UnionBank of the Philippines: Steadfast, Agile and Ready for Whatever Life Brings – a Bank Behind its People

UnionBank of the Philippines has won recognition for its industry-leading digitalisation efforts and commitment to improving the lives of its customers through technology and innovation.

Awards underscore UnionBank’s success in maximising the potential of technology to better serve its customers. It is driven by the goal of promoting a new reality for banking, where “services are embedded in the fabric of daily life”.

Of note is UnionBank’s unique infrastructure, which has resulted in one of the leanest branch networks in the region, powered by concentrated back-office operations and hundreds of paperless branches. It includes 50 fully digital branches, thousands of ATMs and partner remittance centres, and a wealth of self-service kiosks and online banking platforms.

The bank saw new digital accounts opened even during March and April, the height of the lockdown period in the Philippines this year. It successfully implemented measures for consumer debt-relief and the facilitation of donations during the same period. The bank also introduced a retail loan platform, supported by video KYC, that reduced processing times. UnionBank pushes fintech boundaries to reach underserved and unbanked communities, and supports SMEs with the financing and digital tools.

UnionBank of the Philippines is reaping the benefits of its digital focus and agile operations: retail banking profits doubled in 2019, resources hit a five-year high, and net income increased by 104 percent year-on-year.

“We began to pursue digital transformation four years ago in order to survive the winds of disruption,” said UnionBank president and CEO Edwin R Bautista. “UnionBankers kept the faith in that digital transformation, and believed in what we can achieve together. Today, they are leading the charge.

“Despite the developments, our purpose remains unchanged: to elevate lives and fulfill dreams. Our greater purpose is to extend digital banking to the mass market and the unbanked so they too can withstand disruption during troubled times.”

With a challenge as massive as Covid-19, technology has proven to be the correct instrument — but not the answer in itself, Bautista believes. “Ultimately, it is our UnionBank DNA that is pulling us through,” he said. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to ‘Tech Up, Pilipinas’ and enable inclusive prosperity to fuel sustained growth, making sure that no one gets left behind.”

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