Clients now allowed to open PNB accounts online | Inquirer Business

Clients now allowed to open PNB accounts online

By: - Business Features Editor / @philbizwatcher
/ 05:18 AM July 10, 2021

For the first time since opening its doors over a century ago, Philippine National Bank (PNB) now allows new clients to open an account without physically visiting any branch, in line with the bank’s bid to ride on the digital banking boom.

This year, PNB is investing P3.2 billion for technology initiatives, 28-percent higher than the budget last year. Of this amount, 30 percent will go to digital payments and e-wallet initiatives.

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Recently, the bank’s board also approved a plan to set up an all-digital bank separate from PNB as it seeks to join the mobile banking race.

“We are investing in technology and changing a lot of our processes at PNB. More and more customers are now demanding nonstop banking services. They want it fast, safe and easy. In the new normal, we need to rely on technology to interact with customers and our target market across all our channels,” PNB president Wick Veloso said in a press statement on Friday.

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Cutthroat competition

PNB launched its online account opening service to make it safer and more convenient for customers to start a banking relationship amid cutthroat competition.

Previously, all accounts opened at PNB required a visit to one of its branches where the know-your-customer (KYC) process is conducted. With the launch of this online account opening service, customers can go to the PNB website, submit the necessary identification and information required, and comply with KYC via video conferencing.

“At PNB, we believe in creating a harmonized business model that integrates the strengths of digital and traditional banking business models. Our thrust is to continuously serve the immediate needs of our customers while looking for innovative ways to enhance their experience,” Veloso added.

Pilot testing

Prior the its public launch earlier this year, the bank conducted pilot testing in all of its local offices, where majority of employees are millennials. As of end-May, the bank had processed over 3,000 new accounts. “We have learned so much from this activity that we conducted with my fellow Philnabankers, especially from our younger colleagues. We have used this experience to build our capabilities before we formally launched to the public. Our young colleagues are more comfortable in using these digital applications through their computers and smartphones and this is why we are investing more in building these capabilities,” Veloso said.

PNB has been encouraging more customers to use digital banking since the start of the community quarantine last year. As a promotional offer, PNB has agreed to waive the maintaining balance for customers who will open accounts until Sept. 21 this year.

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TAGS: online banking, Philippine National Bank (PNB)
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