Philippines Champions Global and Local Public-Private Partnerships to Strengthen Fintech Ecosystem at the Singapore Fintech Festival 2023

UnionBank and UnionDigital booth at SFF 2023

MANILA, PHILIPPINES—President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. underscored strategic collaboration with diverse domestic and international stakeholders to position the Philippines as a hub for digital innovation and entrepreneurship. This was highlighted during his keynote address at the Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF) 2023, the world’s largest fintech event, where he made history as the first statesman to deliver a holographic speech at the said festival.

He emphasized that both local and global public-private partnerships (PPPs) play a vital role in enabling the Philippines to adopt new technologies that would strengthen the country’s fintech ecosystem. The implementation of innovative solutions, coupled with enhanced financial education and inclusion initiatives, will effectively meet the needs of underserved communities in the country. This, in turn, serves as a tangible demonstration of the Philippines’ potential to contribute solutions to regional and global challenges.

Earlier this year, the Marcos Jr. Administration’s Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) created the GoDigital Pilipinas (GDP) movement to provide practical recommendations, envisions empowering Filipino citizens through technology for a connected and inclusive society. PSAC comprises industry leaders and experts spanning six primary sectoral groups: agriculture, digital infrastructure, jobs, healthcare, build-build-build, and tourism.

UnionDigital Bank, the digital bank of UnionBank of the Philippines and a key partner in pushing the GDP movement, demonstrates a commitment to addressing diverse needs, including those of underserved and unbanked Filipinos. Through AI-powered solutions, the digital bank works towards financial inclusion by providing access to bank products that are traditionally beyond reach due to stringent requirements. 

Advocating for embedded finance, UnionDigital collaborates across industries to enhance access to digital bank products, fostering financial inclusion by engaging customers where they are most present. Ecosystem partners include the prominent local motorcycle taxi company Angkas, the country’s first fully integrated health app mWell, and airasia’s e-wallet app BigPay.

The digital bank showcased its commitment to innovation and inclusivity at the SFF, championing its proprietary framework, Customer Lifetime Prosperity Index (CLPI)—a metric illustrating customer financial health. This approach reflects UnionDigital’s dedication to banking and fostering long-term prosperity for its customers.

Henry Aguda, President and CEO at UnionDigital Bank, shared, “As part of our mission to empower Filipinos everywhere, we prioritize addressing customer needs to improve their financial health. With CLPI, we are able to do that by addressing the financial sustainability of the mass market. Our strategic partnerships amplify this impact by enabling us to understand our customer’s behavior more and enhance our products based on that. These advantages align with our support for the government’s pursuit of more partnerships to foster growth in the Philippine fintech ecosystem.”

Since 2018, UnionDigital’s parent bank, UnionBank, has consistently taken part in SFF, recognized as one of the most impactful fintech events worldwide. The 2023 theme of SFF centers on “The Application of AI in Financial Services,” aligning with UnionBank’s commitment to “Inclusive Financial Growth Powered by AI.” This mirror’s UnionBank’s ongoing initiative to ‘Tech Up, Pilipinas’ by harnessing innovative technologies such as AI to contribute to nation-building. The focus is on showcasing the practical implementation of AI within UnionBank and its key subsidiaries, emphasizing the utilization of AI for fostering inclusive financial solutions and improving customer experiences.

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