounts.

A bank account offers you and your beneficiary more options around money transfer, and means that your friend, loved one or family member might not need to travel to a bank or agent to pick up cash each time you send money to The Philippines.

As well as having access to online banking and other financial services, another advantage of opening a bank account is that your beneficiary can take the cash they need and leave the rest in the account. They can then access it easily from an ATM or pay bills directly from their bank account making it quicker and more efficient.

As well as the barriers mentioned above, the rural Filipino population is generally sceptical about banks. Traditionally, many feel intimidated by them, and are worried that they must dress in a certain way to visit them. BDO are trying to help break this mindset.

The main message here, is that if the banks in the cities and urban areas are difficult or intimidating for those living in rural locations, BDO brings the services of the bank to the people.

What should my beneficiary look out for?

As a Small Customer, if you want your beneficiary to open an account it is worth dispelling certain myths because it could be easier than they think. Every three months BDO representatives visit sub-agents in different areas of the country to engage with their customers who rely solely on cash pick-up as a way of receiving remittance.

  Since they already have their ID, they are offered the opportunity to set up a bank account with BDO by filling in a form there and then.

In addition to this, BDO have designed the BDO Kabayan Savings account specifically for people who receive money from overseas.

What makes BDO Kabayan Savings different? 

  1. Only one form of valid ID is needed to open a BDO Kabayan Savings account
  2. It requires a low initial deposit of just PHP100.00.
  3. If you receive at least one remittance every two years, there is a zero maintaining balance

The advantage of opening a bank account

If you are already a Small World customer, or if you are looking into ways to send money to The Philippines for the first time, talk to your beneficiary about opening a bank account.

This could be either with BDO or another Small World partner, but it will be the first step towards easing the money transfer process in rural locations.

Ways to send money to The Philippines:

  • Bank deposit
  • Cash pick-up
  • New cash card
  • Cash card reload
  • Home delivery

Our main partners in The Philippines are BDO, BPI, Filremit, Metrobank, PNB, LANDBANK, EastWest Send money to The Philippines

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