UnionBank’s IOC to boost lender

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UNIONBANK’S operations center will boost its monitoring. — PHILSTAR

UNIONBANK of the Philippines said its integrated operations center (IOC) launched last year will help supervise the overall operations of the bank, which in turn will translate to maximized revenues and a better customer experience.

In a media tour on Wednesday, UnionBank Head of IT Risk Management and Resiliency Charmaine R.A. Valmonte said the IOC stands as the “fabric” of UnionBank’s digital transformation initiative.

“It’s part of the fabric of our transformation. We need to keep an eye on everything—the system and processes as well as how our clients feel,” Ms. Valmonte told reporters yesterday.

Using the latest technologies such as artificial intelligence and deep learning, the IOC operates 24/7 and consists of three segments that address issues on security, business operations as well as customer activation and engagement.

“We monitor all the banking processes. We have different banking channels, such as the branches, [automated teller machines] and the digital platforms,” Ms. Valmonte said.

The IOC also develops security measures to counter constantly evolving cybersecurity threats.

Launched in June last year, the IOC is the first of its kind in the country, according to UnionBank, as other operations centers do not have a holistic view of operations.

The bank said the operations center can translate to higher revenues as well as better experience for its clients.

With the launch of the IOC, UnionBank saw its severity incidents dropped by 57% to three in 2017 from seven a year ago. The lender also saw last year increased uptime for branches and offsite ATMs to 99.23% and 96.38%, respectively, from 2016.

“The more we can see, the more we can analyze. If we can do that early and you have alerts, you can address [the issue] quickly before it becomes a bigger problem,” Ms. Valmonte said.

UnionBank has embarked on a digital transformation by modernizing banking processes and workflow, employing “disruptive” technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence to enhance its operation.

UnionBank booked a P4.7-billion net profit in the first half of the year, up 8% from a year earlier.

Shares in the bank closed at P65.85 apiece on Wednesday, down five centavos or 0.08%. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal