Mobile loan program for government employees

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Friday, August 8, 2014


THE Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank), in partnership with Smart e-Money, has launched the LandBank Mobile Loan Saver (LMLS) program, a fast, safe and convenient platform for government employees to process loans and build their savings with the aid of their mobile phones.

The program is touted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) as the "country's first-ever fully electronic and paperless salary loan service.”

Under the program, qualified state workers aged 18 to 64 with LandBank ATM payroll accounts may apply for loans by simply sending a text message through their Talk ‘N Text (TNT), Smart or Sun Cellular mobile phones.

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This is after their respective human resources heads of government agencies have submitted the list of qualified and eligible employees to avail of the program to LandBank.

Borrowers may avail of loans of up to P1 million with a fixed interest rate of 0.83 percent per month, which is much less than that offered by other lending institutions.

The program's low interest rates and quick turnaround time of three banking days, from application to approval – seek to spare government workers from resorting to loan sharks or from the hassle of submitting application forms and documents and even taking a leave just to claim the check and have it encashed as well.

Aside from offering loans, LMLS also requires borrowers to have an Auto-Save deposit account in which a specified amount from their payroll account would be deposited every pay day. This unique feature aims to help employees build their savings even as they pay off their loans.

"The LandBank MLS seeks to provide greater banking convenience to government employees by eliminating the need to queue in our branches for loan applications and facilitating the whole process with just a few clicks and texts," said Gilda E. Pico, LandBank president and CEO during the launch of the program at the LandBank Plaza in Manila.

"We are grateful for the opportunity to work with Smart e-Money Inc. on this breakthrough service, which brings us a step closer towards achieving our shared vision of greater financial literacy and inclusive growth," added Pico.

Also speaking at the launch, BSP deputy governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. recognized the program's "novel delivery channel which makes the access to this product more convenient and cost-effective."

Espenilla also describe the auto-savings aspect of the program as "a welcome feature to promote the shift in paradigm from programs and services that have typically focused on just granting loans."

"We fully support the initiatives that bring about market-based solutions and innovations that contribute to responsive and responsible financial access," he added.

Under LMLS, government workers may apply by simply sending a text message using their TNT, Smart or Sun SIM: to 5363.

The list of agency codes will be made available to the human resources departments of participating government agencies.

If pre-approved based on existing LANDBANK records, loan applicants will soon receive a notification instructing them to check their email and accomplish electronic documents online.

After sending the documents back, they may expect their approved loan to be debited to their LANDBANK payroll account within three banking days. The loans have a fixed term of 12, 24 or maximum of 36 months, with semi-monthly payments.

These payments will be automatically debited from the borrower’s payroll account every pay day for greater convenience. Borrowers may also easily keep tabs on their payments and savings through timely SMS notifications.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 09, 2014.

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