Editing by Nathaniel Cajuday
SAN PEDRO, Laguna—President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. led the inauguration and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the UnionBank Innovation Campus last September 9, 2022, emphasizing that digital transformation initiatives will help boost more economic activities in the country.
In his speech, Marcos highlighted that Filipinos should take advantage of digital innovations to generate more jobs to revive the country’s economy.
“The initiatives that we have, such as (what) UnionBank is doing with this campus that we have just inaugurated today, that we have just opened today, are precisely the kind of innovations, the kind of forward-thinking operations and actions that we will need, not only in the private sector but also in the public sector,” he added.
According to the President, the government would collaborate with the private sector, as a player in the “new digital world,” to put together easier and more convenient public transactions.
“To sustain growth and promote new advances in this sector, it is my hope that you will explore the limitless possibilities, and take advantage of the many bright ideas that our experts have so that we can generate more jobs and secure our nation’s economic revitalization… We would be bereft, we would be neglectful of our duties if we do not recognize the trend that is happening around the world,” Marcos implied.
Accordingly, he pointed out the government’s digital adoption plans under the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) three-year Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap, which promotes cashless payments, looks into digitalizing at least 50 percent of the total retail transaction volume as well as onboarding 70 percent of adult Filipinos to the formal financial system by next year.
Marcos also emphasized that the BSP’s goals are attainable as long as the government hones its competencies in such areas as software development, data analytics, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technology.
“It is the only way that we will be doing business in the years to come, and therefore, we cannot allow the Philippines to get left behind,” he said.
Last month, the BSP finally completed issuing certificates of authority (COA) to the digital banks of the country which gives the lenders the go signal to start full operations.
Digital banks, which are approved in 2020 to boost the central bank’s financial inclusiveness agenda, are a new bank category separate from existing bank categories where banking services are delivered over the internet. (Read more: BSP: All Six Digital Banks Now Allowed to Operate)
Consequently, to address the rapid adoption of crypto in the Philippines and to protect consumers, the BSP and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) asked the legislature to draw lines on the regulations on digital assets and the digital space— this includes non-fungible tokens (NFT) and cryptocurrencies.
On the other hand, Marcos also praised the UnionBank for the opening of the campus, saying that it would help spur economic activities in the country.
“The track record of UnionBank in creating opportunities through innovation and digital solutions in the banking sector is uncontested. The opening of the UnionBank Innovation Campus shall intensify our collective efforts to bring our banking and ICT (information and communications technology) industries into the future,” he stressed.
He added that the government “applies that same intention to the public sector, in terms of government, in terms of digitalizing the government at the national level (and) at the local level.”
The UnionBank Innovation Campus is envisioned to be the leading research and technology hub in the country that is primarily designed to be the home of various centers of innovation, such as UnionDigital, the digital banking arm of UnionBank, and the first-ever Asian Institute of Digital Transformation.
Recently, UnionBank announced that it will offer virtual asset exchange services through its mobile banking app as a part of its plan to future-proof the firm while creating “customer-centric solutions” as well as to prepare it for the innovations brought by web3 and the metaverse. (Read more: Users Can Soon Buy and Sell Crypto in UnionBank Mobile App)
Priorly, the fintech firm noted that it will utilize the cryptocurrency safekeeping technology from IBM and Swiss custody specialist Metaco. (Read more: UnionBank Plans to Offer Crypto Trading)
This article is published on BitPinas: Marcos Inaugurates UnionBank Innovation Hub
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