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BDO taps small merchants to boost cash access points

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BDO Unibank, Inc. (BDO) said it plans to tap the country’s small merchants by allowing them to serve as dispensers of cash for BDO card holders within their communities under its Cash Agad program.

BDO said cardholders will have the ability to swipe their cards at sari-sari stores, pharmacies, rice markets and hardware stores to gain access to cash and receive remittances.

Cash Agad will also permit balance inquiries for free. The withdrawal fee is P15 per transaction.

Cash Agad is intended to relieve rural cardholders from the need to take long trips to bank branches, while also allocating some of the fees to its over 8,000 partner-merchants. It did not provide details on the fee-sharing arrangement.

BDO Head of Agency Banking Jaime M. Nasol said the bank will be launching other services through Cash Agad to address the basic needs of all bank clients and support small businesses.

“Yung deposit darating very soon hindi lang na-launch this year gawa ng pandemic. Within the first quarter next year meron nang deposit at bills payment (The deposit service should have been launched this year if the pandemic had not happened. It will be available within the first quarter next year),” he said.

With Cash Agad, BDO expects to serve 25 million card holders, which it considers underserved by only 25,000 ATMs nationwide.

“Many Filipinos are smart and hard-working; they dream of better livelihoods. But they are being held back because of their lack of access to cash and capital,” Mr. Nasol said. — Kathryn Kristina T. Atienza

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