How the pandemic pushes businesses to go digital

How the pandemic pushes businesses to go digital

Digital & Technology

UnionBank Publication

UnionBank Publication

13 Jul 2020, 12:30 — 4 min read

“COVID-19 is a catalyst for customer adoption.”


Thus said UnionBank Chairman Justo Ortiz on Daily Tribune’s exclusive webcast Straight Talk on how the pandemic has spurred businesses to go digital-forward.


“COVID-19 is giving us a peek at what the Fourth Industrial Revolution Age may be like. And we, therefore, need, across all industries, including government, to start building capabilities and the infrastructure required to embrace this future wholeheartedly,” Ortiz said.


Also read: Unprecedented: COVID-19 and its impact on the Philippine economy

Ortiz added digital banking transactions are horizontal. They are present in every vertical industry and are an essential part in the exchange of value that is foundational to any business.


“The verticals: logistics and supply chain, healthcare, education, manufacturing, whatever they may be, will also begin to seriously look at digital transformation as a way of embracing this future,” Ortiz stressed.


Pioneering transformation

UnionBank, early on spearheaded the shift by starting its own digital transformation eight years ago. The push accelerated in 2016 in anticipation of how people and society would behave and how business models would change in the future.


Also read: How to start digitizing your business


“A lot of the digital transactions that we have experienced, I would classify as minimum digital hygiene. They’re just about convenience. So now we can do things 24/7. We can do things in real time and, clearly, we need to make the investment in security and privacy in this value chain that we’re creating,” Ortiz said.

 

COVID-19 is giving us a peek at what the 4th Industrial Revolution Age may be like. And we, therefore, need, across all industries, including government, to start building capabilities and the infrastructure required to embrace this future wholeheartedly.

 


Ortiz said it’s very minimal in the sense that it is convenience-oriented, to the extent that “we’re not yet moving into how software will change how we do things that’s present in a lot of what we do already and capabilities built.”


“Which is why we said, four years ago, that UnionBank will change its vision to be a technology company and also a bank because we need to build software capabilities,” Ortiz said.


Services with meaning

“The beginning of data science and artificial intelligence in these digital platforms and supply and distribution chains will now be very useful at creating not just productivity gains, efficiency, and the minimum digital hygiene, but actually meaningful products and services that are using contextual and cognitive insights of a business’ various stakeholders,” he noted.


“For years we have been building the capabilities needed for a digital future, and, across all platforms, we’ve seen adoption increase between five and eight times,” Arvie de Vera, UnionBank Fintech Group head, added.


Also read: UnionBank boosting digital financial inclusivity

“That may seem low, given the adoption of other digital tech. But you have to remember we’re actually full-on rolling these out already pre-coronavirus disease. A lot of users are beginning to finally get a digital bank account, they begin to finally transfer to another bank, a lot of the small and medium enterprises are now beginning to finally take a picture of a check and deposit it purely on an image basis rather than going to the bank.”


Source: Tribune

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