Showing posts with label UnionBank. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UnionBank. Show all posts
Dec 21, 2021

Achievements, future projects take the spotlight at UnionBank’s E-TalkTales year-ender event

Arvie de Vera, UnionDigital Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer talked about the Future of Financial Service in the country during the UnionBank’s E-TalkTales year-ender event last December 15, 2021

Achievements, future projects take the spotlight at UnionBank’s E-TalkTales year-ender event

In celebration of its numerous accomplishments and milestones this past year, and to give a small preview of what its customers can expect in 2022, Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) held another iteration of its long-running virtual media roundtable series E-TalkTales last December 15.

During the virtual event, UnionBank Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Technology and Operations Officer, and Chief Transformation Officer Henry Aguda talked about some of the Bank's achievements for the year, while the Co-Founder and CEO of UnionBank's digital-native banking arm UnionDigital, Arvie de Vera, talked about the role that the newly formed digital bank will play in UnionBank's digital transformation journey going forward.

Aguda began the discussion by recounting how UnionBank's digital transformation journey has enabled it to brave 2020 and the equally challenging 2021. "The pandemic created this shift to digital, which we now refer to as the “new digital normal”. We changed the way we live, the way we travel, the way we interact with one another, and basically we've changed forever in terms of how we transact in the financial sector."

"But even before the pandemic, UnionBank already had this forward-looking view that digital is the way for us to move forward, and when the pandemic hit, not only did we survive, but I'm happy to say that the Bank actually thrived," according to Aguda.

Henry Aguda, UnionBank Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Technology and Operations Officer, and Chief Transformation Officer talked about some of the Bank's achievements for the year,

He then highlighted the top 10 most notable achievements of UnionBank in 2021. These include being the only publicly listed Philippine bank to be granted a license to operate a digital-native bank; the successful groundbreaking of the UnionBank Innovation Campus, the country's first-ever learning institution focused on digital innovation; and having 21 patents for its innovative offers already approved and 18 more on the way.

Other notable achievements include the integration of Instapay 2.0 into its digital banking platform; the successful launch of the UnionBank SME Banking App; the launch of wealth management educational campaigns including the NextGen Academy; significant user growths for UBX’s platforms SeekCap, Bux, and Sentro; and the significant increase in its customer base to almost 10 million to date, from just nearly 7 million as of end-2020.

Meanwhile, de Vera provided a quick introduction to UnionDigital. UnionDigital is one of only six financial institutions in the Philippines that have officially been granted digital banking licenses by the Bangko Central ng Pilipinas to date. As UnionBank's digital banking arm, UnionDigital will focus on delivering banking and financial services to underserved sectors which the parent bank is not able to optimally cater to.

"While UnionDigital aims to empower the country's digital economy, we also aim to elevate it by bringing trust and governance into the space. We embrace innovation like a fintech, but offer all the powers, experience, and track record of a fully regulated bank,” de Vera said.

“At the heart of our work will always be the desire to provide our customers with what they want and what they need, while ensuring that they have what they need in terms of security, compliance with regulation, and proper governance," de Vera added.

In terms of what customers can expect from the Bank and its subsidiaries in 2022, some of the things that Aguda and de Vera gave a sneak preview of were the Bank's possible foray into non-fungible tokens (NFTs), several new solutions aimed at helping workers in the thriving gig economy through EON, and participating in the growing interest and opportunities relating to the metaverse, just to name a few.

UnionBank Chief Marketing Officer Albert Cuadrante capped off the event with a promise that the Bank will continue to do even better in 2022 in terms of delivering great customer experience across channels and platforms. He also reiterated that "UnionBank’s goal is not just to help people survive, but to actually enable them to thrive in this new environment through the latest financial technologies; staying true to our commitment to “Tech-up Pilipinas!”

"I hope you are as eager as I am to welcome 2022. What I can promise you is that what you heard today is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a lot more exciting news you can look forward to from UnionBank," Cuadrante concluded.

Dec 9, 2021

UnionBank wins big at the 2021 Asian Technology Excellence Awards


UnionBank wins big at the 2021 Asian Technology Excellence Awards

The bank secured the Philippines Technology Excellence Awards for E-Commerce - Financial Technology and AI - Financial Technology categories.

UnionBank once again proved to be the Philippines’ leading digital trailblazer after winning awards for E-Commerce - Financial Technology and AI – Financial Technology categories at the Asian Technology Excellence Awards 2021. The bank was recognised for its responsive efforts to assist e-commerce of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) during the pandemic.

The bank won their E-Commerce - Financial Technology award for the successful launch of the Sentro Online Store Builder, a project aimed to help Philippine MSMEs launch their own online stores in the fastest and easiest way possible. The said project was conceptualized by the Bank’s fintech spinoff UBX, before the pandemic hit in 2019, but became more timely as more businesses moved their transactions online. 

“When the pandemic hit, going online was no longer an option but a necessity. We decided to push our launch up as we knew that the Philippines needed us more than ever,” said John Januszczak, UBX President and CEO.

The key features of Sentro Online Store Builder were the integration of payment and logistic services to its banking features. These features enabled its users to have a smoother deal within the platform and have their transactions monitored in just one system.

“We made sure to pre-integrate payments and logistics services into Sentro so MSMEs would not have to think about who and how to integrate these necessary services. Because of our intimate understanding of the pain points of MSMEs, we were able to quickly sign up over 30,000 users,” Januszczak explained.

UBX aims to follow through with the initial success of the project and plans to add more logistics partners. It also aims to launch a Marketplace that comprises all stores built on the Sentro platform.

UBX also recognised that the success of the project for small scale enterprises could be replicated and multiplied on a larger scale. This moved the company into helping the Philippines’ first Wedding Expo Organizer, Themes, and Motifs, take their physical expos online. The positive outcome of the expo then led to the launch of – The First and Only Wedding Marketplace in the Philippines.

“We soon realized that it was not just MSMEs that needed help going online. Larger enterprises, such as mall operators, event organizers, professional associations and many more, needed their businesses to get online... We currently have a long pipeline of businesses looking to launch their own marketplaces and we plan to go live with several more before year-end,” UBX said.

Meanwhile, the second award of UnionBank for the AI - Financial Technology category was earned for their innovative approach in revamping loan processing in the country through the SeekCap Alternative Credit Scoring Model.

SeekCap uses a technologically advanced credit scoring system that integrates the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to create a risk-based lending approach. For UnionBank, this new system is the future of banking and shall overcome traditional limitations of the past. Through the implementation of this innovative system, UnionBank was able to manage risks better and offer loans in a more efficient manner to a wider range of individuals and small businesses—that profoundly needed lifelines during the uncertain pandemic economy.

“Most of the time, traditional credit and risk assessment methods simply assess loan applicants using hard-coded, preset rules, sometimes unfairly ruling out potential loan prospects. This is why we developed the new AI-powered credit scoring models. These credit scoring models intelligently and autonomously go through the application, alternative, and external data to create a more holistic, comprehensive profile of loan applicants with insights into customer behavior and needs,” said David Hardoon, UnionBank’s Senior Advisor for Data and Artificial Intelligence.

Hardoon explained that SeekCap helped both parties in multiple ways. It not only empowered previously underserved groups to have access to products and services that were not available through older conventional means, but it also increased the rate of efficiency of the banking process.

“Our new model is now giving us a monthly average approval rate of 54% - nearly double the performance of our old process. Overall, our loans services have generated over US$5 million (over P280 million) in new loans with low delinquency rates. In terms of customer experience, the loan approval process can take as short as one day if no issue is found in the application,” Hardoon explained.

UnionBank will receive the awards at the 2021 Technology Excellence Awards, the most prestigious awards programme in the region dedicated to technological projects and innovations. The award-giving body aims to recognise exceptional companies that are riding the digital disruption wave and leading the technological revolution and digital transformation journeys in their respective industries.


Nov 23, 2021

UnionBank UPAY for MSME: Helping level the playing field for the country’s growing number of MSMEs


UnionBank UPAY for MSME: Helping level the playing field for the country’s growing number of MSMEs


Filipinos are now utilizing digital payments more than ever. Last month, the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported that digital payments made up 20.1 percent of all transactions in 2020, more than double the figure from two years ago of 10 percent. This strong momentum is creating opportunities particularly for enterprising Filipinos who engage in e-commerce.

To help micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country capitalize on this growing trend, Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank), the region’s digital trailblazer and the country’s foremost bank for MSMEs, has launched a groundbreaking feature that will make e-payments easier and secure not only for customers but also for MSMEs—the new UPAY for MSME.

Jaypee Soliman
UnionBank Vice President and MSME Segment Head

This was unveiled at the Bank's 12th E-TalkTales media event, wherein UnionBank Vice President and MSME Segment Head Jaypee Soliman, and UnionBank Merchant Acquiring and Payment Gateway Head Gerry Austria led discussions on the critical role of digitizing payments in the country's fast evolving market.

Soliman began the discussions by talking about the state of digital payments in the country, citing the significant growth in the number of Filipinos who utilize these payment solutions. This is an indication that Filipinos are now more open to the idea of becoming a cash-lite society.

“This shows how the consumers are now transacting digitally. They are ready. They are there. The number of Filipinos having e-wallets and bank accounts continue to grow. But the question is, are the MSMEs ready to accept digital payments?"

This is where UPAY comes in. UPAY is a groundbreaking digital payments solution designed to make acceptance of multiple payment options accessible to MSMEs. It offers a fully integrated, single platform payment collection complete with other features that can make inbound payments easier for entrepreneurs, including the option to generate payment links with multiple collection channels, and the option to generate InstaPay QRPH for digital and physical channels.

"UPAY for MSMEs is a payment gateway that is embedded in our MSME Business Banking App. Businesses of all sizes and types now have the power to generate payment links, request payments, send it to their customers and provide multiple payment options, all these reconciled and credited to a single UnionBank account," Soliman said.

What makes UPAY convenient for accepting payments is that customers can choose their preferred payment channel either via Unionbank Online, InstaPay, Other Digital Wallets, Credit/Debit Cards and even over-the-counter through UnionBank’s expansive network of partner channels nationwide.

Gerry Austria
UnionBank Merchant Acquiring and Payment Gateway Head 

"When we conceptualized UPAY for MSMEs, we wanted to do away with all the different hassles that the merchant is experiencing to set up his payments, one of which is having to connect to a point-of-sale system, having to have different devices, having to have to download different apps," Austria said.

"Second, it's the efficiency in doing business. You don't need to be in your physical store to actually have a customer pay you. You can actually be vacationing somewhere else and someone wants to buy a product which they saw through your post on Instagram or Facebook. You can actually just create a payment link and send it to that customer, so it's very convenient for both the merchant and the customer," Austria added.

Through the new feature, UnionBank wants to level the playing field for MSMEs by making the feature accessible to them, which was previously only available to the bigger merchants as part of enterprise platforms that are too technologically demanding and expensive for smaller players.


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