FINANCE Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has underscored the need for the Philippine economy to quickly adapt to the switch to digitalization for it to remain viable, as the old brick-and-mortar strategy of doing business will no longer suffice to meet the shifting needs of consumers in the post-pandemic era.
Dominguez said the impact of digital technology has never been more pronounced than in the field of finance, as the restrictions on mobility and physical interaction to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic has left the entire banking system with no choice but to rapidly innovate on its processes, products and customer experience.
“Our experience during this pandemic underscored what we already knew: Our economy will have to quickly adjust to the trajectory of modern digital technologies if it is to remain viable,” said Dominguez in his pre-recorded message during the virtual groundbreaking ceremonies of the Innovation Campus of the Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank).
Apart from the banking industry, the other productive sectors of the economy would have to quickly move online, engage consumers through their smartphones, and improve internal processes to meet new standards of efficiency, Dominguez said.
“Those that cannot swim in the digital tide will drown in its wake,” he said.
Located in San Pedro, Laguna, the Innovation Campus is envisioned as a futuristic hub that will develop talent to fuel UnionBank’s digital innovation strategies, and will also serve as the bank’s business continuity facility to ensure unhampered service in times of disasters and other unforeseen events.
Dominguez welcomed the decision of UnionBank, led by its chairman Erramon Aboitiz, to build the campus, which he described as “a landmark for the Philippines’ relentless push towards comprehensive digitization.”
“This facility will be a breeding ground for cultivating new talent, evolving new products, and developing new ways to be competitive in the new economy,” Dominguez said.
As a business continuity facility that will function as a back-up of UnionBank’s operations, Dominguez advised the bank’s officials to continuously strengthen the cybersecurity safeguards of their digital systems to protect these from potential threats and risks.
During the event, Dominguez also recognized UnionBank’s “well-deserved reputation for cutting-edge innovation” as it has been a reliable partner of the Social Security System and the Bureau of the Treasury in enabling Filipinos across the globe to participate in the government’s bond offerings online amid the pandemic through the Bonds.PH mobile app.
UnionBank’s five-story Innovation Campus will feature state-of-the-art facilities such as the operational and information technology command centers, security monitoring rooms, modern learning spaces, collaboration areas, cafeteria, dormitories and health and wellness facilities. (PR)