Smart Padala, the remittance service of telco firm Smart Communications, has launched Smart Padala PickUp Anywhere, which allows consumers to send remittances 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 and proof of identification, 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 PickUp Anywhere transaction. He can then present the reference number, along with a valid ID, to any closest Smart Padala agent.
As an added security feature, the recipient will then be sent a one-time verification PIN that will allow him to receive the money, a new innovation in the mobile money space.
Previously, recipients pick up their remittances from pre-selected Smart Padala centers. But now with Smart Padala PickUp Anywhere, they can send or claim their remittance from any Smart Padala center in the Philippines.
As Smart Padala already has over 15,000 agents/centers — bigger than Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), bank branches and pawnshops in the country combined — this will provide Filipinos with an unprecedented level of convenience, the company said.
Smart eMoney vice president Lawrence Ferrer said the service allows consumers to send a maximum of P10,000 (both domestic and international) with a service fee of 2.5% of the amount being remitted.
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 believes this hyperlocality that Smart Padala PickUp Anywhere provides will ultimately benefit the Filipino consumer.
“While most people will look at Smart Padala PickUp 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%).