BPI allots $1M to launch mobile wallet app

By Donnabelle L. Gatdula, The Philippine Star

Posted at Nov 21 2012 07:28 AM | Updated as of Nov 21 2012 03:28 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) has invested $1 to launch a pioneering mobile wallet product in the market, a bank official said.

BPI senior vice president Manuel Tagaza told reporters that they are now running a pilot test using the mobile application on BlackBerry Smart phones.

“Launching the BPI Mobile Wallet, we see this as the next big step for the banking industry and we at BPI are proud to be the first bank to introduce this service in our country,” he said.

The innovative app will be initially made available to clients using BlackBerry Bold 9780, BlackBerry Bold 9700, BlackBerry Curve 8520 and iphone 4s with iOs4 and 5.

Currently, BPI Mobile Wallet is accepted in all Metro Manila Banapple and Serenitea branches, as well as selected Kenny Rogers, Seattle’s Best, Health Options, Fully Booked, Evita Peroni and Mango branches.

Tagaza said the pilot test would run from two to three months. The service is free of charge.

“We hope to fully implement this innovation to our clients by next year,” he said.

Tagaza said once full-developed, they expect the use of BPI Mobile Wallet not only in purchasing a merchandise but also in other transactions such as in MRT and LRT rides.

“BPI takes pride in being a leader in mobile phone banking in the country. Through our BPI 24/7 mobile banking channel, it has always been our commitment to put together advanced mobile services to meet the changing needs of today’s consumers. We are proud to pioneer another service that will make everyday transactions easy for our clients,” Tagaza said.

Using near field communication, 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 or debit cards.

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