Come on admit it, as much as you may disparage the guys who take girls out of the bars and support them, chances are you have either done exactly the same thing, are planning to, or will do so sometime in the future. Say what you will about money hungry Filipino families and the girls money scamming tactics but the fact is the majority of us will find ourselves supporting a girl in one way or another.
In this article I will examine the various ways people can send money to the Philippines detailing the steps involved in the procedure, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each system.
The first and probably most reliable way is a bank to bank money transfer. To do this is relatively simple yet there are a number of disadvantages to this system as well. The bank has some advantages in that the money is electronically wired and its arrival can be checked which gives the recipient less excuses, secondly most major Philippine banks can be directly accessed from the banks in an overseas country, thirdly the banks have branches all over the Philippines, even in the smaller towns in the province which makes accessing the money easier. Fourthly and perhaps most importantly the girl does not have to take the entire amount of money out of the bank. In other words she gets to save and budget the money whereas with Western Union she cannot do this. The three biggest banks that I would recommend are BPI (Bank of Philippine Islands, BDO (Banco De Oro) PNB (Philippine National Bank). All these banks have numerous branches throughout the country and all issue basic savings accounts with ATM Card access. The ATM access is particularly important because it allows quick and easy access to the money without the recipient having to stand in long lines.
There are also many disadvantages with using the banking system to get money and primary among these is the fact that the banks make it so hard for the girl to open an account. To open an account the girl has to have at least two forms of valid ID which in this country is easier said than done plus a person has to have enough cash to open the account in the first place. All bank to bank transfers will require a SWIFT code and other codes which can get confusing for your average Filipina with little experience in this area. Most bank accounts require you to maintain a minimum balance and once again for the Filipina this is easier said than done. Last but not least there is nearly always a queue at the bank, the banks opening hours are restricted, the exchange rate is normally the lowest possible and any money transfer usually takes up to two days to clear through their system.
I also think it is important to note that it is the inadequacies of the banking systems that has created the need for services such as Western Union.
Talking of Western Union this is the most commonly used means to send money and yet it too has advantages and disadvantages. Some of the advantages are as follows. With Western Union the money transfer is almost instantaneous and the offices are open longer hours than the bank plus they are often open on public holidays whereas the banks are not. Like the bank they have offices spread around the entire country and the country that the money is being sent from. This means it is relatively easy to send money and it can be collected easily. Best of all the Filipinos are familiar with Western Union and understand the system. Another advantage is that many girls have Western Union cards which acts as a sort of ID for them and often the staff at a particular office become well known to the girls and vice versa.
The old saying goes nothing is perfect and that is certainly true in the money transfer business, and Western Union does have some deficiencies. For starters, whether sending money or receiving money there is nearly always a queue of people and you will find yourself waiting just like in a bank. There is almost always people hanging around the outside area of Western Union offices and security can become a problem. Western Union nearly always give the lowest exchange rate and charge the highest percentage for their service, plus you will be asked to present two forms of valid ID every time you pick up the money and for the bar girls, this can often be a problem. Last but not least the girls are often circumspect when it comes to people seeing them get money from Western Union and they feel self conscious about it plus they have no choice but to take out the entire amount sent in one transaction.
There are two major alternatives to Western Union and these are Xoom and a new service called Ko-Card.
Xoom is primarily a service restricted to America. People from America can send money back to the Philippines using this service and their cut is slightly lower than that of Western Union. The problem with Xoom is that there are not that many offices in the Philippines and it is restricted to America. Having said this I have heard that when sending money from America to the Philippines especially if the recpient is in Angeles then Xoom is a cheaper and just as reliable alternative to Western Union.
Talking about alternatives to Western Union we now have a new service which in my opinion incorporates many unique features and I predict that this will make large inroads into the market dominated by Western Union. The name of this service is Ko-Card and it is specifically designed for people to send money from overseas to the Philippines.
There are several advantages ko-kard has over its competitors. Firstly it is linked with MasterCard, Visa, a major Philippine bank Banco De Oro (BDO) and the BancNet ATM system. This means that the ko-kard is multi functional in that it acts as a Debit/Credit Card, as an ATM Card, as a bank Savings Account and as a money transfer system. With ko-kard money transfer is only just the beginning. Ko-kard combines the advantages of a bank account and a card card. It can be used as a credit card wherever MasterCard is accepted and Ko-Kard users can even deposit cash into their account just as they would with a bank account. Ko-Kard is a complete financial package all in one card giving ease of use, financial security and increased purchasing power.
As a money transfer system ko-kard has several advantages for both the money senders and the money recipients. The sender benefits from lower transfer fees than Western Union and because ko-kard transactions can be organized over the internet there is no need to trudge down to an agency carrying cash. In fact ko-kard is so convenient you can send money without even leaving the safety of your home. Other advantages are that it is easy to manage the ko-kard online, you may have multiple ko-kards and the ko-kard system allows the sender to manage the account and regulate the girls cash needs.
There are also some significant advantages for the girl who is using
ko-kard . The ko-kard acts as a valid ID and it allows access to money 24/7 as long as there is an operating ATM machine. Because it is linked to a nation wide ATM system and to the MasterCard system the ko-kard gives the owner superior purchasing power. For the girls there are a number of practical advantages for example there is no waiting in line and no need to fill out forms. There is no need to present ID in order to receive money, there is less travel involved because they only have to travel as far as the nearest on-line ATM and lastly, because ko-kard is linked to the nationwide BancNet ATM system, it is easy for the girls to send money to their families in the province.
Because ko-kard is linked to the bank this means that it can be used as a savings account. Now as a ‘newbie’ you may ask so what’s the big deal about a savings account and the answer is that for the average Filipina saving money for a proverbial rainy day is a foreign concept and anything that encourages them to learn the savings philosophy can only be a good thing.
The average Filipina lives for the moment and has no idea of the concept of saving. As a result when she gets money from Western Union where she has to withdraw the entire amount, the money is normally spent within 24 hours. Every Filipina will have a backlog of payments she has to make as well as a demanding family and this is where the ko-kard comes in. With the ko-kard your girl has the option of withdrawing the entire amount or budgeting the money plus her family need never know the exact amount that was sent. This is encouraging the girl to understand saving and she can control the flow of the money so she won’t constantly be asking you for more.
Ko-kard is the modern and efficient way to send and receive money. It offers many advantages to the sender and the receiver, it is specifically designed to cater for the needs of those wishing to send money to the Philippines and best of all it is a cheaper service than its competitors.
If you are interested in learning more about the ko-kard service check out www.ko-kard.com or email email@example.com or simply get your girl to visit the ko-kard office in Margarita Station, Fields Avenue, Balibago, Angeles City, Philippines.