In Roppongi, not too far from the Philippines Embassy, there is a store stacked with food and drink products you don’t see in many other shops. Asia Yaosho, which opened last June, offers a huge range of items imported from the Philippines.
The store also offers shoppers the convenience of registering for Seven Bank’s overseas money transfer service in which customers can use the Internet/mobile banking network and Seven Bank ATMs to send money anytime 24 hours a day. Seven Bank staff are in the store twice a week — on Mondays and Fridays — to help customers complete the registration procedures.
Store employee Enrico Esguerra says the store has being doing very well since it opened. “Our customers are mainly from the Filipino community because the embassy is nearby, but some Japanese and other nationalities shop here,” he said. “On a good day, we get about 100 Filipino customers, if the embassy is open.”
Esguerra said that the most popular products sold at Asia Yaosho are the Goldilocks brand of sweets (mocha, chocolate roll, banana bread and egg pies), canned drinks and tropical fruit, Boy Bawang and Muncher snacks.
The Seven Bank service has been a drawcard, as well. “As you know, Filipinos are strongly attached to their family,” said Esguerra. “Many shoppers are using this service because it is the easiest way to send money back to the Philippines.
Signing up for the service is easy at Asia Yaosho on Mondays and Fridays. The friendly Seven Bank staff can speak English and are happy to help customers with the registration procedure. Once a customer registers and receives an ATM card, he or she can send money from ATMs in Seven Eleven conveniences stores to about 200 countries. Users can send 10,000 yen for only 990 yen and 50,000 yen for only 1,500 yen, with no payment due on the receiving end. Receivers do not need to open a bank account. Seven Bank officials say that so far, the main users are Filipinos, followed by Chinese and Japanese.
The general feedback from users is that the service is simple and very handy. It is especially a big help to the Filipino community. Many have come to Japan to work as caregivers, nurses, in the construction and maritime industries. They can earn much more here than back in the Philippines. Most of the Filipinos send money back home once or twice a month.
The location of Asia Yaosho in Roppongi means that Filipinos do not have to go very far to register for the Seven Bank service, while they are shopping for their favorite items from back home.
“We have done some advertising in Tagalog magazines, but the best marketing has been through word of mouth among the Filipino community and at the embassy,” said Esguerra.
The store is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday and Sundays. It is closed on Saturdays.
The store also offers online shopping at http://www.asiayaosho.com/
For more information on Seven Bank’s money transfer service, visit http://www.sevenbank.co.jp/