UnionBank is 2020 Model Bank for Financial Inclusion

SINGAPORE, April 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) received the 2020 Model Bank for Financial Inclusion Award from renowned financial services research firm Celent for its two fintech initiatives promoting greater access to financial services - Send i2i and the API Marketplace.

Send-i2i's concept and process was piloted at the Singapore Fintech Festival in November 2019 and will tackle pain points in cross-border remittances of over 10 million overseas Filipino workers.

Through blockchain technology, Send-i2i will allow small rural banks to receive remittances championing greater financial inclusion for communities in the countryside. Furthermore, Send-i2i's integration of Singapore's PayNow QR and tokenized fiat will boost customers' experience with near real-time transfers.

Meanwhile, UnionBank's API Marketplace (developer.unionbankph.com) empowers developers and fintechs to create new products and services by exposing a range of open application programming interfaces (APIs) on a user-friendly platform.

Today, the API Marketplace boasts a wide array of UnionBank and non-bank APIs. Fintechs can publish their APIs on the marketplace alongside the bank's, allowing anyone on the platform to consume other fintechs' APIs as well. 

The success of the API Marketplace has enabled UnionBank to expand its reach internationally, by becoming the only bank from the Philippines to participate in the API Exchange (APIX), a pan-regional API sandbox for banks and fintechs run by the ASEAN Financial Innovation Network.

Celent's Head of Retail Banking Zil Bareisis and Senior Analyst Keiran Hines cited UnionBank's unique business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) approach to financial inclusion "by enabling third parties, through Send i2i and the API Marketplace, to provide or develop products and services to reach underbanked end-users in the Philippines."

UnionBank Senior Vice President and Fintech Group Head Arvie de Vera said this latest award from Celent sparks further motivation for UnionBank.

"Celent's case study of the Send-i2i and API Marketplace projects validated that UnionBank's B2B2C strategy of collaborating with an ecosystem of incumbents and last-mile channels is a viable, scalable method towards financial inclusion," de Vera said. "We are truly humbled that Celent presents UnionBank's strategy as one that other banks should emulate - hence the award as the Model Bank."

Committed to its ongoing "TechUp Pilipinas" drive, UnionBank constantly seeks out new technologies, methods and platforms to provide greater access to financial services for all Filipinos, particularly the unbanked and the underserved, comprising close to half of the Philippine population.

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