UnionBank of the Philippines has built out a network it says will make it easier for people without access to financial services to receive money from abroad.
The bank – the country’s tenth largest by assets – announced on Tuesday it’s launching 11,000 cash-out remittance counters across the archipelago, including in rural or remote areas where citizens may not have access to banking services. The counters provide points of contact with the bank’s financial services ranging from smartphone app to full remittance hubs.
For the effort, UnionBank said it was extending an existing partnership with Coins.ph, a regulated Philippines-based company using a blockchain platform to provide remittances and other payments services, as well as a cryptocurrency exchange. Coins.ph also has relationship with Ripple and uses the XRP cryptocurrency as a payments rail enabling Filipinos to quickly send and receive funds.
Dragonpay and other local remittance firms, Cebuana Lhuillier, LBC, PeraHub and Palawan Express, are also providing services for UnionBank’s new counter network.
“With the onset of this pandemic, it has become crucial that our products and services quickly adapt to the challenges presented in this new digital normal,” UnionBank President and CEO Edwin Bautista said. “This cash-out service is just one way for UnionBank to demonstrate its commitment to financial inclusion as we continue venturing forth in tech-ing up the Philippines.”
Both Coins.ph and UnionBank are regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) – the Philippines’ central bank.