BDO, Smart bring mobile banking to new heights
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Source: The Philippine Star By Ted P. Torres
MANILA, Philippines - BDO Unibank Inc. has been making banking more convenient for the public with the use of mobile phone technology.
With the mobile phone and a Smart prepaid card, BDO customers can practically do bank transactions anywhere, anytime.
With the help of leading telecommunications provider Smart Communications Inc. (Smart), BDO introduced the Smart Money prepaid card that also serves as an automated teller machine (ATM), and a debit card.
It has become so popular that BDO has already issued over 400,000 Smart Money cards.
BDO senior vice president and cash management services head Jaime M. Nasol explained that mobile phone banking makes it convenient for anyone to transact with the bank or make cash transactions without having to actually go to a bank branch.
“Our customers can have access to the bank, without having to physically go to the bank,” Nasol said.
Through the mobile phone alone, an enrolled bank client can either check ones savings or checking account with BDO, make money transfer, buy airtime, or more popularly called load (pasaload), for the Smart, Talk ‘N Text, Globe and Touch Mobile cellular phones, and reload Smart Money cards.
Money transfer transactions are among the more popular especially for beneficiaries of overseas Filipinos, or even money transfers domestically. There are students studying in Manila but receiving money from parents based outside of Metro Manila. Or there are cases when one gets his payroll through the mobile phone into their Smart Money pre-paid cards.
Nasol explained that mobile banking with BDO could be translated to immeasurable savings for the user aside from the obvious convenience.
An enrolled mobile phone users can make a balance inquiry for free with BDO via the mobile phone versus having to go to an ATM and pay between P2 to P11 per transaction.
And with a Smart Money card, a beneficiary in far-flung areas need not go all the way to a town center to visit a BDO branch to make cash withdrawal. The sender can just load the cash through the mobile phone to the Smart Money pre-paid card.
With the “load” pre-paid card, the holder has a number of options on how to redeem the cash, or use the card for purchases.
Smart operates over a hundred Smart Centers, over 5,000 money-in, money-out (MIMO) outlets, over 740 BDO branches, 1,500 BDO ATMs, or 8,000 ATMs of all providers, 38 financial institutions (cooperatives and rural banks) that use the point-of-sale (POS) cordless terminals.
Smart’s MIMO are also outlets, which generally sells airtime or load, although some are even thrift and rural banks, cooperatives, money changers, pawnshops, sari-sari stores, and the like.
Smart Communications department head for financial services Tricia V. Dizon revealed that China Banking Corp. and the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) have also joined the mobile banking bandwagon.
“In fact, we have 10 million virtual accounts using smart money, while some are carded as in the case of BDO’s Smart Money pre-paid card,” Dizon explained.
She explained that they have already created a nationwide ecosystem that can support mobile banking, in various degrees, scale and complexity of applications.
“We are in a state where we can do it virtually,” the Smart executive said.