• March 4, 2024

Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) recently secured a Certificate of Authority from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to operate as a virtual asset service provider (VASP).

This makes UnionBank the first and only universal bank in the Philippines licensed to offer virtual asset exchange services.

With the VASP license, UnionBank will be able to tap into new markets and opportunities, explore new ways of addressing evolving client needs, and remain at the forefront of technological advancements ensuring its competitiveness in the digital financial space.

Together with its commitment to innovation, regulatory compliance, and customer-centricity, the license enables the Bank to become more future-ready, ready to serve and lead in an evolving financial landscape. 

The adoption of blockchain technology has been integral to UnionBank’s future-proofing strategy, and the Bank has been actively exploring potential use cases, including cryptocurrencies, to adapt to evolving customer needs and financial trends. In 2019, the Bank launched the country’s first bank-operated, two-way virtual currency ATM located in its digital branch “The ARK” in Makati City, which allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.

By leveraging insights from the virtual asset ecosystem, the bank can uncover new uses for blockchain technology beyond virtual assets. This includes exploring tokenized collaterals, tokenized deposits, and implementing tokenization in trade finance and supply chain financing. These possibilities have the potential to revolutionize traditional banking processes, enhancing efficiency, transparency, and accessibility.

The license will also help strengthen the Bank’s focus on customer-centricity, especially its ability to provide innovative solutions that enhance its clients’ overall financial well-being. With the expanded offerings from the license, clients can enjoy more complete financial experiences, including a wider range of blockchain-powered services, such as lending, cross-border payments, and other smart contract-based financial products.

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