UnionBank becomes first Philippine bank to offer mobile cryptocurrency trading
Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) is poised to become the first universal bank in the country to offer virtual asset exchange services through its mobile banking application.
This marks another major milestone in the bank’s efforts towards future-proofing while creating customer-centric solutions powered by technology and innovation.
The recently unveiled feature is part of UnionBank’s “Tech-Up Pilipinas” advocacy, which aims to promote digital literacy among Filipinos, in line with its goal of enabling inclusive prosperity in the country.
With the new feature, UnionBank customers can now purchase and sell Bitcoin (BTC) directly from its mobile banking app without the need for a third-party virtual asset wallet. This eliminates the use of multiple apps and makes buying and selling BTC easier and more convenient.
The new feature will be launched through randomly pre-selected UnionBank customers, who will be able to see the Virtual Asset functionality in their app. The launch is in compliance with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) regulation on Virtual Asset Services.
A wider roll-out is planned to be carried out soon.
Blockchain is a major component of UnionBank’s future-proofing strategy. The bank has carefully and diligently explored potential uses for the new technology and its offshoots, such as cryptocurrency.
Cathy Casas, Head of Blockchain Center of Excellence, Digital Asset Markets and API Marketplace Group at UnionBank, said, “Blockchain is a technology that we think will power the future of banking. At the same time, we also recognize that cryptocurrency is one of the services that many customers are already looking for, especially those in the younger generation. The demand grew during the pandemic.”
The adoption of blockchain as a component of UnionBank’s future-proofing strategy is in keeping with its efforts to expand its footprint in the metaverse, (roughly an aggregate of new digital spaces). UnionBank first entered this new digital space through its partnership with homegrown NFT game Ark of Dreams in April.
The Bank is hoping to launch the country’s first-ever Metaverse Center of Excellence sometime in the next few months.
“By launching this new feature, we are hitting two birds with one stone —future-proofing the Bank and satisfying the needs of customers who use cryptocurrencies,” Henry Aguda, Senior Executive Vice President Chief Technology and Operations Officer and Chief Transformation Officer said. “This is one of the things we are working on as we clear our path towards the metaverse.”