Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) was declared the winner of Asia Pacific Retail Bank of the Year at the recent 35th Annual Retail Banking International Global Awards in London.
At the virtual awards ceremony that honored the best of the best in global retail banking, UnionBank was cited for its key initiatives particularly for the fintech ecosystem, serving as a leader in industry associations such as the Fintech Philippines Association and Distributed Ledger Technology Association of the Philippines and supporting various conferences, meet-ups, mixers and hackathons for the community.
UnionBank partners with top fintechs in the Philippines and other parts of the world to tech up small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which are constrained in terms of resources and access to pursue digitization.
By vetting and partnering with fintechs including those for human resources, payments, financing and APIs, among others, the bank was able to extend services to small and medium enterprises that they would otherwise not have access to.
In addition, UnionBank also has the largest API marketplace in the country, which now has over 300 APIs and over P3 billion worth of transactions. This allows the bank to openly collaborate with fintechs and tech companies, at speed and scale, on various projects.
Recently, UnionBank has also collaborated with blockchain-based platform Adhara and OCBC bank in Singapore to create a blockchain-powered remittance service aimed at better cross-border remittances and broader financial inclusion for overseas workers and their loved ones in the Philippines.
Through its wholly owned subsidiary—UBX—UnionBank invests in startups and fintechs that are in line with its transformation roadmap. These include logistics platform XLOG and Philippine digital asset exchange PDAX, among others.
The bank also has various institutions and programs to upskill and encourage innovation within the bank, its partners, and the developer community such as the institutes for blockchain and data science and artificial intelligence.
In a statement, Retail Banker International editor and chair of the judges Douglas Blakey said despite the pandemic, when there are more important priorities for banks than awards, there is genuine innovation and product investment going on that deserves to be recognized