Issue 4 2020

Jan20490 Banking Success Founded in 1981, UnionBank is one of the leading financial institutions in the Philippines, offering a range of services including both personal banking and corporate banking. Recently, we caught up with their Communications & Events Manager Bianca Dinglasan- Gelido to find out more about the company and their plans for 2020 and beyond. UnionBank have always tried to embrace technology as they look to maintain their status as a leader in digital banking across the region. With this, the firm are righteously recognised as one of Asia’s leading companies, ranking among the country’s top universal banks in terms of profitability and efficiency. Offering a broad range of services, which include deposit and related services, corporate and middle-market lending, and electronic banking, UnionBank has long been known, not for its size and branch network but, as a thought leader in the industry who has introduced pioneering innovations in the market. The clients at UnionBank, especially those in the cash management business, recognise the firm for the customised products and services they have delivered, born out of their deep understanding of their specific pain points. As a company, the firm aim to elevate lives and fulfil dreams in the community through their core values, do more, do better and do greater. As for the culture in place at UnionBank, their digital transformation strategy has reinforced our commitment to deliver superior customer experiences and promote inclusive prosperity in the country. For several years, the Bank was renowned “Best Digital Bank” by prestigious institutions, and recognised in areas of transformation, people, and culture. With a drive to be an enabler of the Philippines’ push to be a G20 country by 2050, UnionBank stands firm in its promise to power the future of banking by co-creating innovations for its customers and for a better world. In the heat of its digital transformation journey that commenced in 2016, UnionBank has been relentless in its delivery of a suite of digital services to keep pace with the rapidly changing world. With 90% of their capital expense going to digital transformation, UnionBank has shown total commitment in its transformation initiatives to leapfrog ahead of its competitors and achieve its vision of becoming one of the top 3 universal banks in the Philippines by 2020. After yielding phenomenal results from its digital products from EON (the first selfie banking in Asia), The ARK (the first fully digital, paperless bank branch in the country), Chatbot Rafa (the country’s first banking chatbot) and UnionBank Online (its application which allows clients to bank from the comforts of their home or office), the bank has opened other fronts in its digital journey. To date, close to 80% of all UnionBank interactions with customers are now routed through digital channels. The Bank continues to trailblaze digital banking in the Philippines with artificial intelligence and robotic process automation, using blockchain to reach rural lenders to develop a blockchain-based interbank switch. Although they have achieved great strides throughout the years, UnionBank have had to overcome several challenges in order to stay ahead of the competition. With the Philippines being part of the emerging Asia basket, they are unfortunately exposed to the global dynamics (e.g. monetary policy changes from developed countries and trade war issues, etc.). Due to current political ramblings in the Philippines, the firm have seen significant budget underspending, and as a result the growth of the Philippines market has derailed slightly. Digital disruption and competition from Fintech organisations has also proved to be a significant obstacle to overcome, however through the commitment of the employees and the firm’s superior technology, the company has managed to stay ahead of the curve. Going forward, the bank’s future projects are in line with our digital transformation strategy. Firstly, their main aim is to develop UnionBank into a fully agile and digitally transformed organisation. Hence, the team shall continue to launch products and services that will enable the bank to increase efficiencies at the back end, while improving productivity and customer experience of its customer channels. Some of these include applying further enhancements in the UnionBank Online app, launching more transformed branches, introducing self-service branches, and automating more back-end and front-end processes. In addition to this, the firm will also be looking to develop their subsidiary CitySavings into a digitally transformed mass market bank. With this, the bank will aim to not only diversify into other mass market segments, such as motorcycle loans and SME loans, but also digitise processes with the help of technology and applying a shared services model across its other mass market subsidiaries of the bank. Lastly, as the bank heads towards a future of embedded banking, it plans to work on retail-focused marketplaces and continue its experimentations in the areas of asset tokenisation and fintech investments. Contact Name: Bianca Gelido Contact Email: [email protected] Address: UnionBank Plaza Bldg., Meralco Ave. Corner Onyx St., Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Philippines Web Address: