The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many Filipinos to switch to digital media. Among other things, mobile and online platforms have helped users to bank, pay bills and shop while being in the safety and comfort of their own homes.
“The pandemic has accelerated the shift to technologies like mobile banking apps to be able to conduct transactions even from home,” said Fitzgerald Chee, head of consumer platforms at the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), during the recent BusinessWorld Economic Forum. “We see a lot of potential and opportunity in payments and the general banking space, especially now that people are embracing the use of online platforms.”
In 2017, 23% of Filipino adults had a bank account. By 2021, the number had risen to 53%. Contributing to this were the efforts of financial institutions like BPI to increase digitization and use open banking to make financial transactions easier, more intuitive and more powerful. BPI is committed to promoting financial inclusion in the country and is committed to making banking products and services more accessible to more people.
Mobile and online banking
BPI’s digital platforms are certainly paving the way for greater financial inclusion, customer convenience and security. BPI Mobile provides 24/7 banking capabilities so customers can do more things more securely.
In addition, customers can now open another custody account via the app within minutes. They can also set their debit card control limits, view bank statements, and register third-party app accounts for easier money transfers.
BPI’s development of an impressive roster of Open Banking Partners enables customers to conveniently and securely conduct seamless transactions for e-wallets, popular e-commerce and delivery apps, prepaid phone services, prepaid utilities, prepaid transportation , government payments, insurance payments, donations, and many more.
The Mobile Key feature also provides customers with added security by allowing them to verify their online banking transactions using biometrics or a set PIN code. This allows for easy verification and a quick transaction as there is no need to wait for an SMS OTP to arrive.
“Cybersecurity is really important in a bank or any financial institution. Why? because our business is about making sure people’s money is safe. At BPI, we emphasize the importance of cybersecurity as we understand its impact not only on our business but also on our customers,” said Chee.
Using smart and simple features is also part of BPI’s approach to encourage public interest and trust in digital banking.
At the forefront of innovation
BPI has proven to be a digital pioneer. It was the country’s first bank to launch an online banking platform in 1999 – four years after the internet became available in the country – and a mobile app in 2009.
Over the past decade, BPI Mobile has been streamlined and optimized to serve more users.
In 2022, more than 60% of BPI’s customers are registered in the BPI Mobile App. The bank is seeing continued use of the platform as most banking is still done digitally, even as more branches have reopened.
As digital banking continues to gain ground, BPI will continue to expand its capabilities to further enhance Filipinos’ banking experience.
“We’ve been looking at different technologies out there, a wide range of possibilities and opportunities that can definitely bring something to each of us in the future,” said Chee.
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