PLDT’s international arm PLDT Global Corporation (PGC) has bagged the Most Outstanding Applications Company award for its Free Bee and Vortex apps at the Pacific Telecommunications Council Awards 2022.
This is the second time that Free Bee has been recognized by the prestigious award-giving body, and a first for Vortex.
Free Bee enables overseas Filipinos to enjoy free two-minute calls or purchase affordable premium calls to PLDT, Smart, and TNT customers in the Philippines. Filipinos in Canada, South Korea, United States, India, Singapore, Australia, and Japan can use a Virtual Philippine Number — a local Smart number that is assigned or paired to their Free Bee account– so that their families back home can call or text them and be charged only with local rates.
Free Bee users can also enjoy unlimited app-to-app calls and messages, or purchase call or text plans through Bee Coins — an in-app digital currency. They can also buy prepaid load via the Bee Shop and send it to their families back home or pay for Philippine bills even if they are abroad.
Available in 200 countries and with over a million downloads, Free Bee continues to expand its list of partners on What’s The Buzz – the one-stop shop within the app that enables users to look for information, entertainment, job listings, important hotlines, and other services to help them with their needs.
On the other hand, Vortex provides overseas Filipinos with direct access to payment channels for over a hundred top Philippine billers — including utility services, schools, insurance, and social services. Expecting cross-border transactions by migrant Filipinos to increase 300% by 2023, PGC continues to strengthen Vortex so it can better support the availability of digital products to Filipino communities worldwide through an open ecosystem of distributors, resellers, and merchants.
To date, Vortex has completed over 850,000 payment transactions daily, serving approximately 9 million customers a month.
“PGC is in the business of encouraging meaningful connections for the migrant Filipino. We continue to bridge the gap and bring products and services closer to them through our apps and platforms, empowering our kababayans and bringing them closer to a future defined by digital connections,” said Albert V. Villa-Real, President and CEO at PGC.
Free Bee and Vortex are part of a broader PLDT program aligned to help the country achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal #9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, and underscores the company’s focus area of connecting Filipinos everywhere.