Tuesday, March 5, 2024

BPI embarks on bold digitalization journey to hasten financial inclusion

The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) said it is intensifying its digitalization efforts to support rapid growth, enable more convenient and efficient banking for clients, and increase financial inclusion.

BPI president and CEO Cezar P. Consing said the ultimate objective is to elevate the bank?s digital infrastructure, bring innovative services to existing and future clients, as well as to support the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas? (BSP?s) initiative to develop a National Retail Payment System (NRPS), which involves policies and standards for a ?cash-lite? economy.

?It?s about shaping and creating a whole new experience for our customers through digitalization, offering them a better, safer, more convenient way to bank with us. A cash-lite economy will bring significant benefits to our country,? said Consing.

?This long-term digitalization journey will enhance our extensive network of ATMs, CAMs (Cash Acceptance Machines), online facility, and mobile app, to enable us to offer convenient, self-service banking,? he added.

BPI enterprise services head Ramon Jocson said the process of digitalization, despite inevitable hiccups along the journey, will eventually lead to exceptional customer experience as more people gain confidence in doing online and mobile transactions.

?Many of BPI?s clients now are digitally savvy. Many of our clients have come to embrace technology because of the convenience, safety, and reliability it offers. The proliferation of smartphones has also stimulated innovation, allowing our customers to save time through a wide array of transactions they can do anytime and anywhere,? he said.

He clarified, however, that digitalization does not mean doing away with the branches, but rather, enabling the branches for more meaningful interactions that address the financial needs of clients.

?The transactions that we do at the bank are voluminous, and we handle approximately 25,000 pieces of data every minute from all of our transactions. That?s about 36 million bits of data in one single day. That is why automating and digitalizing our transactions is critical to our ability to scale up our operations. We are investing in technology so we can serve our clients well. It?s about being more client-centric rather than transaction-centric,? said Jocson.

In April this year, BPI announced its four strategic priorities, which, crucially, includes digitalization. Approximately 36% of BPI?s clients access the bank via digital banking channels, particularly its website and mobile app. This percentage grows to 66% if ATM and CAM channels are included. BPI said it aims to double the percentage of clients using its electronic channels in five years.

The bank recently soft-launched the new BPI mobile app and website, which now have more intuitive and user-friendly interfaces, as well as more safeguards for customers.

The new BPI website complements the bank?s mobile platform, giving customers additional information and market intelligence to better use financial products and services.

BPI is also set to complete the migration of its clients to the more secure EMV debit cards, which contains features unique among Philippine banks, such as the ability to view multiple accounts, cashless in-store payments nationwide, international debit acceptance, and online payments for e-commerce sites, to name a few.


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