The Overseas Filipino Bank (OFBank) is giving Filipinos and their families, here and abroad, a simple and more convenient way to get into investing through its mobile banking app. In 2020, the country’s first branchless digital-only bank started offering the Bureau of the Treasury’s (BTr) Premyo Bonds2, Retail Treasury Bonds (RTBs) and Retail Dollar Bonds (RDBs), in line with the bigger goal to advance financial inclusion in the country.
Through the OFBank Mobile App, retail investors could invest anywhere and anytime in medium to long-term government investment products for as low as PHP5,000 for RTBs and PHP15,000 for RDBs. “The OFBank Mobile App does not only expand access to investments for OFWs and their beneficiaries, but also opens the path to achieving their best possible financial future. This allows OFWs to start investing their hard-earned money in bonds, complementing their savings, insurance, real estate assets, and income from small businesses,” OFBank President & CEO Leila Martin said.
OFBank checks a lot of boxes in simplifying the entire investment process to encourage people to put their money to work—from removing brokers and traders from the equation to minimizing hard copy application documents; from making face-to-face interactions in physical branches unnecessary to shortening each purchasing step. Easily downloadable from Google Play and the Apple App Store, the OFBank app makes the promise of investing in just ‘a few clicks’ on a mobile phone a reality.
“OFBank is the very first bank in the country to receive a digital banking license. And we want to continue being the first to reach Filipinos wherever they are, as we are now present in 123 countries. OFBank is here to support every step of their journey to financial stability – from the first time they open a digital bank account, to when they look for opportunities to grow their hard-earned money, and until they reap the benefits of those investments,” Martin highlighted.
These bonds allow OFWs and their beneficiaries a fixed-income opportunity. With attractive interest rates, their investments can earn more than traditional regular deposit accounts and treasury bills. For Retail Dollar Bonds, OFWs and their beneficiaries also welcomed the option to purchase dollar bonds using their existing OFBank peso accounts.
Bonds are also relatively risk-free options as they are offered by the government. Martin also proudly shared, “Knowing that the government use sales generated from these investment instruments to fund the country’s major development projects and pandemic recovery and resiliency programs motivated many of our OFWs and their beneficiaries to participate.” Aside from the Philippines, topping the list of OFW markets which participated in the last bond offering were United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and Singapore.
On top of these government securities, OFBank will soon offer more investment tools for retail investors, including the Unit Investment Trust Fund (UITF), through its mother bank, the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK). UITF is an open-ended pooled trust fund that is invested collectively in a diversified portfolio, offering investors an affordable investment opportunity with a simple, more convenient, and less time-consuming method of starting a diversified portfolio.