BPI ramps up digitalization efforts

THE Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) is ramping up its digitalization efforts that will also support the country’s economic development.

“We doubled down on digitalization over the past two decades, as online banking transformed into mobile banking. We brought our banking services that were only available on desktops onto the smartphone,” Jose Teodoro Limcaoco, BPI president and chief executive officer, said during an online business forum organized by The Manila Times.

He said that in 2012, the country’s first bank-initiated contactless payment system, a mobile wallet, was introduced by BPI.

“Today, we are continuously reinventing and innovating. You know, in this digital era, we are making available digital platforms that cater to the diverse needs of different customer segments,” Limcaoco noted, citing an example of the lender’s online banking platform, BPI Online.

He further said the lender also made online banking even more available through mobile phones through BPI Mobile, where the majority of its customers access services.

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Next, Limcaoco said, is BPI Trade, the bank’s stockbrokerage division BPI Securities’ fully integrated online trading platform.

He also said that the lender developed BPI BizLink, a one-stop shop for all of its corporate clients’ digital banking needs, specifically for the business community.

The bank also operates BPI Direct BanKo, which is its microfinance division. Limcaoco said BanKo fosters financial inclusion by giving access to simple, convenient and affordable microfinance solutions for the self-employed microentrepreneurs.

The last one, he added, is called BPI BizKo, a subscription-based digital platform that provides an integrated online system for invoicing and collections to aid micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, or MSMEs, with their cash flow and other banking needs. It was introduced by the lender in March.

“With BizKo, I hope we are opening the digital playing field to micro and small business owners, such as your street vendors, your plumbers and sari-sari (variety) store owners, to help them grow and sustain their progress in the long run,” Limcaoco said.

He also said BizKo is BPI’s strategy for enabling the said entrepreneurs to become digital, without them needing to make significant investments in technology. Said business owners now have a ready platform to raise their efficiency and consequently strengthen their competitiveness, thanks to Bizko.

For a fraction of the cost, subscription to the app allows them to do their business transactions seamlessly, thereby saving them time and money, Limcaoco pointed out.

He said BPI made the investments necessary to make BizLink, BanKo and BizKo available to the business community as a means of assisting them in achieving inclusive growth, innovation and sustainable operations.

“These platforms are enabling them to achieve financial wellness and business expansion, which essentially contribute to the country’s economic growth,” Limcaoco added.

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