OWWA enables closer family connections with Smart Money MasterCard

For most families of overseas Filipino workers, the process of receiving money from abroad has not changed much. Whenever a loved one sends you money from overseas, you need to go to a facility where you can collect the cash physically. You then have to line up and go through various steps prior to the transaction itself.

PayMaya Philippines (formerly Smart eMoney, Inc.) now offers families of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) a better way. Through a partnership with the government agency Overseas Workers Welfare Agency (OWWA), families can now accept remittances conveniently through the Smart Money MasterCard.

Smart Money MasterCard

With the Smart Money MasterCard, dependents of OFWs can receive cash remittances from family abroad straight to their Smart Money account. When the account is linked to a mobile phone, the easier it is to monitor remittances; dependents can even perform various financial transactions simply via SMS. They can purchase goods, or withdraw money straight from any ATM when used with the physical Smart Money MasterCard.

Lawrence Ferrer, Vice President of PayMaya Philippines, said the partnership helps the families of OFWs in very tangible ways.

“Getting to your nearest collection facility is not free. You have to pay for gasoline if you’re driving, or a fare – and sometimes, multiple fares if the trip is long – to get there. By saving beneficiaries the cost of this journey, we essentially enable OFWs to give more of their money – money that they’ve worked long and hard for, of course – to go straight to their loved ones,” he said.

Smart Money MasterCard
SMART MONEY MASTERCARD. (From left) Tisha Quinito, Manager, PayMaya Philippines; Josefino I. Torres, OWWA Deputy Administrator; Lawrence Ferrer, Vice President, PayMaya Philippines; and Emma Sinclair, OWWA Regional Welfare Office Director.

Helping OFWs

Emma Sinclair, OWWA Regional Welfare Office Director, said Smart Money could not have come at a better time.

“While Filipinos love the holiday season, it can still be a stressful time. The last thing we need are multiple trips to a collection facility to get remittance from your loved ones. We would like to acknowledge Smart Money and the role that they are taking to help our OFWs and their loved ones,” she said.

The families of OFWs are also excited. Rebecca Tubongbanua, who is 54 years old, has a processed food business with her husband Nestor Tubongbanua, a seaman of 35 years.

“Maganda ito dahil importante ang pinapadala sa amin, ginagamit namin sa business,” she said.

For families of OFWs like Rebecca, indeed, remittance is part of their family’s lifeline and being enabled with Smart Money can help them keep the ties even closer.

PayMaya Philippines is the pioneer and leader in mobile money and digital financial services, with over 15 years of experience innovating on products and services across market segments and catering to the financial transaction requirements of the banked and unbanked. Together with Voyager Innovations, PayMaya Philippines forms the digital innovations unit of PLDT and Smart Communications, Inc.

Business Tech

Smart Padala Pick-Up Anywhere makes remittances even more convenient

Smart Padala, the number one domestic remittance service in the Philippines, is giving Filipino consumers even more options than ever before for both sending and receiving money via Smart Padala Pick­-Up Anywhere.

The latest innovation from digital financial services leader Smart eMoney, Inc. now allows consumers to send remittances via Smart Padala to any mobile phone number, no matter the mobile telecom provider.

The sender just needs to fill out the transaction slip, including the recipient’s mobile phone number along with a nominal service fee and proof of identification, and hand it to the Smart Padala agent. After the money is sent, the recipient will receive a text notification with the reference number of the Smart Padala Pick­-Up Anywhere transaction.

Smart Padala Pick­Up Anywhere
CONVENIENT. With Smart Padala Pick­Up Anywhere, consumers can now send remittances via Smart Padala to any mobile phone number, no matter the mobile telecom provider.

Smart Padala Pick-Up Anywhere touch points

He can then present the reference number, along with a valid ID, to any Smart Padala agent. As an added security feature, the recipient will then be sent a one­time verification pin that will allow him to receive the money, a new innovation in the mobile money space.

Previously, recipients picked up their remittances from pre­selected Smart Padala centers. But now with Smart Padala Pick­-Up Anywhere, they can send or claim their remittance from any Smart Padala center in the Philippines.

Smart Padala already has over 15,000 agents and centers, more touch points than Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), bank branches and pawnshops in the country combined. This will provide Filipinos with an unprecedented level of convenience.

Now that anyone can send money to any mobile phone number and claim the remittance from any Smart Padala center, Smart Padala Pick­-Up Anywhere is extending financial inclusion to more Filipinos.

Immediate, convenient

“When you’re sending money to someone who needs it, you want to ensure that they can receive it immediately and conveniently. By enhancing our Smart Padala service with Pick­-Up Anywhere, we are enabling millions of more Filipinos to experience the benefits of financial technology when they need it the most, wherever they may be,” said Lawrence Ferrer, Vice President at Smart eMoney, Inc. (SMI).

Based on data from the first National Baseline Survey on Financial Inclusion released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas this year, it takes Filipinos an average of 22 minutes to reach the nearest financial services provider. In terms of cost, the average roundtrip fare to reach a financial access point is P43.

Ferrer said this hyperlocality that Smart Padala Pick­-Up Anywhere provides will ultimately benefit the Filipino consumer.

Improve standard of living

“While most people will look at Smart Padala Pick­-Up Anywhere as an added convenience, we look it as a tangible way to help improve the standard of living for millions of Filipinos. They no longer have to brave a commute, or even a long walk, to get the money that they need, when they need it. That’s the power of financial technology,” said Ferrer.

According to the survey from the BSP, 44% of Filipino adults had remittance transactions in the past six months and for those on the sending side, 91% sent to their families while 6% sent to their friends. On the other hand, for those who received remittances, 90% received from their families while 7% received from friends. Top line items for purposes of remittances received is for food (71%), education (39%), medical expenses (28%) and emergencies (22%).

Smart eMoney, Inc. is the digital financial services unit of PLDT and Smart Communications, Inc. A global pioneer in mobile banking, mobile money and mobile wallet services with over 15 years in the industry, Smart eMoney’s proprietary innovations span products and services across market segments, catering to the financial transaction requirements of the banked and unbanked. It recently launched PayMaya, a digital payments innovation for online transactions. (Press Release)

Events News

Smart brings mobile financial services to Bantayan Island

Bantayan Island, known for its crystal-clear waters and long stretch of powdery white sand, is considered one of the tropical attractions of the Philippines. It is accessible via a 2-hour land trip from Cebu City, plus a one-hour ferry ride from Hagnaya Port in northern Cebu.

The long trips to and from the island, however, have restricted the exploration of its beauty and other offerings. Island residents too, choose to stay within the confines of the territory, limiting their financial and social activities, and virtually isolating them from the Philippine mainland.

SMART MONEY. Bantayan Island residents can now avail themselves of mobile financial services with the opening of the first Smart Money Center in the island. (PHOTO BY SMART COMMUNICATIONS)
SMART MONEY. Bantayan Island residents can now avail themselves of mobile financial services with the opening of the first Smart Money Center in the island. (PHOTO BY SMART COMMUNICATIONS)