Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), the first and one of the biggest banks in the Philippines, and Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac), Australia’s first bank, recently entered into a strategic partnership to facilitate low cost and fast transfer of funds from Filipinos living in Australia to their families in the Philippines.
The recently launched payment service called LitePay International (LitePay) sends money from a Westpac account online directly to a BPI account within hours.
The BPI account comes with a debit card so the beneficiary can access the account anytime, anywhere through over 2,000 BPI ATMs nationwide, free of charge.
LitePay runs on a secure platform that uses strict internal control systems and intrusion safeguards to ensure funds are protected during the course of the cross-border transaction. LitePay payments are direct transactions between two identified parties with no aggregation and provide individual Westpac customers with a transparent, low cost and fast efficient solution to send money to the Philippines through the Westpac Online and Westpac Mobile Banking portals.
This service innovation is the first of its kind from Australia into the Philippines, offering a more affordable way to make cross-border payments. LitePay is expected to support Filipinos working in Australia who make high hundreds of thousands of transfers to family back home each year.
Westpac charges a small fee (currently AUD5.00 per payment). There is a limit of AUD3,000 per customer per day and the funds can be distributed beyond BPI to any bank in the Philippines.
“The partnership with Westpac allows Filipinos in Australia to conveniently send money to the Philippines anytime anywhere.” says Marie Josephine Ocampo, BPI senior vice president and head of Payments and Remittance Group.
According to Mike Baldwin, Westpac’s Head of Transactional Solutions, Global Transactional Services, plans to expand LitePay into other geographies are on the horizon. “The Philippines is an important market for Australia and as the overseas payments industry continues to evolve, we look forward to extending this secure and internationally compliant, platform into other markets.”
This latest partnership builds on BPI’s strategy to continue expanding its international funds transfer service offerings to better serve Filipinos around the world.
TRICIA C. QUIAMBAO
Bank of the Philippine Islands