State-run Land Bank of the Philippines said that almost four million unbanked registrants to the national ID system have become part of the formal banking system as of May this year.
Cecilia Borromeo, Land Bank president and chief executive officer said they already onboarded about 3.8 million applicants for transaction accounts, or 47 percent of the 8.05 million Filipinos who had already registered in the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys).
Of that total, about 1.1 million onboarded applicants have already received their Land Bank Agent Banking Cards (ABCs), which were provided free-of-charge and with no initial deposit requirement, Borromeo said.
Facilitating the opening of bank accounts for PhilSys registrants will help ensure the speedy and efficient delivery of future government assistance programs to unbanked beneficiaries, she added.
Land Bank earlier hired over 1,000 service contract workers (SCWs) and deployed them to various locations across the country to assist in the opening of transaction accounts for unbanked National ID registrants.
Borromeo said the SCWs act as frontliners by attending to various queries and requests relating to the opening of accounts and gathering and verification of client information.
She said the SCWs also help to ensure the strict observance of social distancing and health protocols during the registration process and opening of accounts.
Land Bank’s ABCs can be used by Philsys ID holders to withdraw cash at ATMs and point-of-sale (POS) cash-out terminals, shop online and perform cashless transactions, as well as receive any government subsidy digitally, Borromeo said.
The card is also contactless enabled, which means it can be used for “tap” payments, such as for the Automated Fare Collection System (AFCS) that the government plans to roll out for public utility vehicles (PUVs).
As for the bank’s other digital transformation initiatives, Borromeo reported that since November 2018, a total of 1.6 million accounts were opened through the bank’s Digital Onboarding System (DOBS), which includes accounts opened for clients of the Overseas Filipino Bank (OFBank),.
In May alone, accounts opened reached 67,889, or higher than the 59,961 accounts opened in the previous month, Borromeo said.
Borromeo also said there was a sustained increase in the number of transactions using the Land Bank Mobile Banking App from 26.01 million transactions last May 2020 to 38.85 million in May 2021.
The total amount of transactions via the app of P60.92 billion is 157 percent higher compared to the amount in the same period last year, she said.