Category Archives: Business, Banking, and Money Market

BPI Brings Back Deposit Machines

Express Deposit Machines (EDMs)
Express Deposit Machines (EDMs)

BPI has been upgrading its services. I love their queuing machine that jots the account numbers and speeds up transactions of people making deposits and withdrawals. I also found out last night, while watching ANC on Cable, BPI is busy installing new machines its near 900 ATM locations where people can update their accounts with deposits. It’s called Express Deposit Machines or EDMs. Its clients can deposit their payments without the hassle of using envelopes to transact and credit their accounts with cash. The machine can handle up to 99 pieces of peso bills and it scans it with a technology that is at par with world’s standards.

Other banks are noisy with creating bigger hedges to project their stability and service image trying to attract more businesses but BPI is busy harboring technology and listening to customers on what their needs are and they are slowly improving each and every facet so customers would delight in banking and use this to attract more investors.

Instant Credit is what I like about this machine best
Instant Credit is what I like about this machine best

BPI says that they have installed over 450 EDMs concentrating their efforts in business hubs like Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao. They will have more than 500 EDMs installed by the end of 2014 trying to complete their work perhaps in two years time. Locate your nearest EDMs here.

Downside: Customers who deposit bills that are vandalized: written on, ripped, or are too dilapidated will not be accepted and ‘spitted’ from the machine. This shows that we need to reject any bills that are taped on with ‘scotch tape’, stapled on, or drawn on with pens.

Photo Credits:

12 Notable Facts: EU, USFAA’s Actions to PH

Yes, The Philippines Can! Headlining in my head knowing the sheer benefits my constituents will reap out of these upgrades our aviation industry agency and airlines  received over the week — and just before the Holy Week.

To know what these upgrade means, we scoured the web and found eight noteworthy facts that will paint a picture of our aviation industry and what it means for our tourism and our economy as a whole.

FC US-EU picture
Hardwork, shining through. We just need consistency.
  1. Higher and much competitive salaries for immensely technical staff of PAL and CebuPac
  2. Philippines, as a country, is still partially black-listed in EU since we still have ZestAir and SEAir as air carriers in the country
  3. Cebu Pacific was taken out of the ban along with Air Astana, Swaziland’s national air carrier
  4. There are twenty countries banned in EU, fourteen from Africa and six in Asia – Philippines and Swaziland still included because we still have registered air carriers that were not cleared by EU
  5. To lift the whole nation from the ban, the European Commission will also begin the process of assessing Philippine aviation including internal aviation later this year with the prospect of lifting the ban on Philippine aviation as a whole.
  6. Cebu Pacific acquired Tiger Airways Philippines in February 2014 and is just awaiting Congress’ and SEC’s approval of the said deal — Cebu Pacific currently operates over 2,200 flights per week with 49 aircraft to 24 international and 33 Philippine cities; Tigerair Philippines will add 118 flights per week. Its fleet consists of five aircrafts that goes to 11 domestic and international routes coming from either Manila and Clark airports.
  7. The USFAA upgrade of CAAP to Category one means the country’s airlines in addition to flag carrier Philippine Airlines can now fly to the US, which includes CebuPacific, ZestAir, and SEAir.
  8. Cebu Pacific intends to fly to Hawaii and Guam first after the USFAA announcement
  9. PAL will intuitively return flights to Hawaii, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and all the way to New York — its prime destinations back in 2008 before the US agency took it away from our flag carrier
  10. DOTC and CAAP is reaping the accolades out of its hard work in keeping airliners accountable and at par with global standards
  11. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was the lead American agency that evaluated CAAP over a course of five years and assess its standards of operations
  12. The EU Air Safety Committee is US’ (ICAO) counterpart that approved Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific to fly to the 28-member bloc of the European Union.

This is one painful lesson we all need to learn that if we want to be recognized as a nation of first class, we should change our ways of thinking and our actions that meet the standards — not of the world but — of honor and respect. It’s like keeping your house clean because you have guests coming over and have different and varying needs that should be met.

I could only hope other PH agencies will follow suit.

Congratulations Mr. Hotchkiss of CAAP and for Sec. Abaya for accomplishing this feat. Two thumbs up.
Notable Quote:
“When countries do what it takes to ensure the safety of their aviation industry, it is important that the EU recognises these efforts,” said the European Commission’s vice president for mobility & transport, Siim Kallas.


USFAA: PH, Time to ‘Go West’

The United States Federal Aviation Administration (USFAA) or the regulating body of the US Government, which provides training, licensing, providing research and data, and even certifying foreign carriers that commercially flies inside the United States, just gave Philippine carriers the green signal to fly travelers within the United States or to code share with American air carriers in the country. It would be remembered that the US agency stripped the country of its status in 2008 because of the need to modernize and update regulations and directives of our concerned counterpart agency in The Philippines in light of global terrorism threats.

The news is really something to smile about
The news is really something to smile about

America projected that there will be more than 7 million Asian tourists going to the US in 2011. The Philippines would at least contribute 250,000 Filipino-travelers to this region knowing there are a lot of affinity between families and culture that these two nations share. Filipinos are known to travel the US  during our summer months and Christmas seasons. Economically, this will give American and Filipino businessmen ease of access into each others’ territories making it more comfortable to do trade and benefit from each others eager tourists.

Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific will scramble their operations and marketing teams to get more flights into the United States as fast as possible while Summer season is here. A permit that will be lucrative both for Filipinos who have ties to the 3.5 Million Filipinos living in the US and vice versa. Operationally, this will mean less hassles for travelers who have a hard time connecting flights within the fifty US states and less charges from travel agencies who charge extra for finding connecting flights for passengers traveling further from the West Coast.


Two Opportunities Out of Cebu Pacific Air’s Crisis

Though I totally sympathize with Cebu Pacific and what happened to it over the controversy involving an ailing kid and his passport, I really felt bad for Mr. Mark Rotanel. I hope he still has a job.

Mr. Rotanel, Victim too?
Mr. Rotanel, Victim too?

Far from it, I’m not absolving him of his responsibilities but I hope the following will improve — not just the subject’s — customer service but how to best avoid crisis like this in the future. What happened to Cebu Pacific? Let’s analyze it.

Ailing kid, bad passport, life and death situation, pleading mom, and an employee that is just doing his job. What to do?

The idea that one is employed, holding a frontline-‘supervisor’ position for a company in the airport, and taking care of a customer service job is enough for me to inquire both sides of the aisle (no pun) and ask the employee and the airliner’s HR department these areas of their job: (a) Their training and (b) Their capabilities? So read my post in addressing the two sides of the aisle of the company and we’ll conclude after.

Their Training
If Mr. Rotanel is fully trained then he should be able to handle himself and understand what the issue is at hand. The passport is not to his liking and he has good reasons why he is rejecting the boy’s entry. Was he trained like any other airport personnel, able to handle strenuous situation like that? Was he trained to call his supervisor who can handle the situation better? Was his supervisor open enough to help his people handle crisis like this?

FC Starbucks logoStarbucks rarely advertises on newspapers and my former boss informed every staff he has the it was the retailer coffee beverage’s duty to understand, by heart, what it means to serve the customer. This message was turned into regular workshops, tests, and exams for its employees, making it cheaper for the company to handle operations and prevent losses through unhappy customers and more. With its regular appraisal events, it needs little budget to advertise because they know that when they handled customers well, it will create a buzz and therefore help the company more.

Their Capabilities.
Was he fully capable? Was Mr. Rotanel feeling well that time? I’m sure he was looking for the safety and security of the concerned passenger but was he prepared to handle that type of crisis situation? Why did he have a fit? How did he get that position at the counter in the manner he displayed that fateful evening? So many questions but I would surmise that I think he is fit for that duty and something else triggered in why he did what he did. Could he be in a crisis himself?

I’m no HR manager but what I do know is that people have their moods — customer or employee — and it is important for any company to make sure that their people are well, loved, and supported. I remember John Maxwell and he said in one of his seminars, “Hurting People Hurt People” and though he may not have used abusive words, the way he treated Cebu Pacific’s Customer is telling: they’re not people but numbers and digits and not people with feelings. Is Mr. Rotanel hurting? If he is then there should be a system that every employee should follow so that if crisis happens then they are physically, psychologically, emotionally, and perhaps, spiritually supported.

I have cited questions, suggestions, and probabilities as to why things like this happened and how CebuPacAir can improve their services and how the employee should be always fit to serve. I want to be wrong — I always say, however,  I always want to err on the right when it comes to taking care of customers. At the end of the day, you want the customers to talk about you and their relationship with you. In the age of Social Media, you always want people to talk good about you and you should make them talk not just because of how good your deal was but how you have a balance of good product and best customer service. In the end, businesses will earn best dividends and cash in a windfall of trust and repeat businesses.

I wish Cebu Pacific well and I hope that as they learned their lesson, other companies will follow suit in doing what Mr. Schultz (Starbucks CEO) led his company to do and look forward to a better service to every Filipino consumer. It’s a win-win situation.

As for the airlines, let’s not judge Cebu Pacific nor the employee. Whatever took place — for sure — no one wants. What we should do right now is to improve our way of thinking in caring not just for customers but for employees as well.

Cebu Pacific Air Recognition and Awards

Cebu Pacific Air Stories about the news

Post of Cebu Pacific Air

Last Cebu Pacific Incident
Overshoots Butuan –
Davao Accident –

Picture of Cebu Pacific – thank you!

Analysis: Filipinos, Facebook, and Fantasy

Are you an Android smartphone user? Do you use Instagram (or Vine?) but couldn’t use its video feature (What?! There is one?) because it’s not available? Don’t you wish you could use that 16-second video function on Instagram (by Facebook), MixBit (by YouTube), and Vine (by Twitter) and share it with your friends? Isn’t a waste that most functions of these apps Filipinos use are only made available on iOS or on an iPhone, iPad.  Android users have limited use on them and frankly they’re missing a lot of fans from The Philippines.
FC Instagram No Android 16secThe Selfiest Nation in the World is 30 Million Facebook-fan strong and Instagram should be taking advantage of this because Filipinos loves to express themselves on the Internet – but they’re not, so are YouTube’s founders (MixBit) and Twitter’s (Vine).
I feel that the growth is becoming faster than the supply. It is getting close to the point that Filipinos are always on the receiving end of each app rather than the origin. And it’s an anomaly that we’re called creative when we can’t develop apps that are naturally akin to the needs and wants of our countrymen.
Here’s what we’re missing and I want to paint a picture so our readers can be enlightened. Instagram was worth US$1Billion when Facebook bought it in 2013 and much of that success now is because of Filipinos using the app to take pictures but why stop Android users there and not provide the 16-sec video function? I mean if we can ‘copy’ an app like Flappy Bird and name it ‘Pugo’ with additional features then why can’t we come up with a photo + video app that runs on Android too? Here are more data to whet your appetite:

Where are the app developers when there are so many potential users?
Where are the app developers when there are so many potential users?
  • 30 Million Facebook Users in 2013 (
  • 9 out of 10 Filipinos are potentially using Android (
  • 4.22M Smartphones are used in Metropolitan Manila alone
    (Note: Socialbakers says that Philippines has this breakdown of users according to age: 18-24 yo – 38.7%; 25-34 yo – 27.1%; and 35-44 yo – 11.6% — This is how it was deduced: (a) 11.8 Million Filipinos in Metro Manila alone; (b) Conservatively, 75% are between the ages of 18 – 44 years old (or 8.85M); (c) Of this number, 90% have Mobile Phones. (or 7.965M); (d) Of this number, 53% own Smartphones (or 4.22M))

In conclusion
I don’t mean to rant but this country is not lacking in talent. It’s lacking in strength, courage, and sacrifice is what I perceive. With this data, it’s high time we act  and dream big because if we’re talking about consumers or market for the app we want to sell, we have a lot: at least 4 Million of them. Now, sacrifices are necessary but this will definitely reap dividends later if we will only pursue our dreams like there’s no tomorrow and stop whining about our government or contended with just playing Candy Crush, Angry Birds, etc. Why not be the one to invent games? Just look at the sample data we computed. It’s time to turn Fantasy into reality.

How many smartphones do we have in the philippines?


How many smartphone users are there in the philippines?

How many Filipinos are Facebook fans?

Philippine Flag image –
Group Picture –

Blink: My First Digital Marketing Seminar

“Sarap ng weekend!” I exclaimed and here’s why.

Since February last year I’ve endeavored on a journey that will compliment my learning in marketing. The college course that students used to know back then and perhaps today is very much different from the ones that will be used tomorrow. Actually, tomorrow is already here and the technology and concepts that will serve as vehicles for brands and businesses are continually being developed and studied by a steady, growing number of curious marketers in the industry – including me.

I’m currently studying Certified Digital Marketing Program through Internet Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP) – Atieneo – E-Learning Edge. The Triumvirate team that have pioneered and developed learning modules locally for students who are eager to learn Digital Marketing. I’m about to finish my 13-subject program and hopefully graduate this coming August 2013 (or so I heard). The program affirmed what I already know about Social Media and allowed me to discover new, different, and cool applications that catch people’s attention.

Logic Solutions CEO Itamar Gero gives delegates case studies to better understand what Affiliate Marketing is all about
Logic Solutions CEO Itamar Gero gives delegates case studies to better understand what Affiliate Marketing is all about

And Digital Marketing in a Blink: Great Ideas Worth Executing or “Blink” organized by Fiera de Manila Philippines (FMI) was my first DM seminar I attended that tied up all the ‘learnings’ I gathered studying Digital Marketing. It was held at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City. The term BLINK was taken from Malcolm Gladwell‘s book, “Blink: the Power of thinking, without thinking”. It encapsulates the main idea behind FMI’s Digital Marketing seminar where everything happens in a whim or a spur of a second, a “blink”. And that’s why these Blink seminars are very important to the continued study of Digital Marketing because ideas zoom pass so many times and in so many ways that it should be studied fast. The Organizers promised that Blink seminars will happen either three times a year or even four times a year depending on intangible factors that evolve Digital Marketing as we know it.

Norelyn (back) intently listens to Media Contacts Philippines CEO Ed Mapa (foreground) answering delegates' questions
Norelyn (back) intently listens to Media Contacts Philippines CEO Ed Mapa (foreground) answering delegates’ questions

I couldn’t hide my excitement from Norelyn Babiera who even promised more explosive Blink seminars in months to come. In those two days, I learned how to enhance and practice my ideation and how to develop my story that will capture the brand’s message, essentially converting consumers into believers and in turn become the ‘evangelists’ of the brand it just got served. I also learned what Affiliate Programs are how Retarget Marketing can help recover potential customers who may have left your website. To top it all off, I realized how important and still much relevant Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how inbound marketing is claiming more ground in getting more customers to Buy-In to the brand. Tof Salcedo, SEO expert, taught the concluding part of the two-day seminar. He and the rest of the subject matter experts armed delegates with tools who are ready to do crazy battles in executing creative campaigns to the benefit of the consumers looking for new things on the web.

Thank you Norelyn for inviting me and making this time one of the most memorable, dynamic, and most explosive experiences of my professional life as a marketer. This BLINK seminar will not go away for those of you who plan to attend it next time. The world of Digital Marketing is ever-evolving so if you’re looking to understand more how Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter revolutionized the way people connect then this seminar is for you. Just make sure you don’t blink your eyes because every second in BLINK will give you a ton of tools you can readily use to your advantage and be the effective Digital Marketer you can be that this country needs.

IATA Cites Asia’s Increased Air Traffic Volume in 2012

Airlines Art Crossroads HostelThe International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently revealed that Asia Pacific Airlines experienced more demand in air travel. Carriers in Asia Pacific experienced a 6.2% year-on-year growth and attributed this growth mostly in China where domestic travel was up, however, the same report stated that, “…emerging markets in particular continued to perform well, and capacity increased 3.1% compared to a year ago.”

This means that more Asians are traveling elsewhere within or outside the region. It also means that emerging markets like The Philippines is recognized for the potential for inbound and outbound flights simply because of a growing economy making more Filipinos empowered to travel elsewhere.

Domestic tourism will reap the benefits from this report signaling more business opportunities from a huge influx of tourists coming from different parts of the country and outside the nation.

IATA is an organization of Commercial and Freight Airlines whose main purpose, according to Wikipedia, is to “represent, lead, and serve the airline industry”. IATA is also responsible for price setting of international airfares.

This is in response to a news alert NEW IN THE MARKET received from ASIA TRAVEL TIPS.