banking
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UnionBank of the Philippines Introduces Exclusive Wealth Programs for Elevated Client Experiences

Monday, November 27, 2023


In a strategic move to enhance its wealth management services, Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) has recently unveiled two distinctive programs—UnionBank Elite and UnionBank Access. These programs mark a significant stride in the bank's commitment to delivering a superior wealth management experience, combining the strengths of its acquired Citi Wealth business with innovative approaches.

Elevating Wealth Management Services UnionBank Elite emerges as the premier wealth segment, designed to provide an unparalleled wealth management experience. Elite customers benefit from the expertise of a seasoned team of wealth management professionals, boasting a proven track record in investment and financial planning. What sets Elite apart is the exclusive access it offers to a diverse range of local and international investment options, catering to the need for diversification.

Additionally, UnionBank Elite customers are entitled to curated experiences and exclusive benefits. From first dibs on new releases to invitations to exclusive events, the program ensures a truly bespoke experience. As an enticing offer, new Elite customers stand to receive up to P1 Million in cash credits by opening an account before December 31, 2023.

Empowering the Next Generation of Wealth Builders UnionBank Access is tailored for the emerging affluent, with a focus on the next generation of wealth builders. Therese Chan, UnionBank Wealth and Brokerage Head, emphasized the program's enhancements, considering the children of existing clients who are in the process of creating their wealth. This underscores UnionBank's dedication to providing comprehensive solutions for all wealth segments.

Continued Excellence for Ultra-Wealthy Clients For the ultra-wealthy segment, UnionBank Private Banking remains dedicated to championing discretionary wealth management and succession planning for families. This commitment ensures that UnionBank continues to meet the evolving needs of its diverse clientele.

Navigating the Future of Wealth Demonstrating its thought leadership, UnionBank hosted a Market Outlook event for the second half of the year. The event facilitated discussions on relevant issues and trends in the Asian and Global markets. Special emphasis was given to artificial intelligence and megatrends, with insights provided by industry leaders Anthony Kruger (BlackRock) and Jason Lim (Allianz Global Investors).


Celebrating Innovation and Client Loyalty UFSI President and CEO Ramon Melchor Tejero led celebratory toasts at the conclusion of the event, expressing gratitude to exceptional clients for their loyalty and support. Tejero highlighted the bank's commitment to redefining wealth management, embracing innovation, and exploring exciting possibilities.

With the launch of UnionBank Elite and UnionBank Access, Union Bank of the Philippines solidifies its position as a leader in the wealth management landscape. As it continues to innovate and cater to diverse client needs, the bank remains dedicated to providing elevated and exclusive financial solutions. To explore the distinctive offerings of UnionBank Elite and UnionBank Access, interested individuals can visit www.unionbankph.com/wealth/elite and www.unionbankph.com/wealth/access.
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BPI modernizes HR Operations and Employee Experience with Darwinbox’s HR Technology

Saturday, November 25, 2023


Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), the country’s pioneering bank, adopts digital-first HR with its partnership with Darwinbox, Asia’s leading Human Resource Management System (HRMS) provider. With a legacy spanning over 170 years, BPI has enhanced its employee experience and streamlined HR processes for its 18,000-strong workforce, covering a diverse range of banking services.

BPI has leveraged Darwinbox’s technology platform to enhance employee experience, streamlining every phase of the employee’s journey, from the onboarding process to retirement. Dubbed as Real-time HR Express Assist or RHEA, BPI employees now have access to a one-stop-shop solution for all their HR needs, including Time & Attendance, Performance Management, Recruitment & Onboarding, issue resolution through Helpdesk, and employee engagement via Vibe, Darwinbox’s integrated social network for businesses. 

“We continue to reinforce our value of being customer obsessed to give the best solutions not only to our customers but also to our people. Our partnership with Darwinbox marks a significant milestone in our ongoing journey to enhance the employee experience at BPI. With RHEA, we hope to empower our employees to achieve and do more as we continue to pursue our vision to build a better Philippines – one family, one community at a time,” said Maria Virginia “Gina” Eala, BPI Chief Human Resources Officer.

The first phase of the digital HR transformation went live as scheduled, an achievement that the BPI team found particularly noteworthy. In less than a year, the project team implemented modules from hire-to-retire that enable, empower, and engage Unibankers in creating memorable moments.

Mobile accessibility is one of the key features of RHEA, ensuring that every employee, including those working in branches, can access HR services anytime. “Having RHEA available through mobile phones ensures the platforms’ accessibility and user-friendliness for our entire workforce while upholding the highest level of security and flexibility,” remarked Eala. She further added, “Our most valuable assets are our employees, which is why we prioritize their holistic well-being to boost their productivity in the workplace.”

BPI employees have the opportunity to experience RHEA, BPI’s new platform that serves as a one-stop-shop for all their HR needs. 



“BPI is a pillar of the Philippines’ banking industry, setting standards for over a century with its innovative mindset, a trait we wholeheartedly share. We are proud to be part of the bank’s digitalization journey. Together, we are transforming the employee experience of more than 18,000 people across the nation. It is a massive undertaking, and we are happy to be the bank’s trusted HRMS partner,” shared Jayant Paleti, Darwinbox Co-founder.

“It takes crystal clear vision from the leadership to take on a project of this magnitude, and it’s been nothing short of a joy working with the BPI team on this. Transforming HR at an organization with such scale and legacy was a very rewarding challenge. We are happy to be part of BPI’s mission to build a better Philippines,” added Sasank Raavi, Darwinbox Country Manager-Philippines.

BPI’s collaboration with Darwinbox represents a significant leap in its journey to modernize HR operations and provide an enhanced employee experience for its dedicated workforce.

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UnionDigital Bank Unveils Ubeh Pay: A Game-Changer in Philippines' Digital Banking Landscape


In a bold move towards revolutionizing digital banking in the Philippines, UnionDigital Bank, the digital arm of UnionBank of the Philippines, recently unveiled its upcoming payments platform, Ubeh Pay, at the prestigious Cashless Expo PH 2023. The platform promises to redefine the landscape of cashless transactions in the country, offering a suite of features designed for simplicity, convenience, and security.

Ubeh Pay is set to offer a wide array of payment solutions, including bill payments, QR-led payments, and cutting-edge contactless transactions facilitated by tapping technology. The platform aims to address the unique needs of diverse consumer segments, ensuring a seamless touchpoint for various types of payment transactions.

One of the standout features of Ubeh Pay is the introduction of a combo card. This card combines the convenience of a virtual debit card with the flexibility of a credit line, providing users with a versatile tool for cashless transactions. This innovation is poised to make Ubeh Pay an indispensable financial companion for Filipinos.

Scheduled for release in 2024, Ubeh Pay reflects UnionDigital Bank's commitment to making digital banking accessible to every Filipino. Henry Aguda, the CEO and President of UnionDigital Bank, emphasizes that Ubeh Pay marks the beginning of their efforts to ensure comprehensive financial inclusion across the nation.

Henry Aguda reaffirms the bank's dedication to financial inclusion, stating, "With a portfolio of exciting projects in development, we are dedicated to our mission to play a pivotal role in realizing comprehensive financial inclusion across the nation." The bank aims to simplify the process of digital transactions and make banking services accessible to all.

The unveiling of Ubeh Pay took place at the Cashless Expo PH 2023, organized by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The event aims to promote cashless transactions in the country, aligning with BSP's vision of digitization and digital financial inclusion as urgent priorities.

UnionDigital Bank extends its commitment to financial inclusion beyond domestic borders by actively working to make banking accessible to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). Collaborative efforts with OFW associations aim to formulate competitive solutions to reduce the considerable costs associated with remittances, showcasing the bank's global vision.

As UnionDigital Bank prepares to launch Ubeh Pay in 2024, it marks a significant milestone in the evolution of digital banking in the Philippines. With a focus on simplicity, convenience, and inclusivity, Ubeh Pay has the potential to reshape how Filipinos engage in financial transactions, bringing the benefits of digital banking to a broader audience. UnionDigital Bank's strategic approach, as showcased at the Cashless Expo PH 2023, demonstrates a commitment to advancing cashless platforms both domestically and internationally, reinforcing its position as a leader in the digital banking arena.
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Chinabank's Robust Growth Propels Strong Financial Performance in 2023: 9-month net income hits P16.2B

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Chinabank financial performance 2023

China Banking Corporation (Chinabank), listed under the PSE stock symbol CHIB, has reported a remarkable financial performance for the first nine months of 2023. With a net income of P16.2 billion, reflecting a 10% increase compared to the same period last year, Chinabank continues to showcase its resilience and strategic prowess in navigating the challenging economic landscape.

Financial Highlights:

Net Income and Profitability: Chinabank achieved a net income of P16.2 billion, marking a 10% YoY growth. Return on equity stood at 15.6%, while return on assets reached 1.6%.

Quarterly Performance: Q3 profits surged by 16% to P5.4 billion, demonstrating sustained growth. The success is attributed to robust core business growth and reduced loan loss provisions.

Strategic Business Execution: Chinabank President & CEO, Romeo D. Uyan, Jr., attributes the success to effective business strategies. Despite a high-interest rate environment, the bank focuses on preserving margins, managing costs, and enhancing operational efficiency through technology.

Net Interest Income and Margin: Net interest income increased by 16% to P39.2 billion. The net interest margin was maintained at 4.2%.

Credit Provisions and Portfolio Quality: Total credit provisions reduced to P1.3 billion, reflecting a stable portfolio. Non-performing loans (NPL) cover remained robust at 126%.

Operational Efficiency: Operating expenses rose by 14% to P20.5 billion, driven by manpower and inflation-related costs. Cost-to-income ratio remained healthy at 50%.

Financial Position: Chinabank remains the 4th largest private domestic bank with total assets of P1.4 trillion, an 11% YoY increase.

Loan and Deposit Growth: Gross loans grew by 10% to P765 billion, fueled by a 19% expansion in consumer loans. Total deposits increased by 14% to P1.1 trillion, resulting in a 49% CASA ratio.

Capital Structure and Recognition: Total capital grew by 7% to P141 billion. Chinabank CFO, Patrick D. Cheng, highlights the optimization of capital structure. The bank received recognition as the 2023 Employer of the Year and accolades for outstanding wealth management and corporate governance.

Chinabank's stellar financial performance, strategic business execution, and recognition in various areas underscore its resilience and commitment to excellence. With a strong balance sheet, manageable bad loans, and a focus on optimizing its capital structure, Chinabank continues to position itself as a leading player in the banking industry.
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UnionBank becomes first and only PH universal bank to offer mobile crypto trading

Thursday, September 21, 2023

mobile crypto trading

Proving its status anew as an industry trailblazer, Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) recently achieved another first in the industry after securing a Certificate of Authority from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to operate as a virtual asset service provider (VASP), making it the first and only universal bank in the Philippines to offer virtual asset exchange services. 

With the full VASP license from the BSP, the Bank can now extend virtual asset exchange services to a broader base of UnionBank customers through the award-winning UnionBank Online app. These virtual asset exchange services previously were accessible only to randomly selected users of the app through a limited virtual asset license. 

The new feature, set to roll out gradually in the final quarter of 2023, will now enable UnionBank customers to directly buy and sell Bitcoin (BTC) through the app, providing a convenient and secure platform for trading cryptocurrencies through a well-established and trusted financial institution. This will also allow them to manage both traditional banking and digital assets within a single mobile platform. 

“In this era where change is constant, our pursuit of this license isn't just about staying current, but about being future-proof and future-ready. The financial landscape is evolving at an unprecedented pace, and we want to be at the forefront, ensuring that we are equipped to meet the evolving needs of our clients,” said UnionBank SVP and Head of Emerging Technology Group Cathy Casas. 

“Our commitment to our clients is the driving force behind every innovation we introduce,” said UnionBank EVP and Chief Technology and Operations Officer Dennis Omila. “Through these new services, we are empowering them to be able to navigate this new space with confidence.” 

“This milestone represents a significant leap forward for UnionBank as we continue to revolutionize the banking landscape. By obtaining this license, we are not only paving the way for even more groundbreaking opportunities, but also enhancing our digital capabilities and further transforming the way our customers interact with us,” said UnionBank President and CEO Edwin Bautista. 

The adoption of blockchain technology has been integral to UnionBank's future-proofing strategy, and the Bank has been actively exploring potential use cases, including cryptocurrencies, to adapt to evolving customer needs and financial trends. For instance, in 2019, the Bank launched the country’s first bank-operated, two-way virtual currency ATM located in its digital branch “The ARK” in Makati City, which allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. 

The initiative aligns with the Bank’s "Tech-Up Pilipinas" advocacy, aimed at advancing digital literacy among Filipinos and enhancing financial inclusion and technological empowerment in the country. 

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Security Bank empowers workforce with Darwinbox's mobile-first HR solution

Sunday, September 10, 2023

mobile-first HR solution

Security Bank Corporation (PSE:SECB), a leading universal bank in the Philippines, has recently launched HeRO, powered by Darwinbox, as its Human Capital Management (HCM) platform. This elevates the employee experience of the Bank’s more than 7,000-strong workforce. The Bank has integrated its systems into one end-to-end HCM platform covering the entire employee lifecycle from hiring to retirement. Security Bank’s goal with the partnership is to provide employees with a mobile-first HR solution that is simple, progressive, and serves as a one-stop-shop tool for HCM data and service needs.

HCM and HR experts from Darwinbox worked with the Security Bank team on an extensive blueprinting process to address the Bank’s requirements, setting out a roadmap and expected outcomes. Darwinbox and Security Bank planned a phased implementation to ensure the successful adoption of scheduled functionalities while performing business-as-usual tasks.

Speaking on the Bank’s HR vision and intention with the new HCM platform, Sanjiv Vohra, President and CEO of Security Bank, said, “At Security Bank, our values-based culture is underscored by our Employee Value Proposition called ‘You Matter.’ We’re strengthening our support for our employees with unique, industry-leading engagement and benefits programs, as we invest heavily in technology to improve the overall employee experience. Our Bank has grown and evolved over the past seven decades and counting, and the key to our longevity and success lies in our most important asset—our people,” said Sanjiv Vohra, President and CEO of Security Bank. 

“Security Bank is committed to being the preferred employer in Philippine banking. To do so, we’re investing in employee development and technology to simplify processes and enhance work-life balance. HeRO is a significant part of the HCM transformation initiative, aiming to unify and empower employees by providing a single source of truth for all HCM data and services, from onboarding to career progression and retirement,” said Nerissa Berba, Executive Vice President and Head of Human Capital Management. 

Two 'Experience Lab' sessions were conducted by Darwinbox for stakeholders to familiarize themselves with HeRO (Security Bank’s front-end branding of the Darwinbox platform) before its official launch. The first session was attended by Security Bank executives while the second session included a larger audience. 

“We don’t just want to leave a customer with a platform, we’re all about driving end-to-end value management. After all, we’re driving a new way of working at Security Bank,” said Jayant Paleti, co-Founder of Darwinbox. He added, “We love working with passionate teams that want to do right by their employees, and the dedication of the Security Bank team to their people has been evident from day one. The vision and execution have been very well thought out. Everyone involved has shown tremendous support. Here’s to a continuously blossoming relationship with Security Bank.”

Vikrant Khanna, Global Head - Value Management and Solutions at Darwinbox, said of the engagement, “It’s wonderful to partner with organizations that are pushing the needle on high-touch and high-tech HR in a well-thought-out manner. Security Bank's employee value proposition of 'You Matter' has been a beacon for HCM, clearly charting out their transformation journey.”

Darwinbox is globally the #1 rated HCM platform (on Gartner Peer Insights) and backed by the likes of Microsoft, Salesforce, and Sequoia. The new-age solution has become the fastest and the only Asian HCM player to feature on the Gartner Magic Quadrant in 2021 and 2022. The company’s technology partnership with Microsoft is helping accelerate the development of cutting-edge innovations, including AI in HR.
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BDO Drives Greater Sustainable Finance

Monday, September 4, 2023


BDO Unibank, Inc. (BDO) continues to strengthen its commitment to a sustainable future through proactively financing energy efficiency projects, including green facilities and vehicles. At the recently held Energy Financing Forum, Gabriel U. Lim, Senior Vice President and Head of Corporate Finance of BDO Capital & Investment Corporation said that BDO is looking for more renewable energy projects to finance in support of national economic development and energy security.

BDO views the social impact of the energy transition as equally important as the economic and environmental impacts. “We are committed to provide access to capital to our customers so they can acquire new transition technologies that will reduce carbon footprint or shift to renewable energy sources entirely”, added Lim. 

BDO’s announcement of its Energy Transition Finance Statement last year reinforced the Bank’s commitment to financing the transition to a low-carbon, environmentally responsible and socially inclusive economy. This was in support of the 2015 Paris Agreement and the Philippines’ nationally determined contribution that aims to reduce 75% of the country’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030.

The Bank continues to expand its Sustainable Finance initiatives towards funding new and/or existing renewable energy projects. Since 2010, BDO has financed a mix of 55 renewable energy projects for wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, and biomass energy sources accounting for 2,230 megawatts of total installed renewable energy capacity nationwide. 

BDO recognizes that it plays a critical role in the country towards contributing to a global low carbon economy. The Bank’s financing innovative green projects helps drive national development while transitioning toward a more sustainable future.
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BPI launches new AI-powered tool to help Filipinos ‘Track and Plan’ their spending like a boss

Friday, September 1, 2023

new BPI app

The new BPI app’s Track and Plan is a pioneering feature that empowers people to manage their money wisely. It’s like having a personal finance manager right at your fingertips!


The Bank of the Philippine Islands rolled out its first-in-the-industry feature on the new BPI app. Aptly called Track and Plan, this tool utilizes AI to track and analyze your financial activities on the BPI app, share insights on your spending habits, and even offer suggestions for smarter financial investments—so you can plan for your future.


You may have already seen it when you logged on to your BPI app. It’s the animated scrolling cards at the top of the screen. Based on your latest transactions, Track and Plan will generate insights around your cashflow and float up snippets to notify you of, say, similar withdrawals made back-to-back.


You can get the full insight with more details when you click on the notification and easily get in touch with BPI if you need to.


Another insight could be about unexpected changes in deposits from a familiar payor made to your account.

When your balance is consistently high that it sufficiently covers your average monthly expenses, Track and Plan will suggest ways you can invest and grow your extra funds.

Track and Plan can also monitor trends in your spending and alert you in case your bill was higher than your average—so you can be more mindful of your budget.

This AI-powered tool generates unique insights that only you can view, and you can rest assured about the privacy of your financial transactions. It is the first of its kind in the industry. By design, Track and Plan will continue to give you new insights based on your app usage.

"I have been covering the financial industry for decades and I have never seen a banking app that acts like a financial advisor with powerful access to tools that allow anyone to move from knowledge to action,” says veteran journalist and ‘Financial Beshie ng Bayan’ Salve Duplito. “Let’s face it, most of us get offended when someone tells us we are spending too much, but with Track and Plan, it’s like you telling you! So our emotional human experience gets a big jolt of logic — and that could be transformational in bringing our country’s savings rate higher.”

Mariana Zobel de Ayala

“We at BPI are excited to unveil Track and Plan, our AI-powered personal finance management tool on the new BPI app,” says Mariana Zobel de Ayala, Consumer Marketing and Platforms Head at BPI. “We are leveraging technology to simplify money management to empower Filipinos to do more and make their lives better every day. This feature essentially scales BPI’s seasoned and personalized financial advice to millions of Filipinos and is the next step forward in BPI’s evolution. Our customers can look forward to more in-depth insights and actionable advice as we continue to develop this feature.”

As AI learns from patterns or features in data, insights from Track and Plan gets better the more you use it. BPI will also be expanding its capabilities in the coming months so users will eventually have the option to turn on automatic monthly investments, schedule their most frequent transactions, and best of all, stay on top of their spending and earnings with a built-in budget tracker. All these will be available exclusively on the new BPI app.

Time to “move app,” don’t you think?

To start getting AI-powered insights, download the new BPI app if you haven’t yet—or update to the latest version. Download it here or scan the QR code below.


Sunsetting of the old BPI app is targeted for September 30, 2023. Download the new app and activate your devices by then!
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BDO Network Bank ready to serve the people of Cauayan, Negros Occidental

Monday, August 28, 2023

BDO Network Bank Cauayan branch
CAUAYAN, NEGROS OCCIDENTAL. BDO Network Bank Cauayan branch is now open to serve residents in need of banking products and services, such as Savings Accounts, MSME loans, Salary loans, micro-insurance, and Cash Management solutions. (Left to right) BDONB Region Head Jerry Perol, Cauayan Mayor John Rey Tabujara, BDONB Community Banking Network Group Head Jaime Talingdan, and BDONB Area Head Maribel Mariveles.


BDO Network Bank opened its first branch in Cauayan, Negros Occidental to serve individuals and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) looking for a partner in progress.

With the opening of the said BDONB branch, a wider range of the bank's products and services are now accessible, promoting the continuous development of the local economy.

Negros Occidental Cauayan Mayor John Rey D. Tabujara expressed appreciation on the opening of the new BDO Network Bank branch, saying it will simplify financial transactions of micro and small entrepreneurs in the municipality. This will significantly save time and travel expenses, eliminating the need to go to the neighboring town, which is approximately 23 kilometers away.

For his part, BDONB Senior Vice President and Community Banking Network Group Head Jaime Talingdan said the bank's continued expansion to remote towns like Cauayan signifies its commitment to bring banking closer to those who need it the most.

BDO Network Bank, the community banking arm of BDO Unibank, offers financial products such as Savings Accounts, MSME Loans, Salary Loans, Micro-insurance, and Cash Management Solutions, among others.

To learn more about the bank's products and services, go to the nearest BDO Network Bank branch in your area, visit the BDO Network Bank website, or send a direct message to BDO Network Bank Official Facebook Page.
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BDO and BDONB empower Palawan communities with relevant banking solutions

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

BDO banking solutions
BDO and BDONB provide meaningful and relevant banking products and services to remote communities in Palawan through their community day.


BDO Unibank and its community banking arm BDO Network Bank significantly impacted Palawan province when they recently held their on-the-ground banking activities and empowered communities and businesses with relevant banking solutions. Through their joint presence in Palawan, BDO and BDO Network Bank have been instrumental in meeting the diverse banking needs of residents and fostering economic growth in the province. 

Palawan province, known for its natural beauty and rich biodiversity, is home to many communities and businesses. For their part, BDO and BDO Network Bank recognize the importance of providing accessible, relevant, and meaningful banking services to support the financial aspirations and development of the people and enterprises in Palawan.

With their combined branches strategically located in key cities and the countryside, BDO and BDO Network Bank offer convenient access to a wide range of financial products and services. When needed, individuals can benefit from personalized banking solutions such as savings accounts, loans, micro-insurance, remittance, and investment opportunities. Meanwhile, businesses can access specialized services such as cash management solutions, online banking, and business loans to support their growth and expansion plans.

"Our presence in Palawan is deeply rooted in our commitment to empowering individuals, businesses, and communities with comprehensive banking solutions," said BDO Network Bank president Jesus Antonio S. Itchon. "We recognize the unique needs and challenges of the communities and businesses and are dedicated to providing them with the financial tools, support, and guidance necessary for success."

For one, the bank champions the importance of micro-insurance as it contributes to resilience within underserved communities. For only P500 in premium payment, BDO Network Bank customers can purchase the BDO Life Kabalikat Plan and avail of as much as P600,000 in accidental insurance and up to P9,300 in hospital confinement allowance. It helps individuals and communities recover and rebuild after unexpected events, reducing the financial burden and preventing them from falling deeper into poverty.

Serving the underserved

With its expertise in serving rural and micro-businesses, BDO Network Bank is vital in extending financial services to underserved communities in Palawan. The bank's commitment to financial inclusion and meaningful solutions ensures that even the province's most remote areas can access essential banking services, empowering residents to secure their financial future.

Kabayan Savings, for instance, is a remittance and deposit account for OFWs and beneficiaries. It is the starting point to build their financial foundation. The remittance that is directly deposited to Kabayan Savings provides a platform for saving, investing, starting a business, or preparing for retirement. With Php100 and one valid I.D., one can open Kabayan Savings with ATM debit card and passbook. Special offerings also await account holders, with exclusive promos and events from its partner, SM and affiliates.

Meanwhile, BDO Cash Agad brings banking services closer to the doorstep of communities in remote areas without traditional bank branches, providing convenient access to funds for daily expenses, emergencies, or business needs. Through partner agents such as sari-sari stores, gasoline stations, water refilling stations, and mini-groceries, customers can make cash withdrawals, bills payment, and other basic banking transactions. 

BDO Cash Agad is a financial solution providing convenient access to funds for daily expenses, emergencies, or business needs through partner-agents in remote communities.


After having been recognized as the most desirable destination in the Philippines, the province of Palawan is progressing faster than expected, which is an opportunity for BDO Network Bank to expand its reach and further support the growth of micro-small businesses through its Kabuhayan Loan. 

Kabuhayan loan is a financial solution especially designed for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in need of additional funding for business operation or expansion purposes. With flexible terms of payment, business owners can borrow from P30,000 to P500,000 with no collateral.

A number of MSME owners in Palawan expressed their gratitude to BDO and BDO Network Bank’s on-the-ground banking activities, saying, “Ang pagkakaroon ng bangkong ka-partner ay malaking tulong sa aming pamumuhay. Mayroon na kami ngayong safe na mapaglalagyan ng aming income at ipon, may access na rin kami sa loan para mapalago pa ang aming negosyo, at matuto pang lalo ng financial management.”

BDO started its on-the-ground banking activities in 2014. Since then, it has visited various provinces around the country, with Palawan as the 21st provincial area it visited.

 

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UnionDigital Bank Wins Profitability Race in PH Digital Banking

Sunday, August 20, 2023

UnionDigital Bank

UnionDigital Bank, the digital bank subsidiary of Union Bank of the Philippines, is one of the fastest digital banks in the world to achieve profitability. It attained a triple-digit percentage growth in its net income during the first half of 2023 compared to the second half of 2022. The Aboitiz Group-led digital bank, which recently marked its first-year milestone in July, attributed this to the robust loan portfolio growth via the UnionBank ecosystem.

“We are grateful to be one of the six Philippine digital banks that are committed to making a difference in the lives of all Filipinos by empowering them to pursue their aspirations. The commitment and hard work of our Ka-UBEHs in UnionDigital and UnionBank have pushed us to become one of the fastest digital banks in the world to achieve profitability,” said Henry Aguda, President and CEO, UnionDigital Bank. “This milestone is not just UnionDigital's win, but a collective victory that should be celebrated by the entire Digital Banking Association of the Philippines (DBAP) family as it affirms the world class innovation of the Philippine digital banking industry. Philippine banking is ready for the global stage.” 

“We are grateful to be one of the six Philippine digital banks that are committed to making a difference in the lives of all Filipinos by empowering them to pursue their aspirations. The commitment and hard work of our Ka-UBEHs in UnionDigital and UnionBank have pushed us to become one of the fastest digital banks in the world to achieve profitability,” said Henry Aguda, President and CEO, UnionDigital Bank. “This milestone is not just UnionDigital's win, but a collective victory that should be celebrated by the entire Digital Banking Association of the Philippines (DBAP) family as it affirms the world class innovation of the Philippine digital banking industry. Philippine banking is ready for the global stage.”

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has endorsed the establishment of the DBAP, an initiative aimed at addressing the immediate priorities necessary for the prosperity and success of digital banks in the Philippines.

"As we emerge as the fastest to profit digital bank in the Philippines, the endorsement of the DBAP by the BSP is testament to the strong support of our regulator to the future of this industry. This initiative not only reflects our commitment to innovation but also reaffirms the BSP's dedication to the growth and prosperity of PH digital banks. Together, we're shaping a dynamic future for the industry,” added Aguda.

The digital bank’s deposits also saw a 113% surge, amounting to PHP 20 billion, which is 32% of the market share among digital banks. Its loan portfolio has grown to PHP 13 billion, notching a 126% upswing. The company shared that it had captured a substantial 75% of the market share for loans within the digital banking industry as of May 2023.

UnionDigital’s stellar performance, backed by its strong fintech capability, support of the BSP, and deep linkages with the ecosystem of the Aboitiz Group, was recognized at The Asian Banker Excellence in Retail Financial Services and Technology Innovation Philippines Awards 2023, where the company won the "Best Digital-Only Bank" award.

TABInsights, the research arm of TAB Global and a sister company of The Asian Banker, also ranked UnionDigital Bank as number 58 in the Global Top 100 Digital-Only Bank Ranking 2023, which features only two digital banks from the Philippines. The ranking evaluates digital banks based on customer service, market coverage, profitability, asset and deposit growth, and funding.

"Receiving this honor from The Asian Banker is a privilege we hold in high regard. This award is not solely ours to claim; we extend this to our fellow digital bank counterparts, our parent, UnionBank, and the BSP, all united by a common objective – uplifting the lives of Filipinos through financial inclusion,” shared Aguda. “This recognition reflects our joint dedication and commitment to reshape the financial landscape for the better. It underscores the importance of working together and pursuing common goals to drive our nation’s progress and prosperity.”

UnionDigital Bank has recently signed partnerships with different key players in diverse industries to launch its embedded banking services. 

“We have built a strong pipeline of partnerships and are also scaling up our retail app to help us diversify our deposit base,” said Mike Singh, Chief Commercial and Revenue Officer, UnionDigital Bank. “Our focus remains on giving access to essential financial services to the underserved such as micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) through upcoming products in our app.”
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Unionbank records net income of 6.4 billion for first half of 2023

unionbank

Union Bank of the Philippines delivered a net income of P6.4 billion in the first six months of 2023, up by 6% against the same period last year.

Net revenues for the first half of the year amounted to P34.4 billion, increasing by 60% versus the same period last year.

Net Interest income grew 41% to P24.0 billion, largely attributable to the 43% increase in the Bank’s loan portfolio plus better net interest margin. Net interest margin increased by 60 bps to 5.2%. The Bank’s strong focus on high- yieldingconsumer loans more than offsets the impact of the rising cost of funds. The Bank’s proportion of consumer loans to total loans improved to 55% this year versus 42% last year.

Fees and other income more than doubled to P10.5 billion, primarily due to card-related transactions, digital transactions, and the growing base of the Bank’s key subsidiaries.

Operating expenses were up by 82% to P21.8 billion on account of one-time integration cost of the acquired Citi consumer business and the establishment of UnionDigital. Excluding the planned costs attributed to these new business segments, the increase in operating expenses was in line with volume growth.

Total assets as of June 2023 amounted to P1.1 trillion, up by 27% from June 2022. Net loans and receivables climbed up by 43% to P522.2 billion, while total deposits increased by 25% to P693.3 billion.

“We consider this year as a period of investing for our future. Our costs will temporarily be elevated this year, while the integration of the acquired Citi consumer business is ongoing. Having said this, we have a healthy earning asset base. We have a well-diversified consumer loan mix and all segments are growing in double digits. As soon as we complete the Citi integration, we expect a substantial reduction in operating expenses that will bring us back to above-industry ROE we have been known to deliver,” said Manuel R. Lozano, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

“All our consumer business-engines are running in full speed. We now have over 12 million customers. The acquired Citi business is contributing around one-third of our income today. CitySavings continues to be a market leader in providing salary loans. UnionDigital is already profitable and growing fast. This kind of momentum gives me confidence that UnionBank will achieve its goal of becoming the largest and most profitable retail bank in the Philippines by 2025.” said Edwin R. Bautista, President and Chief Executive Officer.

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Silverlake Axis & IDC Has a Dialogue with Key Philippine Banking Executives: “Leaving No Stone Unturned” | Future Ready Banking

Monday, July 31, 2023

Silverlake Axis

Silverlake Axis (“SAL”) (SGX: 5CP), a Singapore-mainboard listed core banking, fintech, and digital banking solutions provider, together with International Data Corporation (IDC), a global market intelligence provider, organized an Executive Lunch Roundtable that hosted interactive discussions around future-ready banking.

Since the region’s economic reopening last year, Southeast Asia has seen a flurry of activity and investment in digital banking, digital transformation and core modernisation, with the Philippines as one of the most active in the region.

“Banks in the Philippines and ASEAN are stepping up their digital transformation so that they can holistically enhance their End-to-End Banking Capabilities with Future Ready Model & Platform, premised on strong Digital Engagement and Collaborative Capabilities with OpenAPI & Cloud Optimization”, shared Soo Eng Tan, Senior Solutions Director at Silverlake Axis.

“Banks recognize the growing expectations and are actively seeking proven Solutions and Partners that ensure Stability & Scalability, Accelerated Core Modernization whilst Mitigating Risks of high-impact Dynamic Transformation. To meet the Strategic Issues and Opportunities (as highlighted by IDC Research), Banks should leverage a Partner with Proven Experience, Expertise & Execution that allows them to differentiate themselves and provide the necessary bespoke customization, as well as avail Parallel Core Options & Optimization and Seamless CoExistence & Bridge in their Evolution Journey.”

The Philippines’ digital banking sector is undergoing rapid changes as banks recognise the value of digital transformation towards the achievement of their goals. Regulations are becoming more favourable as regulators look to lay the necessary groundwork for financial service providers and fintech players to succeed and thereby reach complete financial inclusion.

Together, IDC and SAL have researched and documented how banks can successfully transform their existing systems and infrastructure by transforming core digital banking systems. Earlier this year, the two companies released a report highlighting SAL’s MÖBIUS Bridge, diving deep into the pitfalls of digital transformation and how banks in APAC can successfully navigate them.

The event was hosted by IDC, a global market intelligence provider, and sponsored by SAL. Cyrus Daruwala, IDC’s Managing Director of APAC, delivered the opening note while Soo Eng Tan, SAL’s Senior Solutions Director, presented insights on Future Ready Banking. This was followed by a roundtable between Cyrus, Soo Eng, and delegates before ending with a networking session.
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UBX beefs up financing arsenal for MSMEs, partners with UNO, SEA’s first full-spectrum digital bank

Sunday, June 18, 2023

UNO Digital Bank

UBX, the country’s leading open finance platform, has entered into a strategic partnership with UNOBank (UNO Digital Bank), Southeast Asia’s first full-spectrum digital bank, to make credit more accessible to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) nationwide.

Through this collaboration, SeekCap will be able to further support MSME financing, while providing a wider platform for UNO Digital Bank to reach more customers. 

With the alliance, micro entrepreneurs will be able to get financing even in the absence of formal financial data, utilising the combination of alternative data and psychometric scoring, which further democratizes access to credit to provide the necessary capital to expand their business. This initiative is done through UBX’ loans marketplace platform, Seekcap.

“SeekCap is the product of UBX’s desire to reach MSMEs, who traditionally, have no access to financing to grow their businesses because of the stringent requirements of banking. By democratizing access to loans, now with the help of UNO Digital Bank, we are not just contributing to the expansion of MSMEs but the economic growth of the Philippines as well,” UBX President and CEO John Januszczak said.

UNO Digital Bank is South East Asia’s first full-spectrum digital bank licensed under the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). It is one out of only six digital banks licensed by the BSP. 

A convenient alternative to traditional lending companies, SeekCap leverages its partners’ wide user base to offer loans to businesses. Its existing partners include leading online marketplace Lazada and online food and grocery delivery platform foodpanda, among many others.

With the addition of UNO Digital Bank, microentrepreneurs will have a more seamless and digital experience in their entire financing journey.

The partnership makes it possible for potential borrowers to secure a loan term of 12 months and borrow as high as 250,000 PHP without the need for collateral.

Applicants without an approved loan need only check their inboxes for an invitation for a pre-qualified loan application to UNO Digital Bank to know which ones they can avail of for their business.

“As one of the BSP’s accredited digital banks, UNO can guarantee that our loan offerings are accessible, simple and offer relevant features for our customers. We are honored to work alongside UBX in carrying out inclusivity in the form of loan processing for MSMEs as this also plays a significant role in boosting the local financial ecosystem.” UNOBank CEO Manish Bai said. 

SeekCap is an online lending marketplace that offers an end-to-end lending platform solution from loan origination until collection. Through the digital platform, business loans may be processed in as fast as 24 hours, which is significantly faster than the minimum 30-day approval time for most banks. 

Seekcap brings lenders and borrowers closer via its platform, streamlining the process of getting a business loan while making financing more accessible for small businesses in the city. 

SeekCap has processed over P27 billion of business loans from more than 65,000 MSMEs. 

“Given that 99.51 percent of all businesses in the Philippines are MSMEs, SeekCap is in a position to make a significant change. By partnering with more and more financial players such as UNOBank, that opportunity grows even bigger,” Januszczak said.

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