To help businesses cope with the changes in consumer behavior brought about by Covid-19, the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) said it is enhancing its cash management platform and other customer-centric functionalities, as well as loading in-app e-wallets and website-integrated payment systems.
John-C Syquia, BPI corporate banking head, said the bank has already been giving its business clients an integrated payment system for their apps and websites to boost their branding and customer experience. This is in addition to BizLink, BPI’s online corporate platform, which provides companies with a one-stop shop for digital collections, account management, and disbursements.
“Brands that have their own app or website with an integrated payment system have certain advantages,” said Syquia. “These brands are experiencing a boom during these times when everyone is encouraged to stay at home and minimize contact with other people to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus.”
Syquia said online payments have become a more prominent part of business operations as it allows businesses to recover sales lost from physical stores by putting more focus on online sales channels.
He said studies have shown that integrated payment systems can help reduce operational costs, minimize the risks of pilferage, expand payment modes, and maximize fund flows. Company-branded in-app wallets and rewards systems also contribute to customer loyalty and stickiness.
As the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the pace towards a cashless or cash-lite society, BPI chief digital officer Noel Santiago said companies should pursue digitalization via cloud-based solutions, automation, as well data analytics in order to build scale into their operations.
“Companies now have the opportunity to replace their cash and check collection systems with a more digital process. Companies need solutions that would let them work remotely and still be able to process their payments and collections,” he said.
Santiago noted that BizLink users can enjoy seamless, real-time transfers for transactions within the BPI ecosystem, which counts over 8 million individual and corporate clients.
“We’ve included value-added services in BPI Online and the BPI Mobile app to help us become a channel for people’s everyday needs. Our Open Banking API services let them use our platform for non-traditional banking transactions such as prepaid phone loading, e-wallet cash-ins, and more,” said Santiago.
BPI said its open banking partnerships with merchants and fintechs have allowed brands to engage BPI’s online user base, as they are also able to enjoy frictionless transactions on the websites and apps of brands such as Lazada, GCash, PayMaya, Grab, among others.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact virtually every aspect of our lives, and executive management teams of many businesses are dealing with very practical concerns brought about by the Covid-19 situation. We are giving them our assurance that BPI can be their partner in taking their business to a new level and not only survive but thrive in the new normal. Our digital solutions give them the competitive advantage in these challenging times,” said Syquia.