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BPI eyes increased use of electronic channels

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BANK of the Philippine Islands (BPI) wants to double the number of clients using electronic channels in the next five years as it ramps up its digitalization push.

In a statement Tuesday, the Ayala-led bank said it aims to raise the number of clients who access the lender through digital means to 72% of its customers in the next five years from the current 36%.

“Electronic banking is fast becoming a standard in the Philippines, as it is globally. We want our clients to experience the same level of service through our electronic channels,” Joseph Albert L. Gotuaco, BPI retail client segment group head, was quoted as saying in the statement.

The lender’s electronic platforms include its Web site, mobile application as well as over 3,000 electronic teller machines and cash accept machines.

“They are just as safe and reliable as our traditional branches,” Mr. Gotuaco said.

BPI added that many of its banking transactions can now be done through electronic means.

“While our branches are still very much accessible, electronic channels are 24/7 in nature and are key drivers in helping people bank from the comfort of their homes, offices, or cars,” Mr. Gotuaco added.

Amid its push to digitize banking, BPI previously said it is still keen on growing its branch network, particularly in provincial areas, to provide financial products to the grassroots level and spur growth.

The lender said it will open 10 BPI branches and one BPI Family Savings Bank branch in the second half of the year. It will also open 70 BPI Direct BanKo offices.

BPI, the third-largest bank in the country in asset terms, booked a net income of P6.25 billion in the first quarter, flat from the profit posted in the same period last year, due to lower trading gains.

On Tuesday, BPI shares rose by 2.25% or P2 to P91 apiece. — K.A.N. Vidal