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BPI Overseas Banking answers the needs of Pinoys abroad |

Lifestyle Business

BPI Overseas Banking answers the needs of Pinoys abroad


MANILA, Philippines - The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) has long been engaged in the remittance business and its special attention to the Overseas Filipinos led to the creation of a pioneering Overseas Segment that goes beyond remittances in 2005.

At the helm of BPI Overseas Banking and Channels Services Group is Teresita “Tessie” B. Tan, the woman behind such innovations as the Philippines’ sole Internet-based bank BPI Direct, which is targeted toward expat Pinoys.

Being a mother helped Tessie recognize the unique needs of the Overseas Filipinos and their beneficiaries. Through the BPInoy program, Filipinos can still exercise financial management even when they’re abroad — resulting in a more secure future for their families.

“We really aim to be their bank away from home. The BPInoy program is fitted for an OF. They can open a remittance account with zero account opening and zero maintaining balance. They can opt to get a credit card, which is extremely helpful overseas where credit is preferred to cash. Bills and tuition fees in the Philippines can even be paid through our Internet bank,” says Tessie.

With a background in operations research and a master’s degree from Stanford University, Tessie maximized alternative channels such as phone, mobile, and the Internet to raise the level of banking in this age of globalization.

She shares that “every transaction can be done through these very accessible technologies. The challenge, really, is teaching the Overseas Filipinos how to use what’s available to them.”

BPI has taken on this role as educator. All throughout the year, BPI sends teams around the Philippines and different parts of the globe to hold various teaching caravans for its clients. These teams introduce the various banking products and services that OF can take advantage of. BPI representatives also teach clients and their friends about mobile and Internet banking, and communication tools such as web chat.

In 2007, BPI, together with its fellow subsidiaries under the Ayala Group of Companies — Globe Telecom and Ayala Land — formed the One Ayala program. The objective was to provide Overseas Filipinos with the combined advantages and privileges from the three top companies.

“The One Ayala program was created in the spirit of uplifting the Overseas Filipinos. Through modern technology, there are no boundaries — we want to help them reach their aspirations for their families,” says Tessie.

BPI accomplishes this by making its various products such as auto loans, housing loans, investment options, and saving plans available to its OF clients — a form of empowerment to assist the Pinoy modern-day heroes in bringing their dreams to fruition.

The bank’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) bestowed upon BPI in 2008 the Hall of Fame Award as the Top Commercial Bank for Overseas Filipino Remittances for being the Top Remittance Bank for three consecutive years: 2005, 2006 and 2007.

BPI also honors outstanding Overseas Filipinos and OF children through their annual awards such as the BPInoy Award and the Search for 10 Outstanding Expat Pinoy Children.

“I believe that BPI’s Overseas Segment possesses a mother’s characteristic of nurture. Yes, it generates business for the bank, but the greater reason for the success of the BPInoy program is that it works to fulfill the specific and significant needs of the OF demographic,” says Tessie.

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