China Bank steps up expansion
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - July 5, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — China Banking Corp. is further enhancing is digital channels to complement the expansion of its branch network as part of the new normal amid the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic.

William Whang, president of China Bank, said they have organized a digital banking office in support of financial inclusion program of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

The country’s sixth largest lender in terms of assets recently appointed former Bancnet chairman Manuel Tagaza as its chief digital officer to accelerate China Bank’s digital transformation project.

Whang said China Bank started its digital transformation long before the virus outbreak.

“We are among the first banks to participate in Instapay, among the first to adopt the QR code, and the first to launch RFID loading in our mobile banking app and Beep card reloading via ATM,” he said.

Whang said China Bank continues to keep its cyber security strong while keeping pace with the increased demand.

“We are strengthening our cyber security infrastructure not only for our internal operations but also for our clients who should feel safe doing business with us in the digital space,” Whang said.

During the enhanced community quarantine that started in the middle of March, the bank’s electronic-channel transactions surged, particularly China Bank mobile app.

Mobile app users surged by 83 percent and transactions more than doubled in January to May.

Whang said branch operations were continuous throughout the various states of community quarantine, with over 50 percent of the branches in service at shortened banking hours.

According to Whang, 80 percent of China Bank branches are now open.

Whang said the bank intends to complete its branch expansion program this year using the remaining seven branch licenses from the acquisition of Plantersbank.

“We believe that bricks and mortar is still an important channel especially in the provinces where you have a wide population of unbanked,” Whang said.

China Bank currently has a network of 631 branches nationwide, including 158 branches of China Bank Savings.

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