ASIA United Bank Corp. (AUB) said it hopes to improve the user experience for its customers with more automation and a push to move services online, especially to mobile.
AUB President Manuel A. Gomez said: “Our innovation initiative will help us to find and focus on our identified markets and their needs and the best strategy is to address these needs.”
Mr. Gomez was speaking at a briefing after the AUB shareholder meeting Friday.
AUB Operations and Technology Head Wilfredo E. Rodriguez, Jr. said in a statement: ”We have so far incorporated InstaPay in both our mobile app and internet banking to allow our customers to do real-time fund transfer to other banks on a 24/7 basis.”
In April, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas launched the InstaPay platform which allows customers to do real-time and interbank fund transfers of up to P50,000 per transaction.
Mr. Gomez added that AUB has also launched a credit card mobile app, allowing cardholders to access their accounts anytime.
Mr. Rodriguez said AUB’s information technology bill is expected to grow 20% this year.
“A big portion of the increase is actually going into security software and services that will enable us to further protect our investments in technology and systems,” Mr. Rodriguez said.
He added that AUB is able to generate savings by developing systems in-house.
“In most of the banks, the majority of their IT expense is on the application software itself. However, since we do our applications in-house, we are able to save.”
AUB is also open to collaborations with financial technology (fintech) companies, he said.
Recently, AUB partnered with mobile payment providers WeChat Pay and Alipay to service the influx of Chinese visitors in the country.
“After our WeChat collaboration last year, we actually entered into the same arrangement with Alipay early this year, AUB Group Business Head for Cards, Wechat & Alipay Maria Magdalena V. Surtida said.
In a previous interview with BusinessWorld, Ms. Surtida said the bank will also launch its own digital wallet to allow AUB’s partner-merchants to digitally receive payments from domestic customers.
Ms. Surtida said the bank has partnered with 5,000 merchants on the payment schemes.
AUB, the 14th biggest bank in the country in terms of assets at the end of 2017, reported a first quarter net profit of P797.7 million, up 21.3%.
AUB shares closed at P59.15 on Friday, up 15 centavos or 0.25%. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal