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RCBC and Hungarian FinTech partnership opens doors to OFW digital banking

RCBC and Hungarian FinTech partnership opens doors to OFW digital banking

TAGUIG, PHILIPPINES – The Philippines’ first embedded finance
initiative for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) through the collaboration
between Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) and Hungary-based fintech
Peak Card Services Ltd. (Peak) and Columbus Private Equity Fund (Columbus) was
announced during the series of events organized for the
celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Hungary – Philippines diplomatic
relations in Manila. The partnership would soon enable OFWs to download the
Peak mobile app with RCBC embedded digital banking platform, allowing them to
open an RCBC peso and Hungary foreign accounts in a single app assisting them
in managing their finances while working abroad and supporting their family
back home.

Founder and CEO of Peak Hungary Márton Suppan, RCBC President and CEO
Eugene Acevedo, RCBC Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation and
Inclusion Officer Lito Villanueva, and Columbus Private Equity Fund Board
Member Gábor Rudas signed the Memorandum of Understanding sealing the embedded
finance partnership. It was witnessed by the Ambassador of Hungary to the
Philippines Titanilla Tóth, Prime Minister’s Commissioner for the protection of
the Hungarian way of life and national values Zsolt V. Németh, Deputy State
Secretary for External Economic Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and Trade of Hungary Katalin Bihari, and Department of Migrant Workers
Undersecretary for Policy and International Cooperation Atty. Patricia Yvonne
Caunan. The signing also coincided with RCBC’s 63rd anniversary.

With the partnership being fully supported by the Hungarian government
through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, OFWs will have access to a
wide range of digital financial services, which include RCBC’s digital lending
such as salary advance, home and car loan, and personal loan. Bank account
holders will also have the opportunity to transfer cash to their loved ones,
invest finances into rewarding financial solutions, acquire medical insurance,
and access other empowering services from RCBC, Peak, and Columbus. The pilot
will kickstart in Hungary and will eventually expand to other European Union
member states and the United Kingdom.

“The unprecedented flow of labor is presenting the world with entirely
new circumstances, unfolding a series of opportunities for agile,
fast-responding companies, and cross-continental collaborations. One such
opportunity is to address the financial challenges of overseas workers. The
quickest collaboration in our 10 years history to be established is the
cooperation between Peak, RCBC, and Columbus well illustrating the immense
market demand,” Suppan said.

In recent years, the European labor market has been expanding
exponentially, drawing more and more Filipino workers to the continent, who
have been recognized for their exceptional English proficiency, religion,
cultural adaptability, and strong work ethic. As Hungary positions itself as a
regional economic powerhouse, the new foreign direct investments the country
managed to attract also lead to an increasing demand for foreign labor force.
The number of OFWs in Hungary is forecasted to grow significantly. Up until
today, several thousands of OFWs have been sent to Hungary. Filipino
expatriates working in the manufacturing and hospitality industry enjoy
generous compensation, free board, and lodging. The growing community of
Filipino workers in the European country has become a considerable market of
interest for banks such as RCBC and Peak, persuading the two financial
providers and a private equity fund to collaborate and provide services through
the power of API technology.

“It has been our pleasure that this partnership was realized during
the Hungarian-Philippine Roundtable Discussion on Labor Market Trends, which
was part of a series of events organized by the Embassy of Hungary in Manila
for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations
between Hungary and the Philippines. The cooperation agreement, which will
provide new cutting-edge digital solutions to prove the close ties between our
nations,” emphasized Ambassador Titanilla Tóth.

RCBC President and Chief Executive Officer Eugene S. Acevedo
highlighted the importance of such partnerships in uplifting the lives of
Filipinos and the enthusiasm of the bank in partaking in a fruitful
partnership. “Teaming up with Peak and Columbus allows RCBC to continue serving
our fellow Filipinos in Hungary. We are committed to delivering a seamless
banking experience to help our customers realize their financial goals even if
they are abroad,” said Acevedo.

“RCBC believes that financial inclusion should not only be for people
who work in our country but it should also include overseas workers who send money back home to
build their dreams for their families,” said Villanueva.

“The bigger picture here is that RCBC, Peak, and Columbus are
redefining financial inclusion through embedded finance as a unique value
proposition, thus, creating the future of digital banking empowering migrant
workers achieve their short-term and long-term goals no matter wherever they
are and whenever they deem it necessary,” added Villanueva.

A 2023 report by global consultancy firm McKinsey found that US$30.5
billion in remittances flow into the country annually, yet banks have not
integrated remittances into their mainstream services and even into creation of
credit profiles of Filipinos. Villanueva highlighted that these findings
motivated RCBC in addressing the needs of overseas workers and their families.

RCBC has been expanding its digital banking services through its RCBC
Pulz, RCBC Diskartech, and RCBC ATM Go services capable of processing and
accepting remittances. With the most recent partnership with Peak, RCBC is
poised to become one of the leading digital-centric banks focused on making
financial services accessible and possible to a greater segment of unbanked and
underserved Filipinos anywhere in the world.

RCBC is the Philippines’ 5th largest privately-owned universal bank and the most awarded for its banking innovations. Among its global and local recognitions include a four-peat award as the Philippines’ Best Bank for Digital by Asiamoney, back-to-back wins for Best Financial Inclusion App by The Asian Banker’s Financial Technology Innovations Awards, Gartner Eye for Innovation Award, YouTube Challenger award for its viral and out-of-the-box digital ad campaigns, and Grand Champion for Digital Payments and Financial Inclusion by the Bankers Institute of the Philippines.

This press release has also been published on VRITIMES

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