Union Bank of the Philippines, commonly known as Unionbank, has announced the upcoming launch of another crypto service for its customers. The financial institution will offer select users of its mobile app the option to exchange bitcoins and other digital currencies without a separate wallet.
Unionbank will add in-app crypto exchange feature, reportedly a first in the Philippines
Union Bank of the Philippines (union bank) is working to become the first universal bank in the country to facilitate the exchange of cryptocurrencies within its mobile application. Users will be able to buy and sell cryptocurrencies like bitcoin directly from the banking app, the lender said, eliminating the need for a third-party wallet.
In a statement quoted by the ABS-CBN broadcasting network, Unionbank shared its view that blockchain is a technology that will drive the future of banking. “At the same time, we also recognize that cryptocurrency has been one of the services that many customers are already looking for, especially the younger generation, and this demand was accelerated by the pandemic,” commented Cathy Casas, Head of Digital Assets. markets, blockchain and application programming.
Unionbank, which is one of the top 10 banks by assets under management in the Philippines, has already established itself as a crypto-friendly institution. About a year ago, it announced preparations to pilot a cryptocurrency custody service, and in January of this year, the bank unveiled a plan to facilitate cryptocurrency trading.
The new exchange functionality will initially be offered to randomly pre-selected users of the banking app, Unionbank explained, but stressed that it will aim for a wider rollout in the near future. Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Technology and Operations Officer and Chief Transformation Officer Henry Aguda said:
Not only does this help us ensure that the bank is more future-ready, but we can also serve the needs of our customers who use cryptocurrencies.
The top executive added that the in-app crypto exchange feature is among the projects the bank is working on as it prepares to enter the metaverse. Another initiative in the same direction is the collaboration with NFT game Art of Dreams which was announced in April. The bank also intends to launch a Metaverse Center of Excellence in the coming months.
While the platforms of some digital banks in the Philippines, such as Maya, already offer crypto asset exchange options, Unionbank will be the first major traditional lender to implement one. The bank is a licensed cryptocurrency exchange. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the country’s central bank, is the authority that issues licenses to crypto trading platforms and service providers in the Philippines.
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Do you expect other banks in the Philippines to offer crypto-related features in their mobile apps? Tell us in the comments section below.
Lubomir Tassev is a tech-savvy Eastern European journalist who likes Hitchens’ line: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” In addition to crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.
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