Blockchain Helps Philippines UnionBank Cut Operational Costs

The adoption of blockchain in UnionBank’s internal processes has resulted in lower operational costs.

The decision to adopt blockchain in its internal processes has allowed UnionBank of the Philippines (UBP) to cut operational costs while learning more about the application of the technology.

Speaking to reporters at the recent Philippine Investment Forum, UnionBank President and Chief Executive Officer Edwin R. Bautista said the bank has rolled out a number of internal blockchain applications for its day-to-day operations.

UnionBank is one of the most active banks in the country to implement blockchain. Bautista said the bank plans on “blockchainizing” more internal processes to further drive down operational costs.

UBP has identified that many of its over 700 internal processes are ready to migrate into blockchain such as fund transfer, opening an account, cheque clearing, and others.

In a previous interview with Cryptovest, UBP board chairman Justo Ortiz said the bank is transforming itself to be both a bank and a technology company as it pushes for the adoption of blockchain technology not only internally, but also becoming a provider of blockchain services.

In the same interview, Ortiz said one reason the bank is utilizing blockchain is to promote financial inclusion and to allow the more than 75% of Filipino adults who do not own a bank account to have access to financial services.

“That is the main reason why we do blockchain,” Ortiz said when asked how financial institutions will solve the issue of the unbanked number of Filipinos. He added, “We’re doing AI. We’re doing now robotic process optimization that started back. And we’re preparing doing data analytics. So that’s the trail of a sort of technologies we need to get to.”

Earlier this year, UnionBank signed a deal with credit card services giant Visa to establish a cross-border bank-to-bank payment system with the aim of serving small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

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