Still wondering how you can easily access your BDO accounts during this community quarantine? Cash Agad is here to answer it all! See infographics below.
What is Cash Agad?
See? Cash Agad partner agents network is comprised of small to medium business owners nationwide and aims to provide ready access to cash for distant communities including places that are located in challenging terrain like mountains, hilly areas, or those in far flung islands only reachable by boat.
A community shop owner (the business might also be a salon, drugstore, hardware store, etc.) is usually tapped to be Cash Agad partner agent. Since such a business owner has long been part of the locality, has an establishment close to the residents, and is a trusted figure in the community, it’s much easier for the people to trust him or her with their money-related transactions.
Once the shop owner becomes a Cash Agad partner, he or she is given a POS terminal that is capable of accepting transactions using any Philippine-issued ATM card whether debit or credit. And even though BDO Unibank is the one that runs the Cash Agad service, the POS terminal accepts ATM cards from all banks in the Philippines.
Cash Agad and LGUs
Another advantage of using Cash Agad is that it does not depend on banking hours. As long as the Cash Agad partner shop is open, it can accept transactions. This was modified, however, when the pandemic struck and community quarantines were imposed. Local official had to set schedules and limit operating hours for Cash Agad transactions in order to follow physical distancing requirements designed to keep customers safe and prevent disease transmission. Even LGUs depend on Cash Agad to deliver government’s financial aid to those in need. For example, the beneficiaries of 4Ps withdraw their monthly cash assistance from Cash Agad.
Even the IPs or memberes of the indigenous people’s communities are able to get their financial aid through Cash Agad. All these are possible thanks to the cooperation between LGUs and Cash Agad partner agents.LGU employees, policemen, and teachers in the community likewise depend on Cash Agad for their salary withdrawals. Private employees, families of overseas Filipinos, all of them now access salaries and remittances from Cash Agad, too.
All of these were a great relief to residents who, for several months during community quarantine, were unable to travel due to lockdowns and checkpoints. Their mobility had been restricted within their own or the nearby barangays. They could no longer go to urban areas to transact with banks or go to ATMs.
Helping local businesses
Lorna Taruc, Cash Agad partner agent in San Simon, Pampanga, believes that the service is a big help to their community. “It’s so much more convenient and easier for people here to go to my store and withdraw their cash. They no longer need to travel so far. Especially during the lockdown when it was so difficult to find public transportation. Apart from this, I had more customers buying from my store, ” she said.
Meanwhile, another Cash Agad partner agent, Roselyn Abela of Pitogo, Bohol, shared that many residents were afraid to leave their town during the community quarantine because they heard news that there were many COVID-19 cases in the city where they usually go to transact with banks and use ATMs. This city is quite far from Pitogo. A person traveling there would need to ride a habal-habal (passenger motorcycle) then cross the sea by boat to another island. At the island, he or she would have to ride another habal-habal to reach the city. It takes half a day to an entire day to travel there and back again to Pitogo. A two-way trip costs 500 pesos.
“When the community quarantine was imposed, people were thankful that I have Cash Agad at my store. They withdraw their cash here and then afterwards, they buy some of the essentials they need at home. That’s why my sales at the store also increased,”, said Roselyn.
“Many Filipinos are smart and hardworking; they dream of better livelihoods. But they are being held back because of their lack of access to cash and capital. There are a lot of Filipinos who don’t have enough money because just withdrawing it already takes a lot of time and a huge expense,” said Jim Nasol, Head Agency Banking (Cash Agad) of BDO.
“Our Cash Agad partner agents are the key to broadening financial systems. We see that in places like Pitogo, financial inclusion can go a long way in making lives easier for Filipinos in secluded communities,” he further explained.
Arnold Katipunan, Head of Sales of Cash Agad in BDO, also said that financial inclusion and access to money is very important during this time of the pandemic, when a lot of people and businesses need to rise up from the dampening effects of the crisis. Ultimately, their recovery will bring new life to the national economy.