OVERSEAS FILIPINO Bank (OFBank) has launched its new, fully digital system on Monday, which aims to expand its reach to Filipinos around the world through online banking.

OFBank said in a statement on Monday that it is the first branchless digital Philippine government bank that can offer banking services to Filipinos “anytime and anywhere across the globe.”

The lender, a fully owned subsidiary of Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK), said it uses a digital onboarding system with artificial intelligence or what it refers to as DOBSAI in processing new account applications through its mobile banking application.

“Despite the global health crisis besetting the country today, our government remains true to its commitment of upholding the welfare of all Filipinos abroad and their families. The launch of OFBank today as a digital-only, first branchless Philippine bank is a testament to this,” LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo, who also chairs OFBank, was quoted as saying.

OFBank said overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their beneficiaries can apply to open an account and submit all requirements online through the mobile application.

“As the OFBank becomes fully digital, we aim to better serve the banking and financing requirements of our kababayans abroad, as well as their families here in our country. Rest assured that OFBank will continuously work on providing safe, reliable and secure digital banking,” OFBank President and CEO Leila C. Martin said.

The bank said opening an account online is “safe and secure,” noting the application has “advanced encryption and security technology that protects sensitive information.”

To open a new account, applicants will have to take a picture of themselves and OFBank will compare it with the valid ID submitted for verification.

OFBank offers three types of accounts: the OFBank Visa debit card both for Filipinos abroad and OFWs; the OFBank Visa debit card for beneficiaries; and the OFBank debit card for beneficiaries who are under 18 years old.

It said these accounts are “interest-bearing peso savings accounts” which need to have at least P500 in daily balance to earn interest.

The accounts do not require maintaining minimum initial deposit and monthly average daily balance and do not have a dormancy fee, the bank said.

OFBank added that holders of the OFBank Visa debit card can access real-time fund transfer services through Visa Direct.

“The reintroduction of OFBank as a digital-only, branchless Philippine bank is extremely timely when Filipinos are becoming more digital, and our research also shows that close to 80% of Filipinos are interested to use services from a digi-bank,” said Dan Wolbert, Visa country manager for the Philippines and Guam.

Meanwhile, all OFBank account holders can transfer funds to other OFBank and LANDBANK accounts through the mobile application without any charges.

However, it said interbank transfers will be charged a P25 service fee for transactions via InstaPay and P15.00 for PESONet. — B.M. Laforga