Union Bank of the Philippines teamed up with Western Union and Pera Hub to make it easier for Filipino families to send and receive remittances digitally, eliminating the hassle of going through remittance centers and lessening exposure to the elements.
“Now more than ever, people are turning to digital, not only for the sake of convenience, but because we all want to have a safer option, as we battle this pandemic together. To improve the remittance experience of our fellow kababayans with their loved ones abroad through collaboration with Western Union, the largest remittance network globally and Pera Hub, leading Western Union agent in the Philippines, Union Bank is very proud to be the first bank to digitally-enable Western Union remittances, in a mobile app for our kababayans,” said Union Bank senior vice president and head of fintech group Arvie de Vera.
“The end game of these collaborations we have in Union Bank with our partners has always been to deliver financial services that improve the everyday lives of our customers,” he said.
Remittance via the app promises no more queues, safe delivery of large amounts of money and a host of other services native to Union Bank and Western Union. The remittance experience is made safer, easier and worry-free for new customers.
De Vera said the remittance business in the Philippines remains largely traditional and over-the-counter-based, “despite us being the third largest remittance recipient country in the world.”
Filipinos with families and loved one in over 200 markets and territories where Western Union has presence are assured of seamless and hassle-free remittance transactions of up to P50,000 per day. The amount is preliminary and maybe increased in consideration of the remittance guidelines of other markets.
Overseas Filipino workers and those working away from their loved ones can now give their families the option to claim remittances instantly and from the comfort of their own homes.
All they have to do is follow four easy steps: first, on the UnionBank app, go to “Send/Receive.” Second, tap “Other Partners’’ and select “Western Union.” Third, input amount, the money transfer control number (MTCN) received from the sender and other requested information. Fourth, review and check if all details are correct then press “Submit.” The amount will be credited to the UnionBank account.
As the leader in banking innovation and technological integration, UnionBank has always been on the lookout for digital solutions to help the Filipino public adjust to the new normal. While the globally award-winning bank also acknowledges the economic impact of cash remittances, its officials highlighted the convenience they wanted to provide.
Recognized as the Best Digital Bank in the country four years in a row by The Asset Triple A, UnionBank is the first Philippine bank that enables customers to claim Western Union remittances through the UnionBank Online app and credit it directly to their bank account right away.
UnionBank aims to address mobility concerns of those at the receiving end of a remittance transaction by offering money transfer 24/7 with its partnership with Western Union and Pera Hub.
Western Union regional vice president Jeffrey Navarro highlighted Western Union’s wide digital footprint globally and how it can help migrant workers safely send money to their families who can remotely access the remittance via the Union Bank app.
“It is exciting to announce this phase in money movement in the Philippines with PETNET Inc. [also known as Pera Hub] and Union Bank. The best way to offer new services, whether be it retail or digital to meet the ever changing desires of our established customers is really through collaboration with local partners. You know the language, you know the customs and you know the rules. To truly understand customer needs, one must have an awareness of the customers’ cultural frame. I call this having cultural competency. That is why we are so privileged to expand our collaboration with PETNET by integrating our digital money transfer capabilities into the Union Bank banking platform,” he said.
With Western Union’s more than 550,000 agent locations in over 200 countries and territories, and Pera Hub enabling digital execution in the Philippines through the collaboration, UnionBank customers and their relatives abroad are now able to have a convenient and safe remittance experience.
“We also aim to be the first in creating market solutions that will help us grow in new segments,” said Pera Hub president and chief executive Ian Ocampo.
He said the partnership with Union Bank and Western Union to power up the UnionBank Online app would help spur the recovery of remittance industry.
Remittances dropped a meager 1 percent in 2020, but are expected to bounce back by 5 percent to 6 percent in 2021. The service created by the three financial technology experts is expected to greatly contribute to this growth.
Pera Hub is a pioneer in the remittance industry, having partnered with Western Union 23 years ago. It is one of the largest remittance networks with over 3,000 locations nationwide.
“This validates PERA HUB’s capability in the digital space, and further elevates the brand as a fintech company. We are ready and eager to connect with other digital ecosystems, through our remittance platform. Pera Hub connects. We have made it easier and faster for businesses to access a global network of partners, e-wallets, digital and over-the-counter partners through our application programming interface portal. Together with Union Bank, and Western Union, Pera Hub is committed to provide an even greater level of convenience and choice for consumers by allowing access to financial transactions,” Ocampo said.