RCBC at 62: Business heads push digital agenda to make banking more relevant

The next generation of bank customers are digital natives, and they expect their banks to keep up with their rapidly evolving financial needs. Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) may be 62 years old now, but the business heads behind all those successful years are determined to lead an enterprise-wide digital transformation to prove that the Bank is truly a partner for generations.

The Yuchengco-led RCBC has reaped awards over the years to show its ability to meet modern expectations. For three years in a row, RCBC took home Asiamoney’s top digital bank awards including Best Digital Bank and Best Bank for Digital Solutions. The winning streak continues, and from the past year it received almost 100 accolades from various local and international award-giving bodies. The transformation and continuous evolution touched all areas of the bank, and recognized RCBC as Best Corporate Bank, Best Retail Bank, Best in Cash Management and Best SME Bank among others.

RCBC President and CEO, Mr. Eugene S. Acevedo is at the helm of the bank’s digital transformation journey.

“We have been leading transformative growth from within so we can serve our customers’ banking interests and needs throughout the different stages in their lives and businesses. This means driving innovation, culture and processes to deliver the best customer experience,” says RCBC President and CEO Eugene S. Acevedo.

Banking for the Future Generation

If there’s one lesson everyone learned from the pandemic, it is that innovation is no longer an option. While the bank has invested in emerging technologies, building an agile workforce remains the crucial link to drive digital transformation. This meant recreating a mindset that is digital and customer-centric.

“As the bank undergoes digital transformation, we recognize that the success of this initiative depends on the strength of an inclusive people transformation cornerstone,” says Rowena F. Subido, Head of Human Resources.

The efforts to provide the best customer experience is a nonstop undertaking. For one, branch banking continues to enhance in-branch experience by incorporating self-service terminals to enable faster and efficient transactions. It has allowed customers to transition from their traditional habits by slowly introducing them to another way of banking that saves them time and effort, and at the same time, provides more meaningful interaction with the branch personnel.

“Before, a digital channel was seen to support the Bank’s physical channels. Now, branches become a fulfillment center for the Bank’s online channel and a way to provide a full omni-channel experience,” shares Richard Lim, Head of Retail Banking Group.

Jane Mañago, Head of the Wealth Management Group, says, “The next gen of high net worth clients – the Gen Y, Gen Z and Millennials – look at wealth differently, and they all have a great preference for digital channels and digital interactions. At the same time, they want high touch consultations with relationship managers for the more complex decisions.”

“This hybrid engagement model of blending simple and convenient digital tools with human advice and customer service ensures that we adapt to the changing expectations of the clients – that we partner with them now and through the coming generations in managing and growing their wealth,” Mañago continues.

Dr. Robert Ramos, Head of Trust and Investments Group, and Raul Ruiz, President of RCBC Securities, also see more preference among investors to transact digitally. Currently, RCBC already has one of the most advanced solutions in investing and trading online. Further improving their current platforms will provide a more seamless and better customer experience.

RCBC Credit Card President Arniel Ong sees the increasing shift of retail credit and payments into digital transactions. As such, leveraging various ecosystems to enable digital payments would be highly essential. Ong states, “RCBC will continue to play a huge role in driving this and will take advantage of upcoming developments in open banking and finance, alternative data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to increase financial inclusion and provide credit to more customers in the market.”

On the sustainability front, the bank continues to be committed to uphold social and environmental responsibility in all its business activities, and stays at the forefront in driving sustainable finance initiatives.

RCBC Treasurer Alberto Pedrosa shares that RCBC remains committed to environmental and sustainable financing. The bank, a pioneer in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) debt capital markets issuance, will continue working with its partners in raising funds with ESG commitments and further improve its framework for investing bank funds. “We will continue to provide our clients with investment products within both and global ESG frameworks with top insights into macroeconomic trends and provide best execution for foreign exchange, fixed income and derivative solutions, whether it be on traditional or digital platforms,” Pedrosa adds.

On the lending side, Elizabeth Coronel, Head of Corporate Banking Group, says the bank is taking on an active role in the transition to a net-zero carbon economy by mobilizing capital to continue to grow its green and sustainable portfolio specifically in the areas of power, renewable energy, water and sanitation, physical and tech infrastructure, communications connectivity among others.

“The future is bright from the loans perspective,” says Bennett Santiago, Head of the Credit Management Group. He adds technology has enabled automation of key credit processes that results in agility in decision making with reliance on data analytics to support credit decisions. With this, the bank can serve untapped markets by tapping on both traditional and non-traditional data, and benefiting from a technology enabled early warning framework to minimize risks.

Atty. Ramil De Villa, Head of Consumer Lending Group, agrees with this and underscores that digitization opens a lot of opportunities in the secured consumer business where shifts in industry and customer dynamics will be driven by the speed of data-driven consumer portfolio building.

The same is true for the SME sector. Ma. Angela Tinio, Head of the SME Banking Group, says incorporating digitalization in their processes has enabled clients to have faster access to credit. “By providing them with a platform that integrates all the financial and non-financial services, we get to empower our clients with solutions that provide new ways of conducting business,” Tinio adds.

More Filipinos will indeed get into digital banking, including those that are in markets that have been previously untapped by financial services. Lito Villanueva, Head of the Digital Enterprise and Innovations Group, says, “We will continue building a digital-first nation that is financially inclusive. A nation where people are free to achieve their dreams without barriers. No one will be left unbanked and underserved. In RCBC, we are committed to making a sustainable and inclusive digital economy happen.”

Rizal Microbank President Raymundo Roxas says that harnessing innovative lending methodologies will produce impactful and sustainable results for clients and local communities.

“RCBC shall be in the forefront of advancing financing especially in the countryside. Rizal Microbank, as a thrift bank subsidiary of RCBC, shall actively participate using appropriately designed products for micro and small enterprises including those in the agricultural sector,” Roxas shares.

There is so much to be excited about RCBC’s continuing partnership with the new generation of banking customers. And as echoed by all the other business heads in RCBC, the beauty of it is that with inclusivity in the mix, every Filipino will hopefully have their own bank accounts someday to make a sustainable, digital-first economy happen.

 


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