For the first time since opening its doors over a century ago, the Philippine National Bank (PNB) now allows new customers to open an account without physically visiting any branch in line with the bank’s bid to run on the digital bank boom.
This year, PNB is investing P3.2 billion. In technology initiatives, 28 percent higher than the budget last year. Of that amount, 30 percent will go to digital payments and e-wallet initiatives.
Recently, the bank’s board also approved a plan to set up a completely digital bank separate from PNB, as it seeks to participate in the mobile banking race.
“We invest in technology and change many of our processes in PNB. More and more customers are now demanding direct banking services. They want it fast, safe and easy. In the new normal, we need to rely on technology to interact with customers and our target market across all our channels, ”said PNB President Wick Veloso in a press release on Friday.
PNB launched its online account opening service to make it safer and more convenient for customers to start a banking relationship in the midst of fierce competition.
Previously, all accounts opened on PNB required a visit to one of its branches, where the KYC process (know-your-customer) is carried out. With the launch of this online account opening service, customers can go to the PNB website, submit the necessary identification and information and comply with KYC via video conference.
At PNB, we believe in creating a harmonized business model that integrates the strengths of digital and traditional banking business models. Our goal is to continuously serve our customers’ immediate needs, while we look for innovative ways to improve their experience, ”Veloso added.
Prior to its public launch earlier this year, the bank conducted pilot tests in all its local offices, where the majority of employees are millennials. By the end of May, the bank had processed over 3,000 new accounts. “We have learned so much from this activity that we completed with my colleagues Philnabankers, especially from our younger colleagues. We used this experience to build our capabilities before we were formally launched to the public. Our young colleagues are more comfortable using these digital applications via their computers and smartphones, which is why we are investing more in building these capabilities, ”said Veloso.
PNB has encouraged more customers to use digital banking since the start of community quarantine last year. As a promotional offer, PNB has agreed to waive the maintenance of the balance for customers who open accounts until September 21 this year.
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