Corporate News

AmEx opens contact center in Philippines

Posted on March 07, 2016

AMERICAN Express (AmEx) Co. is the latest multinational company to open a contact center in the Philippines, a sign of continued confidence in the country’s business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.

A SIGN showing the American Express logo is seen on Nov. 11, 2008 in Des Plaines, Illinois. -- AFP
The financial services giant on Friday inaugurated its first contact center in the Philippines, saying it plans to triple its work force here within 18 months.

“Just this week we have our 400th employee already, and we’ve been fully operational, we’re taking phone calls, and we’ve seen really encouraging results as the center’s really competitive,” Raymond Joabar, executive vice-president of the recently merged American Express World Service and Global Credit Administration (GCA), told a media briefing on Friday at the Bonifacio One Technology Tower in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

“We’re on our way up to tripling that... probably within the next 12 to 18 months. We will continue to invest to make sure that we are attracting and developing great talent,” he added.

The BGC facility, which can accommodate 1,300 seats that can be used in two shifts, provides US-based clients with services related to credit and fraud.

Mr. Joabar said the company was attracted to the Philippines due to the local culture, Filipinos’ language proficiency, and the growth of the local BPO industry.

“The commitment to helping customers is second to none here. It really fits well with our brand,” he said.

American Express said it is “very selective” in hiring employees to maintain its low attrition rate, which it claims to be “lower than industry average.”

The BPO sector has been a major component of the Philippine economy, with BPO revenues seen growing at a faster rate than overseas Filipino workers’ remittances. The outsourcing industry is targeting to grow its revenues to $25 billion and its work force to 1.3 million this year.

American Express has been present in the Philippines for 100 years, and currently operates here through a partnership with BDO Unibank, Inc. The group has a total assets of $159 billion and 112.2 million cards in force, according to its Web site. -- Daphne J. Magturo