UnionBank: Moving from Resilience to Renaissance

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On its 7th E-Talk Tales webinar entitled “UnionBank, Co Creating the Better Digital Normal” held last December 9, UnionBank President and CEO Edwin Bautista gave a rundown of the bank’s milestones in the previous year, recounting how it extended financial assistance to Filipinos caught in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it created a better digital normal for everyone. He also discussed the trends that will shape banking and fintech in 2021.

Last May, UnionBank made headlines after being named ‘second most helpful bank in Asia-Pacific’ in the BankQuality Consumer Survey on Retail Banks that was conducted in April. This helpfulness was manifested in UnionBank’s relentless commitment to make its essential banking services accessible and reliable 24/7 during the enhanced community quarantine period.

The Bank helped the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the disbursement of its Social Amelioration Program (SAP) cash assistance to 700,000 beneficiaries amounting to Php4.9 billion. It also assisted partner Local Government Units (LGUs) in the distribution of cash or loan proceeds to constituents.

UnionBank has likewise helped countless micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) digitize amid the pandemic through its MSME platform GlobalLinker and through MSME-leaning platforms Sentro, SeekCap, and bux, which are offered by its fintech spinoff UBX. To date, more than 27,000 online shops have already been made using Sentro, SeekCap now has more than 16,000 MSME signups, and bux has over 92,000 users. GlobalLinker’s user base now exceeds the 38,000 mark.

With the help of its thrift bank subsidiary CitySavings Bank, UnionBank has also continued extending credit to the most needy sectors of society. To date, CitySavings has extended a total of Php26.1 billion in teachers’ loans, Php3.2 billion in motorcycle loans, and Php2.9 billion in MSME loans to beneficiaries.

And now, with the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic in the rearview mirror, UnionBank has begun the next major phase in its digital transformation journey, going full-speed ahead from merely displaying its resilience in the face of an unprecedented global health crisis toward a renaissance in innovation and co-creation.

UnionBank has been a leader in the practice of the agile methodology, which enables the Bank to react quickly to any situation and achieve innovation at a much faster rate. But the Bank knew it had to become much faster. So, to do this, the company started migrating to an even faster way of working: DevSecOps.

Short for “development, security, and operations,” DevSecOps is an ideology that aims to integrate security into every stage of the development-deployment cycle. With this new methodology, the Bank has been able, among other advantages, to test new features that they develop much faster and deploy on an almost real-time basis. Moving forward, DevSecOps will play a key role in the creation of the Bank’s new services.

Aside from DevSecOps, another key element of the Bank’s digital renaissance is data science and AI. This will be implemented across various verticals within the Bank, from mobile banking to credit, from algorithms to operational enhancements, among others. UnionBank aims to maximize customer lifetime value (CLV) by leveraging data science-powered ‘nudge’ marketing techniques.

“This is really the time wherein, together we can usher in a renaissance in the area of banking and technology. It’s an area where the Philippines can not only be a fast follower but can actually be a trailblazer in the banking world,” Bautista said.

Visit these official pages to know more: Unionbank of the Philippines at https://www.unionbankph.com/, UBX at https://ubx.ph/, Unionbank GlobalLinker at https://unionbank.globallinker.com/login, and CitySavings at https://citysavings.com.ph/.

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