STATE-run lender Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) announced that it is tapping branches of UCPB Savings Bank (USB) nationwide to serve as “agent banking partners” (ABPs) in remote and underserved areas.
In a statement issued last Tuesday, LandBank said a total of 57 USB branches are set to be onboarded as Landbank ABPs by June, of which 20 USB branches are operating in communities without any LandBank branch.
The bank said this is part of their mandate to advance greater financial inclusion in the country.
“Through the agent banking program, LandBank is able to better serve its mandated sectors, particularly those in unbanked and underserved communities where financial services are scarce,” LandBank President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo was quoted in the statement as saying.
As LandBank ABPs, USB branches will offer card sale, cash-in, cash- out, fund transfer, and bills payment services, allowing customers to enjoy lower transaction costs, improved access to financial services, greater convenience and potentially lower travel expenses.
Beneficiaries of the National Government’s conditional cash transfer and unconditional cash transfer programs can also withdraw their cash grants through the Landbank ABPs.
Earlier this year President Rodrigo Roa Duterte issued Executive Order (EO) 170 on the “Adoption of Digital Payments for Government Disbursements and Collections.
The EO mandates all departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the government, including state universities and colleges and government-owned or -controlled corporations, and enjoins local government units to utilize digital channels in the disbursement and collection of payments.
As of end-March this year, LandBank has a total of 907 ABPs nationwide.
These include client cooperatives, associations, rural banks, local government units, small and medium enterprises, gasoline stations, and private entities.
In the first quarter of the year, a total of 1.3 million transactions amounting to P4.6 million were facilitated by LandBank ABPs.