Pandemic side businesses driving digital banking shift — UnionBank

pandemic side businesses driving digital banking shift unionbank - Pandemic side businesses driving digital banking shift — UnionBank

NEW SIDE businesses that emerged during the pandemic are leading the charge in adopting digital payments, UnionBank said.

“People have now become chefs and bakers and selling on Viber and Facebook groups,” Ana Maria A. Delgado, the bank’s chief customer care experience officer and an executive Vice-President, said in an online briefing Wednesday.

Among more established e-commerce businesses, “We’ve also seen the emergence of livestream selling where you are using videos to explain products further and get people to interact,” she said.

She added these trends are part of a broader shift in consumer behavior during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“For example, you might have held face-to-face events and have a captive audience for an hour. Now on digital, people are more distracted by other things, right? So what you would have said in an hour, you now need to say in maybe 10 minutes,” she said.

People staying at home have been relying more on digital bank transactions.

Ms. Delgado said UnionBank online transactions have since surpassed in-branch dealings by a wide margin, which she quantified as “in the millions.”

She added that a partnership with the 7-Eleven chain of convenience stores which allows cash-in transactions to UnionBank has gained traction not only for personal purposes but also for business transactions. The bank is also exploring allowing cash-out withdrawal transactions through 7-eleven stores.

During the lockdown, UnionBank launched an app to allow money transfers to remittance centers.

UnionBank’s net profit declined 26.9% to P1.86 billion in the second quarter on increased loan provisions. In the first half, net earnings fell 5.6% to P4.5 billion.

UnionBank finished trading at P54 Wednesday, gaining five centavos or 0.09%. — Luz Wendy T. Noble

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