Bank of Commerce steps up tech spending to drive growth post-pandemic

Bank of Commerce steps up tech spending to drive growth post-pandemic

MANILA — San Miguel Corporation (SMC) affiliate Bank of Commerce (BankCom) is ramping up investment in technologies to optimize operations and further improve customer experience across multiple channels, ahead of a resurgent economy post-pandemic.

This, as the bank completed systems upgrade of key services including treasury, trust banking and anti-money laundering.

BankCom has also invested in improving its digital capabilities through its enhanced mobile banking and web platform BankCom [Personal] that has been made more secure and convenient through biometrics and a suite of new features — all part of the P1.2 billion spending it rolled out in 2019.

With this, users can now transfer funds to a mobile number or e-mail address and build savings via its “E-Saver” function. Online card transactions, QR-based payments, and integration with electronic payment service provider ECPay are also being lined up.

SMC President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon S. Ang, said: “The banking sector is essential to our country’s post-pandemic recovery, and we want Bank of Commerce to play a more significant role in San Miguel’s overall efforts to help boost our economy. Upgrading its IT and digital infrastructure is key to meeting the challenges of banking in the new normal and serving the needs of retail customers, SMEs, and corporate clients. We believe in the bank’s strong potential, that’s why we are investing to upgrade and enhance its capabilities to serve more clients.”

BankCom President and Chief Executive Officer Michelangelo R. Aguilar added: “We are committed to embracing new technologies to strengthen our core functions and governance, unleash capabilities to integrate our services, realize operational efficiencies, and reduce transaction costs. Ultimately, this will redound to providing a exceptional customer experience in the new normal,”

The bank has also set aside P 1 billion to upgrade its core banking system and refresh its ATM fleet across the country, including the installation of additional machines at strategic offsite locations starting this year.

“Digital banking is on the rise and will continue post-COVID as many people have experienced its convenience. By deciding early on to upgrade our digital assets, we are now in a position to reach out and offer more to our customers,” Aguilar added.

“It’s about combining the best of multiple channels – from personal to digital – to deliver a much better, more tailored outcome for our customers,” Aguilar said.

Further IT developments are underway to beef up the bank’s performance in trade finance, loan management, risk management, as well as cash management, which it estimates to bring in transaction values exceeding P10 billion from corporate and manager’s check facilities alone, and more than P1.5 billion from direct and cross-border fund transfers.

Enrollments in BankCom [Personal] rose 34.6% after the first mobile app version was released in 2020, followed by a 30.8% increase in 2021. Notable increases in bills payments and fund transfers (via InstaPay and PESONet) via this channel were also realized.

“As we have seen exponential growth in the use of digital services in the last two years, we will continue to study emerging trends and adapt to our customers’ needs. We endeavor to help more Filipinos in their recovery from the pandemic by providing relevant digital banking solutions to make smart financial decisions,” said Aguilar. (ai/mtvn)

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