7 Philippine banks most helpful in Asia amid COVID crisis

Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - June 9, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A total of seven Philippine banks led by Aboitiz-owned Union Bank of the Philippines were among the most helpful banks in Asia Pacific amid the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey conducted by BankQuality.com. 

UnionBank ranked as the second most helpful bank in the region with a BankQuality score of 102.09 next to South Korea’s largest digital-only bank KakaoBank that emerged as the top bank with a score of 102.21. 

Customers of Kakaobank said the bank was helpful, efficient and convenient because of its contactless mobile banking services. Rounding up the top five best retail banks in the region are Kotak Mahindra Bank of India, Vietnam’s VPBank and Citibank of Singapore. 

Other Philippine banks in the list are state-run Land Bank of the Philippines landing in the 31st spot, followed by Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. at 38th place, Security Bank at 45th, Philippine National Bank at 64th, Bank of the Philippine Islands at 69th, and BDO Unibank at 70th place. 

The survey covering 11,000 bank customers in 11 Asia Pacific markets was conducted from April 1 to April 30. It comprised of 1,000 respondents aged 18 to 65 years per market in China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.The survey showed a total of 38 out of the 80 banks ranked above average.

With five banks each, India and Taiwan have the most number of banks that recorded a score of over 100. 

The contactless nature of banks and digital services were a significant factor for consumers in rating their banks during this period. 

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno is looking at raising the level of digital payments to 50 percent of total transactions in terms of volume and value by 2023. 

Data from the Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA) showed that the number of electronic-payment transactions in the country increased to 10 percent in 2018 from only one percent in 2013, while the value rose to 20 percent from eight percent. 

Due to the novel coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic, the central bank has strongly been encouraging the participants to actively disseminate to the public the available automated clearing houses such as InstaPay and PESONet as well as PhilPaSS as facilities to electronically transfer funds to target recipient-accounts maintained with other banks, thereby providing Filipinos a wide range of digital payment channels.

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