BANK of Commerce, a unit of conglomerate San Miguel Corp., said it is ramping up investment in technologies as it prepares for a resurgent economy after the pandemic.
The bank said as part of its P1.2 billion spending in 2019, it completed the systems-upgrade of key services including treasury, trust banking and anti-money laundering. The lender said it also funded to improve the bank’s digital capabilities through its enhanced mobile banking and web platform.
With this transformation, users can now transfer funds to a mobile number or e-mail address and build savings via its “e-Saver” function, according to the lender. Online card transactions, QR-based payments and integration with electronic payment service provider ECPay are also being lined up.
“The banking sector is essential to our country’s post-pandemic recovery, and we want [BankCom] to play a more significant role in San Miguel’s overall efforts to help boost our economy,” San Miguel President and CEO Ramon S. Ang said.
“Upgrading the bank’s 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,” Ang added.
The bank has also set aside P1 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,” BankCom President and CEO Michelangelo R. Aguilar said.
“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,” Aguilar added.
The bank said further IT developments are under way 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 the bank rose 34 percent after the first mobile app version was released in 2020, followed by a 31 percent 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,” Aguilar said.
The bank already secured regulatory approvals for its initial public offering at the end of the month.
BankCom offers up to 280.60 million shares at a final price of P12 per share or proceeds of about P3.36 billion. Proceeds from the share sale will be used by the bank to fund its lending activities, acquire investment securities and finance its capital expenditure requirements.
BankCom, which will be using the ticker symbol BNCOM, targets to conduct its initial public offering from March 16 to 22, while its tentative listing date is on March 31.