RIZAL Commercial Banking Corp. is expanding its digital banch network. — BW FILE PHOTO

RIZAL COMMERCIAL Banking Corp. (RCBC) is eyeing to expand its digital branches to over 200 this year to provide more efficient banking services.

The bank is looking to grow the number of its branches that offer automated services, it said in a statement on Monday. It said its Branch of Today (BOT) model utilizes a Robotic Process Automation and Application Program Interface that allows for self-service and automated banking transactions.

“As of now, we have 101 BOT-type branches. The plan is to convert existing branches to some form of BOT setup within the year,” RCBC Branch Services Segment Head Raul J. Uson said in an e-mail.

“The objective is to optimize customer experience in the branches by greatly reducing transaction processing time and going paperless which allows for quick but productive branch visits,” Mr. Uson was quoted as saying in the statement.

RCBC said with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it has converted more of its branches to its BOT model. The model has shortened the account opening process by digitizing the capture of clients’ information and reducing the documents and signatures required.

“The facility takes into account the required security protocols which include system-generated SMS (short message service) and e-mail notification to clients to validate mobile number and e-mail address, as well as capturing of biometrics for a more secure means of verification,” Mr. Uson said.

Once customer data are collected, they are transferred to digital storage facilities, the bank said.

Mr. Uson said the bank is working to automate more transactions, such as requests for bank certificates and ATM card replacement, as well as domestic and foreign telegraphic transfers.

RCBC also implemented a universal processing role to let its branch service personnel process all types of transactions, providing a single point of contact for customers, the bank said.

RCBC President and Chief Executive Officer Eugene S. Acevedo in December said they closed 66 branches in 2020 as 50-60% of onsite transactions disappeared amid the pandemic.

The bank also launched its Diskartech app last year which allows users to digitally open a basic deposit account.

The Yuchengo-led lender’s income dropped 7% to P5 billion in 2020 from P5.388 billion the prior year as it beefed up its loan loss reserves amid the pandemic.

RCBC’s shares closed at P17.10 apiece on Monday, down by 10 centavos or 0.58% from its previous close. — L.W.T. Noble