Blockchain Tech To Be Deployed To Rural Banks In The Philippines, Says UnionBank

Announcements, Blockchain | February 16, 2018 By:

UnionBank of the Philippines has partnered with four unnamed rural banks to help boost the efficiency of their payments processes by utilizing blockchain technology.

Speaking at UnionBank’s “TalkTales” event in Makati City, Henry Aguda, senior executive vice president, chief technology operations officer and chief transformation officer at UnionBank, said they are helping the rural banks elevate their capabilities by deploying blockchain in their operations.

“We believe in the technology and I think this will make a big difference in our operations,” said Aguda. “What we want is to bring the latest and most efficient technology to the rural banks and hopefully elevate their competitive capabilities.”

UnionBank claims that it was the first bank in the world tapped by global payments technology giant Visa as partner for its business-to-business (B2B) Visa Connect product. Also working with Visa on the B2B project are Shinhan Bank of South Korea, Commerce Bank of the US, Russia’s Sberbank, and Singapore’s United Overseas Bank.

Visa B2B Connect is a platform for banks to make payments and settle funds across borders using Chain Core, the blockchain infrastructure developed by Chain. It aims to significantly improve the way international business-to-business payments are made by offering clear costs, improved delivery time and visibility into the transaction process. Visa B2B Connect will not process any exchange of cryptocurrencies and only allow this to be a platform for official currencies that governments recognize as legal tender. Visa is set to commercially launch the platform late this year.

Aguda said they’re co-creating the B2B Connect platform to be used by the rural banks. He also indicated that more banks might be included in the program in future. “We want to grow from four right now to as many as we can support,” he said.

Last month, Edwin Bautista, President and CEO of UnionBank, said they were targeting to tap small and medium enterprises (SME) as prospective clients for B2B Connect.

“These are the recipients of the payments so there is a connect to know them,” he said. “We’re not able to reach them much before but now, with data analytics we’re starting to understand more their behavior. We’re able to identify the flows that go into them and all of that stuff.”