Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) will launch in about a month a version of its UMobile application, which enables convergent banking where client Internet and mobile transactions are linked with onetime authentication modes.
UnionBank is developing more than six features of the application that offers its over 6 million clients fewer clicks but more streamlined options for account-balance checks, bills payments, load purchases and digital access both on its Internet and mobile banking platforms.
“We’re modernizing it to provide better experience because our Internet banking and mobile banking were developed in different times. For now this is only available to UnionBank employees,” UnionBank Chief Information Officer Dennis Omilia told the BusinessMirror last Friday.
“Our road map is that we’ll be doing quick releases of constant enhancements rather than waiting to develop so many features. Now, we have up to six application functionalities, but I see that to be doubled in the next six months,” UnionBank Chief of Retail Product Development Ramond Duarte added.
UnionBank gathers feedback from its over 2,000 employees, creates the desired features, rolls out the application and waits for feedback again.
“What you see in most applications are updates to download from time to time. So, UnionBank is promoting cocreation. This is our different concept of developing. We don’t assume that we already know their needs, but allow them to tell us what they need,” Omilia said.
UnionBank said some of the employees asked for more secure authentication process, all-in-one transaction reports and quicker access to services.
Thus, UnionBank has begun addressing the flaws in recent years since UMobile was launched in 2011. Omilia demonstrated how the updated version will run.
“You can open this, for example, through fingerprint scanning. Once it is connected, the password is inputted only once. The application will send you the password, so you can see in real time if someone else is also logging in your account,” he said.
“In our convergent banking, you will see all your transactions, including payments to electricity, water and credit-card bills, using the application,” Omilia added.
The initiatives on convergent banking is part of the P3-billion, or 150-percent budget increase of UnionBank this year, for its digital transformation.
Last year UnionBank introduced the country’s first selfie banking through EON that can be accessed by face recognition to shop and deposit, withdraw and transfer funds online on mobile. To register an account, clients must simply purchase EON cards from bank branches or 7-Eleven stores.
This year UnionBank intensifies its brand as the country’s digital bank, with at least five hackathon events named <U>HACK & PL@Y in cities of Iloilo, Manila, Cebu and Baguio.
The events aim to gather educators, students and financial technology firms to create digital banking solutions on mobile.
UnionBank also hopes it will attract more participants than the 220 attendees last year with <U>HACKGROUND POP-UPS. These are mini hackathons that will be organized in various public spaces, such as malls.