UnionBank of the Philippines: Reaching the Underserved through Open APIs
Winner of Celent Model Bank 2020 Award for Financial Inclusion (Part I)
Typically, most financial inclusion initiatives focus on developing propositions aimed at underbanked end users (“B2C approach”). It is less common for a financial institution to focus on enabling third parties to develop or provide such propositions (“B2B2C approach”). Yet, this is exactly the approach that the Union Bank of the Philippines took for financial inclusion, as demonstrated with two of their initiatives, API Marketplace and Send-i2i.
This is Part I of the case study of UnionBank’s award-winning projects, and profiles the bank’s API Marketplace. The Send-i2i initiative is described in Part II, Union Bank of the Philippines: Blockchain to bring Digital Payments to Rural Banks.
Having undertaken a major rearchitecture of its core systems, UnionBank decided to expose a range of application programming interfaces (APIs) through a developer-friendly Marketplace. This has successfully enabled the bank to significantly expand its customer base and transaction volume.