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UnionBank named Asiamoney’s ‘Best Bank for SMEs’ for second year in a row

Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) was named “Best Bank for SMEs” at the recent Asiamoney Best Bank Awards 2021, besting many other Philippine banks to take home the prestigious accolade for the second year in a row.

The “Best Bank for SMEs” accolade is awarded by Asiamoney to banking institutions that have excelled in delivering innovative solutions tailored to the needs of SMEs over the past 12 months.

Prior to COVID, UnionBank has already laid the ground work to address these challenges by introducing an MSME Business Hub to address the different needs of the MSMEs. The first-to-market UnionBank MSME Business Banking app came at the perfect time in 2020 to cater to the shifting needs of the MSMEs by offering the widest range of digital options and functionalities in managing their financial transactions such as: first bank to introduce mobile check deposits which was most used feature during the lockdown due to the protocols set by the government; and first bank in the country to introduce Digital Account Opening for MSMEs. In addition to this, there was a significant increase of banking customers coming from the platform, with a total of more than 13,000 new MSME Business and Personal accounts for 2020 contributing a total of $55M in deposit balances and $96M in loans.

The app also has the most extensive list of government and utility billers for bills payment, local and international batch bank transfers, setup of customized and complex approval flows, batch account opening and management of payroll accounts, and a single log-in for all enrolled companies and subsidiaries.

It includes UPAY for MSMEs , apayment gateway  beneficial for MSME owners to create a unified payment solution for easy collection. With a simple link, customers may pay through channels such as UnionBank Online , Instapay, over the counter and  digital walletsamong many.  Other payment options include Visa and Mastercard credit and debit cards .

The UnionBank GlobalLinker, an AI powered digital platform entirely dedicated to MSMEs who can use the platform free of cost, transforms the way the Bank serves and supports MSMEs. It allows MSMEs to expand networking reach, increase learning capabilities, and improve their digital presence by creating fully digital stores. UnionBank has conducted over 150 webinars to utilize the platform and expand MSME’s learning opportunities. It has reached a total of 53,000 MSMEs on the platform, enabling affinity partners where communities of MSMEs are onboarded to the platform with help and promotions of key organizations such as Department of Trade.

To address the needs for more access to credit, UnionBank Business Loan isofferedinthe SeekCap Marketplace which offers a convenient and straight through digital application process, allowing MSMEs to get a credit decision within 5 minutes or less . This is possible with the aid of APIs which pull data in real-time and feed into our credit scoring algorithm which is continuously enhanced through machine learning. SeekCap is a proprietary solution offered by the Bank’s Fintech Spinoff UBX.

Other solutions offered by UnionBank’s UBX, that have benefitted MSMEs in the past year include: Sentro, which allows MSMEs to easily create their very own e-commerce site in minutes and has helped more than 30,000 merchants to date; and Bux, which provides access to a wide range of payment gateways, now with over 100,000 MSMEs registered on the platform to date.

“Helping MSMEs has always been a key component of UnionBank’s “Tech-Up Pilipinas” advocacy,” said Manuel G. Santiago, Jr., Chief Mass Market and Financial Inclusion Executive at UnionBank. “This accolade has strengthened our commitment to providing innovative and meaningful banking solutions for our country’s MSME sector, one of the key sectors that is keeping our economy alive in this very challenging time.”