The extended community quarantine (ECQ) across Luzon due to COVID-19 has seen many Filipinos gradually shifting to the use of online banking, especially as movements of non-essential personnel and goods have been limited to control the spread of the pandemic. Transferring money, monitoring finances and managing funds are now increasingly done from the safety of people’s homes.
According to Nicholas Mapa, Senior Economist at ING Bank, growth of the Philippine economy can fall to as low as -0.1% if the situation does not improve by May. This means that major economic drivers like consumer spending, OFW remittances and local trade and tourism are slowly declining, therefore ultimately affecting the way people manage their finances during this time.
“In many ways, we now see that Filipinos have a higher awareness of the need to build their savings and keep an emergency fund. As an all-digital bank, we want to continue being our customers’ partner towards financial security. That is why we have decided to keep the ING Savings interest rate at 4% per annum*. This way, we hope to give our customers the assurance that their money will continue to grow with ING as their sustained savings or for any emergency needs,” said Hans Sicat, country manager of ING Bank in the Philippines.
“Our mobile app continues to be accessible 24/7 in our promise to provide simple, easy and convenient banking services to Filipinos. We know that managing your money digitally is highly necessary at this time, so it is important for us to maintain our no-fees policy when customers transfer funds from ING to other local banks.”
In addition to keeping the interest rate, ING Bank together with its global processing and support centre ING Business Shared Services, Manila have committed to donate €100,000 to several healthcare and non-governmental organizations in response to the immediate needs. True to its long-standing partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), ING is also supporting the UNICEF donation drive initiative to provide aid to the local healthcare sector in the Philippines.
Hans added: “We remain hopeful that things will get better soon and we will continue to support all our clients and the local communities as we power through this challenging time together.”