Overseas Filipino Bank and Alibaba unit partnership in talks

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The Department of Finance is considering a potential partnership between OFB (Overseas Filipino Bank) and the fintech arm of global e-commerce giant Alibaba Group to be able to cut the costs shouldered by OFWs sending money to their families in the Philippines.

According to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, Ant Financial could aid in decreasing remittance costs and benefit more than 10 million OFWs. The new OFB could pave the way for the online payment platform in case a deal with Alibaba comes to light. According to Dominguez, one of the key features of the OFB would be a remittance service and loan program for OFWs.

Dominguez said that “There are over 10 million Filipinos working abroad; Ant Financial’s technology is helpful for them. The technology can help them manage their cash, their earnings wisely.” Moreover, Eric Jing said that Ant Financial Services Group “would be more than willing to partner with the Philippines to bring inclusive financial services to OFWs and as well as other individuals and small- and medium-sized enterprises.”

The DOF said that according to Jing, Ant Financial was able to reach out to 40 million offline SMEs in China. The DOF also quoted Wang saying that “Ant Financial’s fintech services can also benefit rural-based entrepreneurs and help farmers and village-based enterprises gain access to low-interest credit and expand their links to competitive markets.”

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