Banks will ramp up digital shift

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas wants to have 50 percent of all transactions in the country be digital by 2023

Over the past years, online banking has had the biggest impact on the banking industry. In particular, the number of Filipinos with a bank, electronic money, or other digital transaction accounts increased this year, given the current adoption trends.

In particular, Western Union said the Philippines is among the forerunners in the successful digitalization of payment systems.

In a briefing on Friday, Western Union president for the Middle East and Asia Pacific Jean Claude Farah said governments worldwide are attempting to digitize. However, he said only a few countries, including the Philippines, have succeeded in doing it.

In particular, Farah said that digitization is already taking place in the country.

In comparison to the remittance industry, he claimed, “(The Philippines is) digitizing your remittance industry much more.”

One example is that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas wants to have 50 percent of all transactions in the country be digital by 2023.

According to industry experts, the trend will continue towards better digital transformation from 2023 and beyond.

E-Savings Expected to Grow

Kirill Kalashnikov, regional director for APAC at Robocash Group, which operates in the Philippines through the financial app UnaCash and online lending platform Digido, mentioned that e-savings, or savings accounts opened and used via internet banking, will grow next year.

Kalashnikov noted that a “positive difference between household income and expenses is growing in the country by our estimation.”

He added that this would further encourage people to save more.

Kalashnikov added that they are seeing confident growth in bank saving deposits.

The rise of neo banks, per Kalashnikov, can accelerate this process much more.

Green Banking Strategies to Grow Further

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas asked several financial firms to adopt green banking practices in 2021 to help lower risks associated with global warming and other environmental, social, and governance aspects.

Thus, an increasing number of banks are implementing green banking techniques.

“Banks will increase sustainable financing activities (such as) green and social bonds,” said Chinabank chief economist Domini Velasquez.

More digital banks to compel traditional banks to fast-track digitization

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. chief economist Michael Ricafort underscored that the increased shift to digital banking transactions is one of the banking trends for 2023 and beyond.

“This would also fundamentally reduce the cost-to-income ratio of banks with less need for physical branches,” Ricafort said.

Ricafort added that digital banks would also increase the convenience for bank customers, with online banking transactions via their mobile phones and laptops 24/7 and from anywhere around the world.


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