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UNIONBANK BECOMES THE FIRST BANK FROM THE PHILIPPINES TO JOIN BIAN

UnionBank to collaborate with BIAN and its members to define the future of banking standards

 

Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) is now a member of global banking standard organization, Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN). UnionBank joins other leading international banks and technology partners to become the first and only bank from the Philippines to join BIAN.

 

BIAN, which was established in 2008, is a non-profit organization that aims to provide the world with the best banking architecture and to be the banking technology standard by providing a common architectural framework across the industry. BIAN’s ecosystem is formed by banks and fintechs, technology providers, consultants and academics from all over the world.

 

The rapid development in consumer technology has driven customers to expect instant services and the delivery of frictionless solutions and platforms. To date, the financial services industry has found it hard to keep up with these demands. UnionBank has always been among the first to embrace digital technologies which address these needs, while empowering customers through innovative products and services.

 

UnionBank is looking forward to taking advantage of BIAN’s wide array of special projects such as but not limited to Open APIs and Coreless Banking. BIAN also promotes interoperability and simplified banking architecture that is aligned with the bank’s service-oriented architecture principles. UnionBank’s enterprise architecture formed part of its digital transformation strategy, which has helped to ensure that its technological solutions are aligned to its business capabilities and functions.

 

“At UnionBank, as we continue to redefine and re-imagine the playing field, with customer experience as our beacon, it is important that we conform to global standards and best practices that allows simple and faster integration with other partner institutions. This is why a BIAN-based Enterprise Architecture is highly essential as we journey more and more towards Open and Embedded Banking interconnecting partners and FinTechs, not just in the Philippines, but also throughout the region. We are very pleased to be the first Philippine bank to be a member of BIAN and we look forward to be an active participant that will drive the standardization across the industry,” said Dennis Omila, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of UnionBank.

 

Through joining BIAN, UnionBank can help to define banking technology standards, creating industry-wide best practices and play an active role in shaping the future of banking. The bank sees this as an opportunity to introduce change, possibly open doors for new business models while reinforcing superior customer experience. UnionBank’s technical experts can join a variety of different working groups to focus on the likes of Semantic APIs, Product Certifications, Cards, Lending and Fraud Management where they can collaborate with other industry experts, analysts and peers.

 

In addition to this, UnionBank will be able to increase its knowledge through its exposure and access to different artifacts and architecture documents. BIAN also provides interactive online trainings to members for free. These benefits will help the bank with its promise to power the future of banking by co-creating innovations for its customers and its commitment to be the Philippines’ leading digital bank. UnionBank believes that this will bring the bank one step further in implementing efficient and innovative products to serve the growing needs of the Filipino.

 

“We’re proud to welcome UnionBank to our growing organisation”, said Hans Tesselaar, Executive Director of BIAN. “UnionBank is well known for putting the customer first and being at the forefront of banking innovation across its country. As the needs of the customer continue to change, we’re excited to work with UnionBank and its technical experts. Together, through greater collaboration and the sharing of experience we can come to provide greater innovations across the globe.”

 

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BLACK FRIDAY WEEKEND SET TO SMASH ONLINE SALES RECORDS, ACCORDING TO ECOMMERCE EXPERT

The Black Friday weekend is anticipated to be the largest for online sales on record as the UK remains in lockdown, according to data from eCommerce experts Visualsoftwith daily online sales revenues already having exceeded Cyber Monday 2019’s figure of £4.8 million.

These predictions come following a major surge in activity on Visualsoft’s market-leading eCommerce platform, which is used by over 1,000 retailers and processes £1.20 of every £100 spent online in the UK. The highest recorded figure for online sales is the £1.49 billion spent on Black Friday 2018, however this year’s event could exceed this if the current sales trend continues.

Visualsoft’s platform has so far seen a 35% revenue increase in the period between Monday 23rd November and Wednesday 25th November, which is indicative of shoppers taking advantage of retailers beginning their Black Friday promotions earlier than ever this year, to ease the traditional pressures of the retail peak period. Average order values have also risen by 21% during this time.

Additionally, the platform has also reported a 25% increase in traffic, which indicates high consumer interest in picking up a deal over the Black Friday weekend, with a high chance of conversion for businesses that have taken the time to prepare their online offering for the weekend of sales.

Separate consumer trends analysis also indicates an increased public interest in forgoing the major retail brands this year. Search engine data shows that searches for “independent businesses” have skyrocketed by 139% in the past week compared with the same period last year. Related terms, such as “support local businesses”, have seen a similar boost, having increased by 152% over the same timeframe.

 

David Duke, chief operating officer at Visualsoft, said: “Black Friday has increasingly been making the move from bricks-and-mortar to online channels over recent years, however the enforced restrictions placed upon us by the COVID-19 pandemic have accelerated this move significantly.

“While this means major opportunities for those that have taken the time to optimise their online presence, if your eCommerce offering is not up to scratch then you are essentially throwing away the tremendous sales opportunity afforded by the surge in demand at this time of year.

“Particularly for independent businesses, which are likely to see a dramatic influx of visitors this year from the public’s desire to support independent brands, it is crucially important to get the basics right when it comes to your online offering, or risk frustrating customers as a result.”

 

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ONE IN FIVE INSURANCE CUSTOMERS SAW AN IMPROVEMENT IN CUSTOMER SERVICE OVER LOCKDOWN, RESEARCH SHOWS

SAS research reveals that insurers improved their customer experience during lockdown

 

One in five insurance customers noted an improvement in their customer experience over lockdown, according to research conducted by SAS, the leader in analytics. This far outweighed the 11% of customers who felt it had deteriorated over the same period.

This is positive news for insurers during such challenging times, with 59% of customers also saying that they would pay more to buy or use products and services from any company that provided them with a good customer experience over lockdown.

The improvement in customer experience also coincides with a rise in the number of digital customers. Since the pandemic started, the number of insurance customers using a digital service or app has grown by 10%. Three-fifths (60%) of new users plan to continue using these digital services moving forward.

However, while the number of digital users grew over lockdown, half of the insurance customer base has not yet chosen to move to digital insurance apps or services.

 

Paul Ridge, Head of Insurance at SAS UK & Ireland, said:

“It’s impressive that there was a net improvement in customer experience during lockdown, despite the challenges the industry was facing with a transition to remote working and increased claims for things like cancelled holidays. While many were forced to wait on customer help lines for long periods, part of the improvement may be explained by even a small (10%) increase in the number of digital users.

“However, it’s clear that a huge number of customers are still yet to make the move online. It’s vital that insurers provide the most accurate, timely and relevant offerings to customers, and this is best achieved by having additional insight into online customer journeys so they can understand them better. Using analytics and AI, insurers can seize this opportunity to digitalise their customer experience and offer a more personalised approach.”

Meanwhile, for insurers that fail to offer a consistently satisfactory customer experience, the price could be severe. A third (33%) of customers claimed that they would ditch a company after just one poor experience. This number jumps to 90% for between one and five poor examples of customer service.

 

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