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UnionBank launches first blockchain-based platform for general circulars

UnionBank PR Team | August 13, 2018

UnionBank,  multi-awarded as the Philippines’ Best Digital Bank, launched the first blockchain-based platform for General Circulars (GCs), providing it with a fast and cost-effective way to distribute these circulars to its employees. Through this platform, employees can access the homepage that displays all published GCs, and check the latest updated or revised version accurately and more quickly.

UnionBank Performance and Quality Management head Derrick Nicdao clarified that GCs are internal documents that the bank disseminates to all employees to communicate policy and procedural guidelines and regulatory requirements.

“Issuance of GCs ensure standardized handling of all transactions and, through these, the bank mitigates potential process failures as a result of lack of employee awareness,” he said.

Meanwhile, UnionBank Strategic Business Process Optimization head Ruby Gisela Perez said: “More than its functionality to disseminate, the blockchain-based solution provides provenance and assurance on the finality of the latest published version; security and visibility on access based on document classification; and notification on periodic review.”


Explainer video by World Economic Forum


Apart from internal use, the blockchain platform for GCs could also be seen to benefit both partners and customers in non-financial related matters in the long run.

UnionBank’s Blockchain Center of Excellence head Gerb Inajada presented the initiative to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas before its launch and received positive feedback.

According to UnionBank Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer Dennis Omila, this approach shows that the unique benefits of blockchain are not just limited to cryptocurrencies and have, in fact, many other relevant “everyday-use” cases.

“This platform will help demystify blockchain and demonstrate how the technology can play a crucial role in streamlining processes,” Omila said.

In an earlier interview, UnionBank President & CEO Edwin Bautista has said that UnionBank is the first bank in the Philippines to implement blockchain into its internal processes.

He cited that for the last 20 years, the bank has been trying to solve the problem on the proliferation of general circulars.

“With decentralized ledgers, you can go into those ledgers and do the corrections and give access to the people who need it,” Bautista said.

For his part, UnionBank Chairman Justo Ortiz, who is also the Founding Chairman of the Blockchain Association of the Philippines, has said the bank is leading blockchain development among local banks because it believes this technology could provide a solution to the many challenges to providing financial services to the millions of unbanked Filipinos.

Ortiz said the Philippines has a big chance to become a leader in the emerging blockchain space.

“If ever we missed Internet age, maybe let’s not miss the blockchain age,” Ortiz said.