October 23, 2018. At the forefront of disrupting technologies, Union Bank of the Philippines not only uses the blockchain technology under its hood but also artificial intelligence (AI). Launched last year, its Integrated Operations Center (IOC) oversees the bank’s overall operations.
According to the bank’s Head of IT Risk Management and Resiliency, Ms. Charmaine R.A. Valmonte, the IOC specifically focuses on three things: security, business operations, and customer engagement. She said that the AI works just like a fabric in the bank’s initiative to digital transformation.
“It’s part of the fabric of our transformation. We need to keep an eye on everything—the system and processes as well as how our clients feel, … We monitor all the banking processes. We have different banking channels, such as the branches, [automated teller machines] and the digital platforms,” – Ms. Charmaine R.A. Valmonte, Head of IT Risk Management and Resiliency
The IOC works 24/7 that also evolves and adapts to the constant changes in cybersecurity threats. By the time it launched in June 2017, the severity of incidents dropped from 7 to 3 incidents from a year ago. In addition, the bank also experienced an uptime in its ATM from 96.38% from 2016 to 99.23%.
It is also the first IOC in the country, as other operations centers do not have a wider view of operations. Since its launch in 2017, IOC gives the lender an edge in getting higher revenues and also better customer experience.
Union Bank recently opened Blockchain Institute to further address the need of blockchain developers in the country and in the world. It is a six-month program that will teach developers blockchain technology codes and also teach use cases to provide blockchain solutions.
Read more: Union Bank Opens Blockchain Institute
It was previously reported that the bank has joined a blockchain-based interbank network led by J.P. Morgan. The Interbank Information Network (IIN) was launched in 2017 in order to allow faster cross border transfer of money. It is powered by a permissioned version of ethereum called Quorum.
The bank also spearheaded Project i2i, a project to promote financial inclusivity and connect rural banks to the Philippines’ central system. According to the bank’s Chairman, Mr. Justo Ortiz, it targets November 2018 for its major launch.