BusinessWorld: Rural bank to launch POS facility

DAVAO CITY — One Network Bank, the country’s largest rural bank, is planning to roll out about 2,000 point-of-sale (POS) terminals within the year as it seeks to improve services to clients while competing with the commercial banks.

The initiative will turn the bank’s automated teller machine (ATM) cards — held by 320,000 clients at present — into debit cards and make cash payments unnecessary, said Alex V. Buenaventura, bank president.

“The cards can be used in establishments (where there are point-of-sale terminals),” he said in an interview, pointing out the cards can also be used in settling water and power bills.

Mr. Buenaventura said One Network Bank will put most POS terminals in Davao City where it is headquartered and distribute the rest at its 81 branches throughout Mindanao.  He also said the bank will register these terminals with Megalink and create a link that will allow the bank’s clients to use the terminals of Megalink’s member-banks.  “We are registering with Megalink so that our customers can also use the cards in Megalink-accredited POS terminals,” he said.

Mr. Buenaventura shared the bank will not buy these POS terminals but will rent them at a cost P2,400 each per month.  He added the bank is likely to “overshoot” the 2,000 terminals it is planning to install this year because many merchandisers want to partner with it. “It is very advantageous to the merchandisers because the payment will always be exact and the transactions are secure and fast.  Furthermore, they will not need to provide change to the customers,” he said.

One Network Bank netted a record P428 million last year, for a net profit growth of around 38%. Its resources soared 33% to 15.7 billion.

Despite its profitability and size, it does not plan to upgrade to commercial bank status. — Carmelito Q. Francisco

To view the full article of Ms. Francisco, click the embedded link

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