Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) has added Banco De Oro Unibank (BDO) and M. Lhuillier to the Wells Fargo ExpressSend remittance network in the Philippines, tripling Wells Fargo's payout locations in the Philippines for a total of over 2,800 branches and 2,900 ATMs.
"We understand how important remittances are to the Philippines," said Daniel Ayala, executive vice president and head of Wells Fargo's Global Remittance Services. "By helping our Filipino customers reach more locations throughout the country, we hope we can help them stimulate the economy of their homeland by supporting their family and friends."
BDO has over 700 branches, nearly 1,400 ATMS and was named the #1 commercial bank for Overseas Filipinos Remittances for 2008 and 2009 based on volumes. In addition to BDO's retail branch network, the bank has several rural bank partners and is part of the growing network of SM, the largest chain of shopping malls in the Philippines. The SM network includes SM Department Stores, SM Business Services, Global Pinoy Centers and Savemore Supermarkets, all having YES Currency Exchange Counters (formerly SM Forex) where customers may claim their remittances. BDO's collaboration with SM allows remittance beneficiaries to access remittance services during extended hours, on weekends and holidays. All in all, BDO has nearly 2,700 remittance pick up locations around the Philippines.
M. Lhuillier has 1200 locations and is Wells Fargo's first retailer remittance network member in the Philippines, providing beneficiaries with extended hours to collect their funds during the week and weekends with over 150 locations open 24 hours a day, seven days a week in key locations. M. Lhuillier offers a number of remote locations that provide beneficiaries an important opportunity to receive their remittances in areas where they might previously not have been as easily accessible.
"The new working relationship between Wells Fargo Bank and M. Lhuillier Financial Services is a collaboration of two remittance industry leaders, and together we are offering a service that will provide a secure, convenient and competitively priced remittance services," Michael Lhuillier, Vice President of M.Lhuillier Financial Services Inc. "This working relationship will help millions of Filipino's living and working in the USA better facilitate their money transfers to their beneficiaries in the Philippines. We look forward to the successful launch of this convenient and secure money transfer service in the coming days."
"The BDO and Wells Fargo alliance is a reiteration of both Banks' commitment in delivering a unique and unparalleled banking experience to its customers. Both institutions have a firm grasp of the Overseas Filipinos' need for a safe and convenient mode of providing for their families," Jonathan Diokno, Senior Vice President and Head of BDO Remittance - International Operations. "BDO has gone beyond traditional banking by operating on extended banking hours, holidays and weekends. More than just a remittance channel, BDO opens a door of opportunities for Filipinos overseas to help them achieve their dreams of a better life. This is made possible through a wide array of other bank products and services that we offer."
Wells Fargo ExpressSend customers can send up to $3,000 a day to their beneficiary at BDO, or up to $1,000 a day to their beneficiary at M. Lhuillier for $5 if originated from an eligible Wells Fargo account (or $7 if originated from cash). Customers may also qualify for a discounted fee based on their account relationship with Wells Fargo. Remittances to the Philippines are denominated in Philippine Pesos. Customers can send money by signing on to Wells Fargo Online®, by calling 1-800 -TO-WELLS or by visiting a Wells Fargo store location, making Wells Fargo the only U.S. commercial bank to offer all three channels for remitting funds.
"Wells Fargo is expanding its disbursement capability in a very important corridor. The Philippines is the fourth largest country by inbound remittances in the world, with US$17.3 billion in remittances received last year," said Gwenn Bézard, Aite Group research director. "Wells Fargo's continued commitment and success in money transfer is good news for consumers, as it further brings competition and expands consumers' remittance options."