July 17, 2019
COMPANIES should think ahead, innovate and reinvent in order to ride the digital-transformation wave brought about by the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution, Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) Chairman Justo Ortiz said on Tuesday.
In his keynote speech at The Manila Times Digital Transformation and Innovation Forum in Pasay City, Ortiz told participants that “[a]s we move into this fourth industrial age, there’s going to be a discontinuity.”
As an example, Ortiz cited a study that showed that the average life of a publicly listed company today would be 35 years, which would eventually go down to 12 by 2027.
With this, he said companies succeed if they have a purpose, innovate and reinvent themselves.
According to Ortiz, UnionBank is doing its part by not just being a bank, but also transforming itself as a technology company.
“We need to change who we are, and why we do what we do. And we need to redefine ourselves….” the UnionBank chief said.
“For [a] mainsteam bank to be able to converge symbiotically with a technology company or a fintech (financial technology) [firm], we need to become a technology company also. Otherwise, we [won’t] speak the same language,” he added.
Since the bank started its digital trasformation, Ortiz said it had become a trusted curator of its customers, “connecting them to platforms to marketplaces, to financial apps, and giving them the development tools, so that they can do things on their own.”
Part of this transformation, he added, is UnionBank’s fintech subsidiary UBX Philippines Corp., which focuses on embedded banking, and ecosystems and platforms that cater to unbanked and underbanked Filipinos.
Another innovation from the Aboitiz-led lender is the intergration of its electronic-commerce payment gateway and other digital financial services into the XLOG logistics platform developed by Shiptek Solutions Corp.
“And we have an XLOG, which is a logistics and supply-chain platform. The whole idea behind this is the concept that, aside from self-service and collaborative commons, banking will be invisible,“ Ortiz said.
UnionBank recently acquired 30 percent of the Filipino technology solutions firm.
UBX’s expertise in technology development and blockchain was said to further power XLOG’s end-to-end supply chain solution that consolidates shipping, warehousing, trucking and customs brokerage.
Through XLOG, UnionBank, UBX and Shiptek Solutions said they could tap into each other’s expertise and customer network, from small and medium enterprises to large-scale corporations.
“The future is going to become the present, not the other way around,” Ortiz said.
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