Just two years after it was launched, UBX Philippines (UBX) open finance platform i2i (island-to-island, institution-to-institution, individual-to-individual) has served the unbanked and underbanked individuals in financially underserved communities across the Philippines.
UBX is Union Bank of the Philippines’ (UnionBank) fintech subsidiary.
As an open finance platform, i2i is operated based on distributed ledger technology (DLT) that links financial institutions, from the largest banks to community-based financial service providers — to each other, to other fintech firms, and to digital platforms, and to the country’s mainstream financial networks.
To date, i2i (as a banking-as-a-service network) is connecting hundreds of financial institutions and community-based financial service providers spanning thousands of branches nationwide, including major remittance centers such as Cebuana Lhuillier, LBC, Palawan Express, and PeraHub across the country.
“We are doing everything we can to help ease the lives of Filipinos in these trying times. Expanding the open i2i platform to more financial institutions, fintechs, and digital applications makes it easier for everyone to transfer funds to one another, securely and conveniently,” said Edwin Bautista, president and CEO, UnionBank. “With our ‘Tech Up Pilipinas’ efforts to promote wide-scale digital transformation throughout the country, we are confident that the Philippines will weather this crisis and emerge more resilient than ever to ensure the renaissance of our nation,” Bautista added.
To further expand its reach i2i teamed up with Irish financial services technology giant Fexco and launched the i2i Mobile ATM expands. This partnership expanded its reach to over 1,500 new financial service providers and agents.
During lockdowns because of COVID-19, i2i included major remittance companies and payment centers to reach people in the countryside and remote areas.
i2i Mobile ATM brought basic ATM services closer to communities while also providing an additional source of income to businesses especially in far-flung areas of the country. It reported that the usage volumes rose by over 3000% in the last six months of 2020.
Because of the reach it established in remote areas, i2i also became one of the channels used in the distribution of government aid.
With digital banking and open finance poised to continue their momentum beyond the pandemic, UnionBank said it will continue to utilize its digital banking capabilities to deliver innovation toward an inclusively prosperous Philippines.