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5 more ARK branches launched in key cities

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UnionBank of the Philippines (UBP) has launched five more The Ark branches in key Philippine cities in a bid to strengthen its digital offers and enhance the digital banking experience for its customers.

Barely a year since its launch, The ARK was awarded as Best Branch Customer Experience at the Customer Experience in Financial Services Summit 2018 in Singapore last July

The Ark is the first fully digital and paperless bank branch and was cited as among the world’s 14 banks and credit unions with the most stunning branch designs.

UnionBank chief customer experience officer Ana Delgado earlier said from its inception, The ARK has stood for UnionBank’s view of the future of banking because it was a collaboration among many units of the bank and multiple external partners.

“The process of conceiving and executing it demonstrates the power of co-creation. Today, we continue to use the space to collaborate with our clients and friends, exchanging ideas and building the future of banking and industries together,” Delgado said.

The new branches are located at the UnionBank Plaza in Pasig City; BGC 32nd Street in Taguig City; Binondo in Manila City; as well as a branch in Cebu City and Davao City. This brings the bank’s total number of fully digital branches to 15, following the first ARK branch that was launched in late 2017 and the nine ARKlites that were launched last year.

To make the experience more relevant to customers, each branch is designed to prioritize services that match the needs of the clientele depending on the location. This will ensure that the pain points of customers are addressed and they are able to maximize their visit.

UnionBank’s The Ark brings to life digital and paperless banking.

Launched in September 2017, the first ARK branch was located on Ayala Avenue, Makati City and is the forefront of digital branch banking in the Philippines, digitizing branch transactions for customers including product application.

Barely a year since its launch, The ARK was awarded as Best Branch Customer Experience at the Customer Experience in Financial Services Summit 2018 in Singapore last July.

According to financial website The Financial Brand — one of the largest online publications in the retail banking industry and with readership base of over 1.5 million in over 200 countries, The ARK — done by Bonsey Design — integrated technologies like touch screens, video walls and augmented reality to create an interactional experience rather than a transactional space.

“Not many bank branches are so cool that they bother to make an interactive virtual tour,” The Financial Brand said.

Meantime, nine ARKlites or smaller versions of The ARK have also been opened in various areas nationwide.

“We designed each space according to the profile of the customers in each community, so no two ARK branches are exactly the same,” said UnionBank customer experience designer and The ARK product owner Ron Batisan. “We made it so that the branches are tailored to the preferences of customers in terms of how we deliver our services and the facilities and in-branch features that we provide them.”

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