Accord signed on OFW remittances

THE office of the Philippines’ ambassador-at-large to China and a non-governmental regional alliance recently signed an agreement setting the standards and related services related to financial technology (FinTech) to ensure that remittances from thousands of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are sent safely to their families back home.

Ambassador William J. Lima, the Philippines’ special envoy to China, signed the memorandum of cooperation with Anselmo Teng and Claire Lo, co-chairs of the Alliance for Financial Stability with Information Technology (AFS-IT), on the sidelines of the recent Financial Stability and FinTech Forum 2018 held at the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong.

The AFS-IT was formed to fight money laundering in Asia.

Lima said one key application of the agreement was to look for ways for the thousands of overseas Filipino workers to safely send remittances back to the country through the use of information technology, such as smart wallets or digital KYC solutions.

KYC, which stands for “Know Your Customer”, is the business process aimed at verifying the identity of clients and assessing potential risks of illegal intentions for the business relationship.

Used in conjunction with regulatory technology (RegTech), KYC also refers to the bank regulations and anti-money laundering regulations governing these activities.

The document was witnessed for the Philippines by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Maria Almasara Tuabo-Amador and Labor and Employment Undersecretary Atty. Claro A. Arellano, and for AFS-IT by its Honorary Chairman Anthony Neoh.

It was attended by regulators, former central bankers and government officials from China, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Macau, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam—launched the AFS-IT to regulate illicit money flows and control the booming fintech market in Asia by serving as an information exchange platform.

The Philippines was also represented by Bureau of Immigration Deputy Commissioner Aimee Torrefranca Neri, Land Bank Executive Vice President Alan V. Bornas, and Deputy Consul General in Hong Kong Roderico C. Atienza.