PODCAST | BPI top exec Ramon Jocson recalls tech journey so far

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In his almost 40-year career as a top-level technology executive, Ramon Jocson has worked or was affiliated only with three-letter firms — SGV, IBM, and BPI.

It was SGV which provided him with a tech scholarship after graduating with an Industrial Engineering degree from the University of the Philippines in Diliman. But his IT career got off to a formal start with Big Blue when he signed up as a systems analyst in 1982, eventually becoming country manager of IBM Philippines in 1996 and wrapping up his stint in 2015 as general manager of IBM Global Services for Central and Eastern Europe based in the Czech Republic. In his current role as executive vice president and chief operating officer of BPI, Jocson has put on an additional hat as a banker while leading the digital transformation of the 170-year-old institution.

Jocson recounted tech journey so far in a new podcast called “In Between” brought by TechSabado and Newsbytes.PH, which premiered on Wednesday, August 7. The podcast aims to gives a glimpse on the experiences and insights of the country’s top tech executives and personalities.

During the podcast, Jocson revealed that 90% of BPI’s traffic now comes from digital channels. He also added that once the Philippine Clearing House Corporation standardizes electronic check clearing, an even larger volume will be taken away from the bank’s physical branches.

“As you move into digital, what do you do now with your physical channels? How do you add value? That’s the hardest part of digital transformation,” Jocson said.

With the health and safety measures being observed during the ongoing pandemic, the banking and financial industry has seen a rise of contactless payments, changing the way customers interact with these institutions, he said. However, he pointed out that banks are unable to hollow out the whole physical organization overnight for the sake of digitization. According to Jocson, the next phase is to reskill employees — a feat he does not consider easy.

That is why, he said, BPI is now adopting the jobs-to-be-done approach — a framework that revolves around turning the customer’s need into the anchor point where businesses create value. Instead of focusing on the product itself, the approach prioritizes the customer’s underlying goal where the need emerged from.

As a result, these businesses are able hit two birds with one stone – grasp what the market wants on a deeper level, and create a positive customer experience. Jocson remains optimistic that BPI will be able to achieve a level of digitization that is balanced in all fronts.

“They see a BPI that is able to maximize the benefits of digitization. I consider it as a success once the client views us in that light, where we are able to transform the bank and use digital [technology] to create more value in their interactions with us,”

Catch “In Between” podcast every Wednesday night on Facebook Live and YouTube.

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