Pay through your phone

Clients need only to “tap” their phone over the TAP terminals to complete their purchase easily and in real-time.

The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)launched its newest innovation, the BPI Mobile Wallet, which enables clients to pay for their purchases through their mobile phones.

“It is primarily a smartphone app. What’s more, anybody can use this since it is independent of telco provider,” Noel Tagaza, BPI SVP and Head of the Electronic Channels Group.

“We are the first bank to offer this type of money transaction. This will be available for all existing and new clients of BPI,” Tagaza added.

Using Near Field Communication (NFC), the BPI Mobile Wallet allows clients to install a device on their phone and turn it into a virtual “wallet” that they can use for over-the-counter purchases in select stores without the need for cash, credit cards or debit cards.

One will simply need to “tap” their phone over the TAP terminals to complete their purchase easily and in real-time.

“BPI sees NFC Payments as a big step forward in technology. Seeing the growth in mobile usage, we at BPI continue to keep up and even be a step ahead of the ever-changing needs of the market. We made it a point to put mobile technology as one of its priorities for innovations,” shares Tagaza said.

In its initial stage, the BPI Mobile Wallet NFC devices are made available for clients using BlackBerry Bold 9780, BlackBerry Bold 9700, BlackBerry Curve 8520 and iPhone 4S with iOs 4 and 5. Currently, BPI Mobile Wallet payments are accepted in all Metro Manila Banapple and Serenitea branches, as well as selected Kenny Rogers, Seattle’s Best, Healthy Options, Fully Booked, Evita Peroni, and Mango branches.

“With the BPI Mobile Wallet, clients can enjoy doing over-the-counter purchases without the need for cash, credit cards or debit cards or having to wait for change and signing on receipts. We always want to keep things simple. It only takes them to tap their phone over the TAP terminals to complete their purchase easily and in real-time,” BPI AVP and Division head of Channels Marketing and Sales Division Carlo Gatuslao said.

“There is a separate mobile banking app and a separate wallet app. you have to download both to be able to use the product,” Gatuslao added.

At the moment, the kit is available for free for existing BPI clients.

Tagaza said that BPI invested $1 million for the devices and system.

“We are working with different units now. It takes a little longer since the product is dependent on the capabilities of the mobile phone. We are looking at 3 months pilot stage. After that, hopefully the mobile phones are capable,” Tagaza said.

Gatuslao said the mobile wallet is really for purchases.

“In the near future, the most ideal is using it in public transports like MRT and LRT,” he said.

BPI has been pioneering advancements in the banking technology that compete with the rapidly evolving global market.

With the many capabilities mobile apps offer, smart phone usage has advanced to being more than just a communications device.

Tagaza said BPI seeks to build on these advances through the different mobile services it provides.

“We know that the Philippines has been anticipating mobile payments, having seen other countries like Japan adopt this technology. Launching the BPI Mobile Wallet, we aim to make it easy for our clients by giving them the means to use their mobile phones to make fast and easy payments,” Tagaza said.

Gustalo quipped that with the bank’s 161 years of serving Filipinos, BPI remains steadfast in our commitment to make it easy for our clients and to keep up with the ever-changing needs of the market.

“Seeing this growth in mobile, we’ve made it a point to put mobile technology as one of our priorities for innovations. We continue to move towards the future, to offer more convenience and ease for any transactions our clients need to do,” he said.

BPI currently offers electronic banking through BPI Express Online, BPI Express Mobile, and BPI Express Phone. BPI also has existing electronic payments through its Credit Cards, EPS, and the BPI Mobile Mall java app.

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