Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), the financial services flagship of the Yuchengco Group of Companies (YGC), has garnered a total of 28 local and international awards as of September—the highest since 2012—to coincide with the bank’s 61 years of operations in the country this year. The awards recognize the bank’s innovative digital solutions, sustainability efforts, and financial inclusion programs on the heels of the pandemic.
RCBC’s digital transformation accelerated in 2019 with enterprise-wide efforts. It centered on achieving the best customer experience including transforming channels and products, reengineering business processes, building stronger payment ecosystems, and improving workforce productivity. These efforts started gaining traction in 2020 when the pandemic struck and is now getting the nod from some of the most prestigious institutions in the global financial and banking industry such as Global Banking and Finance Review, Asian Banking and Finance, The Asset, International Business Magazine, Asia Corporate Excellence and Sustainability, AsiaMoney among others.
The bank bagged several awards for this year’s Best Digital Bank, recognizing innovations rolled out at the height of the lockdown which proved to be helpful not only to its clients but to the entire nation. These include the roll-out of the bank’s handheld ATMs called the ATM Go which helped in the distribution of the social amelioration funds to far-flung areas, the launch of the country’s first financial inclusion super app, the Diskartech, and the major enhancements made in the RCBC Online Banking platform which has made it one of the most comprehensive banking apps in the industry, to name a few.
Digital transformation recognitions
It also received a number of Retail Bank of the Year awards which recognize RCBC’s digital transformation in its branch network that seeks to enhance customer experience while speeding up transactions with minimal physical contact. These include the launch of RCBC Touch a fully digital online onboarding platform that enables clients to open any deposit account, and the Branch of Today, the middle ground between physical and digital banking which utilizes robotics and artificial intelligence to serve those who still prefer to visit physical branches.
RCBC President and CEO Eugene Acevedo said that digitization efforts will continue to help customers get acclimatized to digital banking using technological tools and processes for faster and more efficient servicing. “Our digital channels are raising the bar, having the most features in the industry. We will continue to expand our coverage and look for ways to deliver delightful customer experiences,” Acevedo affirmed.
RCBC’s digitized cash management solutions also received recognition, bagging this year’s Best Cash Management Bank award, for enabling its corporate clients to continue operations despite lockdown restrictions.
Digitization also played an important role on the lending side. The bank was recognized as the Best SME Banking Brand for its continued support for the SME sector by enabling faster credit availment. This feat was achieved through reengineering and streamlining business processes that involved several automation in its processes.
Renewable energy foray
Amid the pandemic, the bank increased credit support on select industries and corporate clients despite an environment fraught with great uncertainty and uneasy conservatism. This earned the bank, the Best Corporate Bank award.
The universal bank was also recognized as one of the Top Community Centric Companies in Asia by Asia Corporate Excellence and Sustainability Awards (ACES) for its holistic approach to sustainability in the bank’s governance and business activities. In a CEO Forum held in December 2020 hosted by YGC, Acevedo announced the bank will stop financing coal-fired power projects, as the Philippines moves towards renewable energy (RE).
In 2020, RCBC continued its foray into funding RE projects not only in the country but the Southeast Asian region. It is a sole lender to a number of landmark transactions including the 330-megawatt solar power project of Ayala-led AC Energy in partnership with the BIM Group in Vietnam which is envisioned to be one of the largest solar power projects in South East Asia, and the Quang Binh Windfarm with an installed capacity of 210 megawatts (MW) upon completion and featuring turbines with hub-heights of 145 meter. Both projects were facilitated, with RCBC Capital as the lead arrangement. The latter project was recognized as this year’s Renewable Energy Deal of the Year Award – Wind, by The Asset Infrastructure Awards.
Trust and confidence
“These achievements would have not been possible without the trust and confidence of our stakeholders and clients. We’ve remained partners even through extraordinary times,” Acevedo said.
“Digital transformation, sustainability, and financial inclusion will always be at the core of what we do to help our country move forward through the pandemic and beyond, for generations to come–not just as an RCBC goal, but as a YGC commitment,” Acevedo concluded.