Sunday, December 14, 2014

UITF Application: You Choose The Bank But Sometimes The Bank Wouldn't Choose You

If in case you receive money (other than your salary) in the range between PHP5,000 and PHP10,000, in such a way that (for example) you got commission, or gift, or retroactive pay, what would you do with that money? The Water Sprite suggests that you invest the money in any of these two: the UITF and the mutual fund. UITFs (Unit Investment Trust Fund) are offered by banks while mutual funds are offered by financial groups who caters mostly to investors and all they do is manage your fund. Some insurance firms, like Philam and Sunlife offer mutual funds.

Photo: Philippine Money as acknowledged [here]

Investing Must Be Convenient

The quest for Water Sprite's possible investment has started off. Should she have raised money in the range between 5,000 and 10,000 pesos, there were some factors she held very important:
  1. Application must be easy, preferably online to eliminate third-party connection or agents so that she could think freely. 
  2. Distributor's office must be very accessible, either from work or from home. 
  3. Payment must be done thru banks, Bayad Centers, or online. 
  4. Additional investment must be as low as PHP1,000.
Obviously, banks were all over the place and perhaps because of competition, most banks provide online banking. The Water Sprite owned a savings account on BPI (Bank of the Philippine Islands). She signed up for online banking with that account and she found it very convenient to use, also, she found some impressive information from BPI Asset Management website. She was then very delighted and thought she could have easy access to online trading and that she could easily monitor the progress of her investment with a mouse 'click' on the computer.

The Water Sprite signed up for the application for UITF, online. She filled out what has been asked for, and underwent 'Risk Profile Assessment', also online. Such assessment is a must for any BPI investments and based from your answer, they could determine what type of investor you could be: conservative, moderate, or aggressive. With risk profile questionnaire, the BPI online system could also give you a list of various investment funds that would match your risk profile. The Water Sprite fell under 'moderately aggressive' type of investor.

With such an application, the would be investor had to provide personal information, answer some questions, and also supply a bank account number, a BPI bank account of course. The Water Sprite was confident she could accomplish the requirements and felt secured with BPI's online facility. BPI was one of the largest, oldest, and growing banks in the country. She had submitted the necessary information, downloaded, and printed the fully furnished form. She had to affix her signature on it. The next thing she would have to do was find a nearest BPI branch, that to Water Sprite was good, not only because she would finalize the application, but she could ask bank representative other questions the website could not provide answers to.

At one BPI branch, the Water Sprite's application form was accepted by a bank representative. She also presented 2 sets of valid identification cards (her SSS ID and company ID). She was informed that the document would be forwarded to their main office in Makati for further evaluation and approval. The Water Sprite was okay with that but warned herself to be more patient because the paper would move like snail mail in contrast to better throughput online. She waited for more than 7 days.

Was It Worth The Wait?

Until she got an email from BPI saying that her application could not be approved because of  "THE TYPE OF BANK ACCOUNT" she was holding DID NOT QUALIFY to be linked to their investment product. At that moment, the Water Sprite was disappointed. With all the time and effort spent, along with positive impressions in the beginning, with BPI that was all she just got. The email stated further that, she could consider applying again with another type of bank account. The Water Sprite, however, was not considering to open another bank account, at least that time. She knew she could find another fund provider which could match what she just had then. Convenience was the question with BPI for her.

The type of BPI bank account the Water Sprite was holding was a kind of  'ATM wallet' or may also be known as cash card. With that experience, she felt like she was discriminated by the bank. Should BPI claim to provide good customer satisfaction, they should be careful during the first steps of evaluation. It should have been like, the online facilty was able to detect whether the savings account holder was qualified. Early on, with respect to potential investor's concern.

Lesson Learned

Not all types of bank accounts could be linked to UITF online service, especially if you are considering the BPI investment products.

What's Next?

In this regard, nothing could stop the Water Sprite from investing. She was so sure she would find something else. Find out more because the journey continues.


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