BPI ties up with Lulu Exchange
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - January 3, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) has tied up with one of the leading foreign exchange and remittance service providers in the Gulf region to reach more Filipinos living and working abroad.

Simon Paterno, executive vice president and segment head of Financial Products and Alternative Channels at BPI, said the Ayala-led bank has partnered with LuLu Exchange to expand its reach to more Filipinos overseas.

The partnership allows Filipinos abroad to transfer funds directly to a BPI or BPI Family Savings Bank account, making it easy for their families and loved ones in the Philippines to withdraw from BPI’s over 3,000 ATMs nationwide free of charge.

“Our priority is to ensure the convenience of OFWs in sending remittances wherever they are in the world, while giving beneficiaries a seamless and secure way of receiving money,” Paterno said.

LuLu Exchange managing director Adeeb Ahamed said their partnership with BPI would make it easier for OFWs to send money home.

“We are excited to tie up with BPI to enhance our services offering to the Philippines. We have always committed to reach out to our customers by offering quality services and experience with the best technology,” he said.

The partnership would benefit families of OFWs stationed in UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Seychelles, where LuLu Exchange branches are located.

Launched nine years ago in Abu Dhabi, LuLu Exchange is one of the Gulf region’s largest financial services companies, with more than 170 branches in nine countries, expanding across the Asia Pacific region along with plans to enter the European market.

The Middle East hosts the majority of OFWs all over the world, with about one in seven Filipinos in the UAE. About 6.4 percent of OFWs are in Kuwait and 6.2 percent in Qatar, with the rest working in various neighboring countries. Last year, there was a 12.7-percent jump in cash remittances from the region, driven by transfers from Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE.

Beneficiaries can expect to receive the remittance within 24 hours after the transfer from LuLu Exchange has been made. Aside from sending the remittance straight to a BPI account, other available payout modes are over-the-counter cash pick-up at BPI or BPI Family Savings Bank branches and door-to-door delivery.

Latest data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed higher remittances in the first 10 months of last year. Personal remittances that include cash and non-cash items that flow through both formal or via electronic wire and informal channels such as money or goods carried across borders went up 5.2 percent to $25.72 billion from January to October last year versus the year-ago level of $24.43 billion.

On the other hand, cash remittances coursed through banks rose 4.2 percent to $23.06 billion from $22.12 billion.  

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