New Era | The advent of automated banking

We’ve enjoyed the benefits of automated banking for so long that we tend to take it for granted. There was a time when people had to actually go to a bank — within banking hours — in order to get cash. The concept of 24/7 banking or real-time online transfers used to seem impossible.

Back then, people — whose only access to their accounts was through their passbooks — had no choice but to adjust to the bank’s schedule each time they had to do banking transactions. While people were assured that their money was safe at the bank, they also had no access to it during emergencies. “Hintayin na natin na magbukas ang bangko (Let’s wait for the bank to open),” was a familiar refrain.

BPI has a suite of automated banking platforms to address its clients’ needs

Fortunately, the banking industry has always been one of the first — if not the first — to embrace new technology to make the things easier and more convenient for its customers. This has been the driving force of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), which has the distinction of being a first mover in technological innovation.

Noel Santiago, the Group Head of BPI Electronic Channels, explained: “BPI has always operated from a customer-first perspective. Our technological innovations all have one aim — to empower our customers to take charge of their own banking experience.”

Indeed, as businesses required their people to become more mobile, BPI saw the need to come up with a fully automated banking service. This would allow clients to do banking transactions by themselves in multiple locations all over the country. As such, BPI debuted the first through-the-wall 24/7 Banking ATM in the country. Today, there are over 2,300 BPI ATMs nationwide.

The new face of BPI Online.

Over the years, BPI has continued to be a pioneer in automated banking. (See “BPI Milestones.”) As the world got wired, BPI made moves to have personal banking transactions available online. BPI Express Online went live in 1999 and clients started using the first version of the BPI Mobile app in 2009. These two automated banking tools have been updated throughout the years to include new technological developments, as well as other digital innovations to boost their efficiency and enhance their security features.

BPI’s customer-centric approach has proven to be timeless amid the breakneck speed of digital evolution.

In fact, the importance of paying attention to customers was highlighted by The Financial Brand — a digital publication focused on retail banks and credit unions — in its 2018 Retail Banking Trends and Predictions. The report was sponsored by Kony Inc., a cloud-based provider of mobility, omnichannel, and IoT solutions. As it turns out, the top priority of banks was to remove friction from the customer journey.

Deloitte’s 2018 Banking Industry Outlook also identified customer centricity as one of the macro themes that are critical for banks’ long-term growth.

BPI’s mobile app gets a fresh face, too.

BPI continues its commitment to provide its customers with all the tools to take charge of the banking experience. It aims to further strengthen its customer-first mandate — particularly in mobile and online banking. The latest version of the BPI Mobile app and its newly revamped website are designed to keep up with the pace of people on-the-go who need 24/7 access to banking tools.

Ultimately, the complex nitty-gritty of automated banking and digital transformation processes aside, the bank understands that what counts most is taking care of customers. Crunching numbers can only go so far, but building relationships outlasts everything.

BPI Milestones


BPI has a long history of pioneering automated banking solutions. Every technological or digital tool introduced by the bank has helped make the banking experience friction-free for its customers.

1983 – BPI implements the first through-the-wall 24/7 Banking ATM in the country.

1987 – BPI introduces the Express Payment System (EPS)

1991 – BPI lets people ring up Express Phone, the first local Interactive Voice Response System for financial services in the country.

1999 – BPI Express Online is launched.

2000 – Express Mobile, the first local mobile banking service, is launched.

2002 – BPI unveils the Express Deposit Machine or the Cash Accept Machines (CAMs), the first successful full-function cash deposit machine in the country.

2005 – BPI’s SIM-based Mobile Banking, was launched in partnership with Globe Telecom.

2009 – BPI launches Version 1 of the BPI Mobile app.

2011 – BPI pioneers the implementation of the BPI Express Assist or BEA.

2012 – BPI launches BEA Online and BPI Investments Online, the country’s first full-service online investment facility.

2013 – BPI launches Version 2 of the BPI Mobile app.

1 Comment

  1. LOURDES M. PASCUA

    July 19, 2018 at 5:21 PM

    Indeed you are almost always the first mover in technology except for 2 things which you eventually adopted and improved…thanks for that…they are, which i raised and suggested before, the installation of cardless deposits in some (there were some WITHOUT cardless transactions) of your cash acceptance machines (CAM) and also the online BEA acceptance and inclusion of transfers to non-enrolled bpi accounts.
    For online transactions involving BPI FAMILY SAVINGS and BPI i don’t know if you allow transfers between the mother BPI and the Family Savings and if not i suggest that you consider it in your system.

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