Union Bank’s project of financial inclusivity, Project i2i, whose mission is to help rural banks in far-flung areas get connected aims for a wide launch this November 2018 according to the bank’s chairman, Mr. Justo Ortiz in an interview with ANC.
The Project i2i is initially piloted by 5 Mindanao rural banks namely: Cantilan Bank Inc. of Surigao del Sur, PR Savings Bank, City Savings Bank, FairBank, and Progressive Bank.
As shared by Mr. Justo Ortiz, who is also the chairman of Blockchain Association of the Philippines (BAP), they are now currently on the move to bring the project into production and get necessary approvals to bring the project into fruition.
“We are looking at maybe a November launch because that would really give us the opportunity to onboard other rural banks that might be interested in joining the Project i2i” – Mr. Justo Ortiz, Chairman, Union Bank and BAP
In terms of the bank’s digital transformation and tapping on the blockchain, Mr. Ortiz said that they are still in the “beginning days” and noted that they are focusing on BAP. He said its mission is to be a catalyst for building an ecosystem for the technology. This includes regulation, legal frameworks, building a talent pool for blockchain executions, raising funds for startups, clarity for tax regulations, and interoperability and connectivity.
Union Bank, however, is doing “under the hood blockchain executions”. He added that the bank is focusing on blockchain productivity such as cost savings that saved them around 30% by just using simple blockchain solutions.
“I am looking forward to moving from just productivity to improving customer experience” – Mr. Justo Ortiz, Chairman, Union Bank and BAP
Union Bank CEO Edwin Bautista assured his employees that even though they are shifting towards the blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI), jobs will not be lost, only old processes.