The COVID-19 pandemic affected many sectors, forcing businesses to move from traditional practices to implement need-of-the-hour digital business methods. The banking sector was no exception in this pivot, as banking leaders globally had to strategize and shift their focus toward building a robust digital banking infrastructure.
While everyone was merely reacting to the pandemic and building up from zero, UnionBank of the Philippines was already one step ahead. The bank recognized the importance of digitalization much earlier and started preparing for its eventual transformative impact on the banking sector in 2015.
The decision to move to digital was not easy, and the leaders at UnionBank played a pivotal role in making this transition seamless. One of the key figures who helped execute this agile progression is Albert Cuadrante, Chief Marketing Officer of the Union Bank of Philippines.
A Student for Life
While pursuing his education, Albert Cuadrante was exposed to the fascinating marketing world at the Ateneo de Manila University and developed a passion for marketing. Leveraging the early marketing exposure, he began teaching international marketing at the same university to inspire future generations.
Being a student for life, Albert Cuadrante also has a growth-driven mindset that requires stepping out of the comfort zone, expanding your horizons to new thinking methods, and learning new skills to stay relevant. As he shared his learnings with his students, he also gained valuable knowledge in the process, owing to them being the future consumers of the digital economy.
Courage and Adaptability
UnionBank, with its progressive outlook and culture, encourages diversity in its advancement and growth. It is committed to meeting the growing needs of Filipinos everywhere. As one of the pioneers to embrace technological innovations, UnionBank aims to empower its customers as one of Asia’s leading banks in terms of profitability and efficiency.
On a broader level, UnionBank wants to promote inclusive financial prosperity. It does not employ digital technology as an end-in-itself but as a channel to provide excellent customer service at rapid speeds, convenience, and reliability. This approach helps the bank separate itself from the traditional banking players.
The continuous success of UnionBank is the result of its ability to be courageous and adapt to change while exploring new ways to fulfill the needs of its clients. Moreover, it strives to push the status quo further, seeking better ways to remain relevant to customers.
“We want to help people not only survive their everyday lives but succeed in reaching their financial goals.”
Specialized Banking Solutions
At the core of UnionBank’s business are two services—corporate finance and consumer finance. Furthermore, UnionBank also provides services such as investment management, trust banking, insurance brokerage, currency brokerage, private banking services, and real estate investments.
UnionBank’s Digital Transformation Strategy reinforced its commitment to delivering superior customer experiences and promoting inclusivity. Moreover, UnionBank was renowned as the “Best Digital Bank” by prestigious institutions in transformation, people, and cultural avenues for several years, including “Digital Bank of the Year” for six consecutive years by The Asset Triple A.
With its drive to “Tech Up Pilipinas” and be an enabler of the Philippines’ push to be a G20 country by 2050, UnionBank stands firm in its promise to power the future of banking by co-creating innovations for its customers and a better world!
Albert Cuadrante always advises people to stay curious, to have a never-ending appetite for learning, and to have a growth mindset. He says one must remember that marketing starts and ends with the consumer. This value-creation process is a never-ending loop, and Albert believes marketers should always adhere to it.
Under Albert Cuadrante’s leadership, each person is encouraged for the value they bring to the table through their ideas and perspectives. Working with people from various backgrounds makes him content and fuels his pursuit of learning. In addition, he encourages people to continue developing themselves with hard and soft skills.
“What does it mean for our customers?”— Union Bank of Philippines asks this question before executing its services or offerings. However, it does not stop merely delivering its excellent service but ensures that customer needs get fulfilled. Going one step further, the bank keeps exploring new ways to enhance its top-notch customer services.
While UnionBank had a multitude of successful product launches in 2023, Albert Cuadrante wants to highlight the two that enhanced the wealth management experience of its affluent customers— UnionBank Elite and UnionBank Access.
For its micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) customers, UnionBank launched UB Negosyante—a powerful Business Banking app meant to help entrepreneurs scale up their business with the full support of the banking system behind them for all their financial requirements.
The bank takes immense pride in building on the features of its banking app, with the app being recognized as the Best Smart Payments Solution by an SME Bank by The Digital Banker at the recently held Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards 2023 in Singapore.
UnionBank recently unveiled its four new credit cards: UnionBank Rewards, UnionBank Cashback, UnionBank Miles+, and UnionBank Reserve. These cards cater to the different needs and lifestyles of its customers.
“We’ve built on the legacy of the credit cards that customers enjoyed under Citi for them to Experience More with Unbelievable Benefits under UnionBank.”
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3 Ps of the UnionBank
- People: The success of its employees is the bank’s success. Through its culture of innovation and co-creation, UnionBank ensures that its employees and partners can #OwnTheFuture.
- Planet: UnionBank manages its resource use and environmental impact while encouraging all its stakeholders to lead sustainable lifestyles, with consideration for future generations.
- Purpose: UnionBank has been the country’s pioneer in transforming the banking industry. No one gets left behind as it encourages co-creating innovations for a better world.
- Digital Transformation: By developing innovative platforms, the Bank is able to contribute through investing in the future of the nation. This is fuelled by initiatives in digital capability building through internal and external training as well as through innovation-driven for the communities we serve.
- Sustainable Finance: The Bank understands its inherent responsibility of moving capital and taking an active role in mitigating environmental and social risks in all of its financing activities. By lending to an ecosystem engaged in commerce and local economics such as MSMEs and by investing in technologies that enable financial inclusion, it contributes to a higher purpose of co-creating innovations for a better world.
- Inclusive Prosperity: This focus area translates to the overall impact of the Bank in terms of Sustainability. From employment generation to digitally enabled Filipinos and the number of communities empowered, this focus area monitors how effective the measure in place is in aligning the Bank’s ESG agenda with its business strategy.