The Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) was recognized yesterday as the “Best Digital Bank in the Philippines” by a Hong Kong-based institutional investment magazine.
This year’s edition of the Annual Alpha Southeast Asia Best FI 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.
RCBC was judged through “a fair, robust and informative methodology” with additional criteria “to tighten its eligibility,” said Alpha Southeast Asia in its announcement of winners.
The Yuchengco-led bank is joined by other awardees from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam in 79 awards categories.
“This is a welcome news in this difficult time. 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,” says Helen Yuchengco Dee, chairperson of RCBC.
In 2019, RCBC successfully expanded its digital initiatives in exponential ways.
The bank 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.
The bank’s 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 digital customer experience.
“This is only the beginning for RCBC and its digital efforts. We are on track to introduce more products and services that will benefit the unbanked and underserved segments of our society,” says Eugene Acevedo, president and CEO of RCBC.
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.
As of writing, digital transactions of RCBC has recorded up to more than 1,000-percent increase compared to pre-quarantine figures. Daily transaction count and amount of cardless ATM withdrawals are up by 1,177 percent and 1,784 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, InstaPay and Send Cash remittances has grown 299 percent and 577 percent, respectively.
These strong numbers are buoyed by RCBC’s growing online customer base. New enrollees are up by 187 percent 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 also endorsed the 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,” says Lito Villanueva, executive vice president and chief innovation and inclusion officer of RCBC.