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BankCom sees strong market potential for OFW remittances

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Bank of Commerce (BankCom), a subsidiary of conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC),expects a larger market potential for its “SIKAPPINOY Asenso” all-in-one remittance, saving, and investments platform for Filipinos in Japan.

BankCom cited in a statement Thursday the latest data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showing an increase in overall remittances from overseas Filipinos, including from Japan.

Remittances as of end-September improved 2.8 percent to $27.24 billion from $26.49 billion in the same period last year.

Japan ranked fourth among the largest source countries during the period, behind only the United States, Singapor, and Saudi Arabia.

BankCom president and chief executive Michelangelo Aguilar said the bank’s strong partnerships with established remittance service providers is key to the program’s success.

“We recognize the vital role that our SIKAPPINOY partners play in establishing our presence in key OFW communities such as in Japan. We will collaborate with them to meet the evolving needs of our OFW customers and their beneficiaries, and expand their access to banking services,” Aguilar said.

BankCom launched “Asenso” in Japan in August this year, in partnership with Speed Money Transfer Japan K.K. and has since catered to thousands of customers in just three months.

The program provides clients a way to send cash remittances to loved ones for pick-up at BankCom branches, or at any of its 16,000 agent partners nationwide.

Funds can also be remitted directly to customers’ other bank accounts, or to a number of e-wallet services that are available in the Philippines.

“Asenso”, which pertains to prosperity, progress, or advancement in Filipino, also provides OFWs and their families access to practical business investments–in particular, over 200 franchising options in the Philippines through BankCom’s partner, U-Franchise.

OFWs can reliably channel their hard-earned remittances towards building a franchise-type business for their beneficiaries through “Asenso.”

BankCom posted a record net income of P2.0 billion in the first nine months, outperforming its full-year 2022 profit of P1.8 billion by 12 percent.

It was also 35 percent higher than the P1.49-billion income in the same nine-month period last year.


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