Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank)’s digital transformation projects yielded around one million new customers for the bank last year, President and CEO Edwin Bautista said in a recent interview.

Bautista said this came as a big surprise but added that half of their customers are now transacting with them digitally and they expect this to grow exponentially in the coming months.

“Our studies indicate that our customers who are digital have 6x the normal transaction of someone who is non-digital and as high as 12x the revenue for a customer who is non-digital. This is very encouraging for us. It provides us a strong boost even without increasing the customer base,” he said.

“Most of these customers have accounts in different banks. So, if your digital offering is strong, they tend to shift most of their transactions with you,” he added.

Bautista believes the adoption rate of their customers to digital is driven by the bank’s new mobile banking platform which has been well-received. Apart from this, the bank also rolled out another five digital branches last week.

He likewise said UnionBank’s digital transformation was not connected to its lower net income of PHP 7.3 B for last year.

“Digital had nothing to do with it. It was an unusual situation where the adoption of PFRS9 resulted in 1.2 B of income that did not go through PNL. In reality, we made PHP 8.5 B last year. It could have been higher because the bank itself experienced a 23 percent increase in loans, but we had a brief situation wherein our Savings Bank subsidiary was not able to lend to teachers for a couple of months so that also affected our bottomline,” he said.

Bautista reiterated UnionBank’s aim to be among the country’s top 3 banks, not necessarily in terms of assets but in terms of performance.

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