RCBC turns virtual banker for financial inclusion

Published December 1, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC), a member of the Yuchengco Group, has jumped the gun on its colleagues by becoming the first digital financial inclusion-focused virtual bank in the country and the first bank to introduce 3 key features for online and mobile banking as the company targets to become a largely digital banker by 2021.

Lito Villanueva, RCBC executive vice president and Chief Innovation and Inclusion Officer, said during a media roundtable they will be launching Diskartech, the first digital financial inclusion-focused virtual bank in the Philippines.

“Diskartech aims to make savings easy and banking convenient for unbanked individuals,” said Villanueva.

Although, the bank has forged various strategic partnerships with more than 30 organizations and government agencies, to build its ecosystem to help push Diskartech.

According to Villanueva, RCBC is the first and only bank to be granted a national resolution by the Liga ng mga Barangay, adopting Diskartech as a national financial inclusion accelerator program across 42,000 barangays nationwide.

Diskartech will introduce an eKYC process that can onboard clients in less than 2 minutes. The target for 2020 is to onboard about 1 million unbanked and underserved.

It has engaged the Department of Trade and Industry through its over 1,000 Negosyo Centers nationwide to train more than 1.3 million sari-sari stores that will be enabled with Diskartech.

Last week, RCBC relaunched its mobile app making RCBC the first bank to introduce 3 key features for online and mobile banking. These are multi-currency foreign exchange (buy and sell) supporting 10 currencies; time deposit placement of up to P10 million or $200,000; and online and mobile eGov payments through PESONet and LandBank, starting with BIR payments.

To continue scaling up inclusive digital finance, Villanueva reported that over 70 rural banks, cooperatives and microfinance institutions have signed with RCBC for its Remote Banking Access Points sachet banking initiative through the deployment of over 1,000 mPOS (mobile point-of-sales) devices nationwide. This is aside from the deployment of mPOS to over 500 Bayad Center locations starting Q1 2020.

Remote Banking mPOS offers ATM services at the countryside where banking is not available, enabling customers with Bancnet-issued ATMs (prepaid and debit cards) to withdraw cash, do bills payment to over 2,000 billers, transfers, airtime and gaming eload, and balance inquiry.

This partnership enables rural banks to scale up their business without expenses and worry. It even strengthens BSP’s thrust of bridging gap between unbanked population and financial services.

RCBC has achieved three-digit exponential growth for mPOS, generating 515 percent year on year growth on Remote Banking mPOS transaction volume, from ₱333.6 million to ₱2.1 billion. Transaction count also increased by 637 percent year on year, from 111,000 to 811,000.

Fifty two percent of transactions were generated from cash withdrawal transactions done by conditional cash transfer beneficiaries nationwide.

RCBC currently has 1,800 mPOS devices, and this will increase to as much as 5,000 by year 2020, through a partnership with Bayad Center. RCBC plans to initially deploy mPOS devices to Bayad Center’s top 500 branches, out of their 26,000 touchpoints nationwide.

Villanueva said these efforts has made them 38 percent digital banker, twice higher than the industry’s 15 percent. RCBC hopes to achieve 50 percent of its 2 million clients onboard its mobile app by 2021.

At present, RCBC has 507 branches nationwide, and 1,577 ATMs. It is the 8th largest private domestic bank in the Philippines by assets, with a market capitalization of ₱54.39 billion.