Mobile connectivity is still king when it comes to keeping connections alive between overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and their families back home. According to a recent study done by PLDT Global Corporation, nine out of ten OFWs based in the Middle East send mobile load to their families back home to stay connected. PLDT Global is the international arm of the Philippines’ largest fully integrated telco PLDT.
Surveying almost 600 respondents online from June 16 to June 30, 2021, PLDT Global’s Digital Behavior of Overseas Filipinos study said that OFWs send load to children, spouses, siblings, and parents: majority through loading channels or kiosks (49%), remittances (26%), or an allowance specifically for load top up (17%).
Meanwhile, approximately 81% chat with or video call their families every day to beat their homesickness and motivate them while working abroad. OFWs use their mobile phones (96%) to connect online, using mobile data (51%) or through WiFi or broadband of their employer (46%).
Although most still prefer to send their bills payment through cash remittances, those who choose to pay directly through digital channels do so through online banking for their families’ convenience.
“The insights from this study show the importance of load access for our fellow Filipinos abroad. They allot a huge chunk of their monthly expenses for cellphone bills to stay connected to their loved ones back home. Through this study, we hope to empower our distributors and partners overseas so that they can boost their sales and search for opportunities for growth in the Middle East,” said Albert V. Villa-Real, SVP and Chief Commercial Officer at PLDT Global.
Empowering Filipinos and partners all over the world
PLDT Global has teamed up with over fifty (50) global distributors to reach more Filipinos in every corner of the world. These distributors allow Filipinos to purchase Smart and TNT prepaid load, reload their Free Bee accounts, or send prepaid load to their families back home through brick-and-mortar loading stations or official websites for contactless top-ups.
“During these unprecedented times, overseas Filipinos cannot afford to be disconnected from their loved ones. We want communication to be the least of their worries,” added Villa-Real. “Through our global network of distributors, we made mobile prepaid load more accessible for our kababayans so they can make international calls or send messages when they need it most.”
Customers overseas can also enjoy the convenience of reloading their international phones through the Smart Load Abroad Facebook page, powered by PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc (Smart).
Smart Load Abroad (facebook.com/smartloadabroad) enables the overseas Filipinos to send prepaid load to their loved ones through the simplified experience of chatting with the Facebook page. Customers simply need to tap the Send Message button to activate the chatbot, and choose to buy Smart or TNT load, Free Bee call plans, or pay Philippine bills while they are abroad.
This broad program to assist in the various needs of overseas Filipinos falls under PLDT’s group-wide commitment to Awesome Customer Experience and Quality of Service, one of the seven pillars that comprise the company’s sustainability framework.