Hong Kong-based magazine recognizes RCBC as best digital bank in PH

In its 2020 edition, the Annual Alpha Southeast Asia Best FI Awards recognized Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) as the ‘Best Digital Bank in the Philippines.’

“RCBC was judged through ‘a fair, robust, and informative methodology’ with additional criteria ‘to tighten its eligibility,’” the Hong Kong-based institutional investment magazine said in its announcement of winners.

The Yuchengco-led bank is joined by other awardees from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines in 79 awards categories. The awards deliberated on the performance of participating banks, brokers, and other financial institutions in the past year and made special note of their position ‘given the dramatic changes in the operating environment’ due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


Right digital investments

“This is a welcome news in this difficult time,” said RCBC Chairperson Helen Yuchengco Dee. “The situation has brought to light the advantage of digital solutions. We are grateful, in RCBC, to have made the right digital investments which prepared us for the worst of the crisis.”

RCBC successfully expanded its digital initiatives in exponential ways in 2019. It recalibrated its mobile point-of-sale device, ATM Go service, to focus on high-impact and volume-intensive partners. This resulted in the fivefold year-on-year growth of ATM Go’s transaction count, volume, and revenues.

Its online platform and mobile application, RCBC Online Retail, also saw record-breaking growth performance last year. In addition, to exceeding key metrics, the improved mobile banking app also has an enhanced user interface and other new features to optimize the digital customer experience.

“This is only the beginning for RCBC and its digital efforts,” said RCBC President and CEO Eugene Acevedo. “We are on track to introduce more products and services that will benefit the unbanked and underserved segments of our society.”

At the onset of local transmission of Covid-19, RCBC led the Damayang Sambayanihan: Hatid-Ayuda sa Kababayan initiative in collaboration with other private groups as a quick-response action to ensure the timely disbursement of emergency government subsidy. Collectively, it has a combined branch network of over 10,000 touchpoints throughout the country with handheld ATM Go terminals deployed in 72 out of 81 provinces in the Philippines.


Strong numbers

To date, RCBC’s digital transactions have recorded up to more than 1,000% increase compared to pre-quarantine figures. Daily transaction count and amount of cardless ATM withdrawals are up by 1,177% and 1,784%, respectively. Meanwhile, InstaPay and Send Cash remittances have grown 299% and 577%, respectively. These strong numbers can be attributed to the bank’s growing online customer base. New enrollees are up by 187% in the same period.

RCBC was the first private universal bank granted authority by the Monetary Board to accept government money to quickly disburse public funds. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) also endorsed RCBC’s ATM Go as an offsite payment facility for the continued disbursement of its conditional cash-transfer project and social pension for indigent senior citizens. It is the first private universal bank permitted to aid in the efforts of the agency.

“We are not yet out of the woods of a contracting local economy. But this recognition affirms that we are on the right track in bringing Filipinos to the fold of financial security with the help of technology. More relevant and responsive digital solutions will be unveiled this year as we face a better normal, said RCBC Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation and Inclusion Officer Lito Villanueva.