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June 10, 2007

Landbank foresees hitting US$ 500M remittance volume in ’07
The Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) foresees surpassing its US$ 480
million remittance and even hitting the US$ 500 million mark with the
launching pf its cash card, the latest product for Overseas Filipino
Workers (OFWs).

LBP president and chief operating officer Gilda Pico told reporters that
they are expecting higher OFW remittances in the next two quarters of the
year with the launching of the new product.

“We are targeting to achieve US$ 480 million (remittance volume) this
year. As of April, it already reached US$ 163 million and when you
annualize it we are on tract. So we are confident we can breach the US$
500 million mark with the help of our new product,” she said.

The cash card, which was launched late Thursday afternoon, is a remittance
and financial product that will be offered in coordination with Smart
Communications, Inc. (SMART). “Through this service, Landbank is
encouraging the use of mobile phone-based banking services among our OFWs
for their added convenience, even as we continue to help promote formal
financial institutions as main channels for OFW remittances,” Pico said.

She said OFWs will have easier way to send their remittances because the
new LBP product uses real-time operation. Under this system, an OFW just
need to send cellular phone text message containing the amount of the
remittance, purpose of the remittance or where it will be used, and his
account’s pin number to the Landbank system and it will automatically be
deducted in their account either in a Landbank branch in the country they
are situated or the bank’s subsidiaries.

Pico said they are still discussing the sharing of fee for the transfer
since this will depend where the OFW is staying although what she assured
is that the OFW will just pay the regular text service fee of about
P10-15. A confirmation message will be sent to the OFW telling him that
his remittance has been sent.

Recipients of the remittance can claim the money from any automated teller
machine (ATM) especially those that are servicing the Landbank card, which
is Expressnet, as well as all Smart offices that offers remittance
service. Relatively, LBP senior vice president Cecile Borromeo said OFWs
can easily avail of the product because of the bank’s subsidiaries’ in
many parts of the globe.

In the United States, LBP’s subsidiary is in Panorama, Los Angeles
although a new one open will be opened in San Franciso in July. Some of
the bank’s other subsidiaries are in Italy that caters to OFWs in Rome and
Milan; in Asia, namely in Taiwan that also services OFWs in Hongkong,
Singapore that also caters to OFWs in Malaysia, and in Japan; and the
Middle East that caters to OFWs in United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi

Borromeo added that the new cash card is not deposit-based, thus, it will
be cancelled even if it has zero balance. PNA

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