Bank strengthens digital transformation

THROUGH digital transformation, the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) hopes to be able to capture more clients and provide them a more “meaningful” service.

“Digitalization is important for us because we think it will lower our cost to serve. If we lower our cost to serve, it will allow us to catch more people,” Cezar P. Consing, BPI president and chief executive officer, said during a media roundtable on Monday, August 5, at the BPI Davao Corporate Center along C.M. Recto Street.

Consing said while going digital will replace a lot of tasks and processes, it does not mean that they will be reducing their workforce.

He pointed out that when the bank started its going digital in 2012, their work force have expanded to around 20,000 from around 12,500.

Consing said reducing the number processes done in the branches will allow their branch personnel to provide services beyond the traditional banking services.

“If you can reduce that, it would free up our people to have more meaningful conversations with their clients, it is not just simply processing a transaction,” he said.

Consing said instead of doing the traditional bank transactions at the branches, their personnel could now have conversations with the clients on their needs at this stage of his or her life.

Ramon Jocson, BPI chief operating officer and segment head for BPI Enterprise Services, said the bank will not only digitize its process but will also “transform” their personnel to be able to keep up with the bank’s digital transformation.

“If we get the volume out of the branches, we will need to level them up so that they will be able have the discussions and conversations with clients at an advice level not at a transaction level,” Jocson said.

Aside from improving their services through digitalization, the bank hopes to attract more clients in the coming years.

In Davao Region, BPI is hoping to increase the number of users of its digital channels from 31 to 40 percent by the end of the year.

Consing said in a statement that “increasing the proportion of clients using digital channels will spread the benefits of digitalization to the underserved and unbanked.”

According to the bank, many in Mindanao still prefer to visit the branch or carry cash.

“Bank transfers or deposits and bills payments are two of the most frequent transactions in the branches. These, however, can be done much more conveniently and securely through the online portal or the mobile app,” BPI said in a statement.

Jocson said the branches and the digital channels will complement each other to deliver enhanced customer experience.

Meanwhile, the bank is set to open two more branches in the region -- one in Davao City and another in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley. The bank currently has 30 BPI, BPI Family Savings Bank, BanKo branches, and branch lite units in the region.


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