Twenty-five percent of customers switched banks, and over a third switched their insurers and wealth managers. This is according to a 2022 global study by Maze, a user research tech firm. This is why delivering superior customer experience (CX) has emerged as a strategic imperative for the C-suite across the ever-evolving landscape of financial services, including in the Philippines. This shift in focus stems from a confluence of factors, ranging from technological advancements to changing consumer preferences, all of which have reshaped the dynamics of competition and heightened the importance of CX as a key differentiator in the market.

One of the primary drivers behind the prioritization of CX within financial services firms is the increasingly crowded marketplace. With the proliferation of fintech startups and nontraditional players entering the scene, competition has intensified, and customers are presented with a plethora of options when it comes to managing their finances. In such a fiercely competitive environment, providing an exceptional CX becomes crucial for retaining existing customers and attracting new ones.

Take the example of Philippine bank Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) which has embarked on a comprehensive digital transformation journey aimed at enhancing customer experiences and satisfaction. Through its digital banking platform, Pulz, customers can access a wide array of banking services conveniently, from fund transfers to bill payments, with just a few clicks. Moreover, customers can easily perform various banking tasks, such as depositing or withdrawing money using QR codes, depositing local checks just by taking a photo, and directly transferring funds locally or abroad, with the pioneering digital concierge service.

Another driver of CX is consumers’ demand for convenience, personalization, and speed in every interaction, including their financial transactions. This shift in expectations has compelled financial services CEOs to rethink their approach to CX and invest in technologies that enable them to deliver tailored experiences across various touchpoints.

UnionDigital Bank, a subsidiary of Union Bank of the Philippines, has been at the forefront of digital banking innovation, offering a range of customer-centric services that cater to the evolving needs of today’s consumers. Through its user-friendly mobile app and online platform, it provides customers with seamless access to banking services, from account management to fund transfers, anytime and anywhere. Moreover, the digital bank leverages advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and data analytics to deliver personalized experiences and proactive financial insights to its customers, enhancing overall satisfaction and loyalty.

Another notable example is Singlife Philippines, a digital life insurer, which has disrupted the traditional insurance sector by offering innovative products and services that prioritize simplicity, transparency, and customer-centricity. Through its mobile app and online platform, Singlife Philippines provides customers with easy access to life insurance and investment products, allowing them to manage their finances conveniently and efficiently. Moreover, it leverages technology to deliver personalized recommendations and insights, empowering customers to make informed decisions about their financial future.

Regulatory pressures have also played a significant role in driving the CX agenda among financial services firms. In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, regulators around the world have placed greater emphasis on consumer protection and transparency, prompting companies to reevaluate their practices and prioritize customer-centricity. By focusing on CX, firms can not only comply with regulatory requirements but also build trust and credibility with their customer base.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines, has been actively promoting customer-centricity within the financial sector, recognizing the pivotal role that CX plays in fostering trust, stability, and innovation. The BSP has emphasized the importance of technology in shaping the future of CX in the Philippine financial sector. In its Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap, the BSP outlines strategies to promote the adoption of digital financial services and enhance CX through innovation and collaboration.

It is opportune that leaders in the technology CX space — Hungry Workhorse, Insider, and Contentsquare — are banding together to organize the CxO Dialogue on Innovating Customer Experience in Banking & Insurance 2024 happening on April 18, 2024. Distinguished speakers are Eugene S. Acevedo, RCBC President and CEO; Sherie Ng, Singlife Philippines Co-Founder & Executive Director; and Henry Aguda, UnionDigital Bank, President and CEO. Together with industry leaders, we will converse on why the C-suite is prioritizing CX.

The views expressed herein are his own and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of his office as well as FINEX.


Reynaldo C. Lugtu, Jr.  is the founder and CEO of Hungry Workhorse, a digital, culture, and customer experience transformation consulting firm. He is a fellow at the US-based Institute for Digital Transformation. He is the chair of the Digital Transformation IT Governance Committee of FINEX Academy. He teaches strategic management and digital transformation in the MBA Program of De La Salle University. The author may be e-mailed at