Asia ECOMM Forum | CBS champions financial inclusion

Aligned with its advocacy of financial inclusion and SME promotion, CBS China Bank Savings co-sponsored the recent Asia EComm Forum 2022, one of the lead SME events that spearheads financial technology and digital commerce in the country. The event was live-streamed on June 9 on the Asia CEO Forum Facebook page. EComm Forum CBS Digital Business Banking Group head FVP Adonis C. Yap was one of the speakers at the event. Yap shared insights about the national retail payments landscape, and ongoing industry efforts to increase the number of customers across banks and shift the Philippines to “a cash-lite economy” by adopting digital payment channels. "The harsh reality is that in a country with 70 percent smartphone penetration, majority of Filipinos are without formal bank accounts,” Yap said. “Financial inclusion remains the strategic goal, and digital banking, the so-called Mobile Revolution, plays a significant role in getting this done.” That there are over 100,000 merchants and millions of consumers already equipped to pay digitally in the country. “However digital payments represent only 12 percent of transactions, and are a tiny fraction in the Micro and SME sector, which comprise the majority of merchants,” Yap said. He estimated that Filipinos make up to 75 million utility payments in a month, but only five out of 100 transactions are digital. The rest are still paid over-the-counter in cash. CBS China Bank Savings proactively supports accessible, suitable, and custom-fit goods and services for the broad market, particularly the unbanked and underserved areas. Yap said technology, channeled the right way, can successfully overcome barriers to financial inclusion. “CBS aims to break down barriers by pushing our financial inclusion mission, a key strand of our Build and Rise Initiative, which advocates for inspiring the spirit of entrepreneurship among Filipinos and igniting consumer confidence, both of which are required for rapid economic recovery,” Yap explained. For example, the BASIC account in CBS only requires 100 Pesos to open, which is for the ATM card. There is no maintaining balance, and Easi-Save BASIC customers already have access to Online Banking and CBS Mobile App. “Many customers we work with still prefer paper bills and passbooks, but the pandemic made them realize the importance of having alternative channels. Accounts like our Easi-Save BASIC ATM allow us to introduce people to digital banking accounts," Yap added. With so many people on the internet and possessing cellphones in this country prior to the pandemic, CBS sought to ensure that all new CBS clients were instantly on-boarded to the digital platforms. It is no longer a viable option, but rather a part of the product. Moreover, during the lockdowns, CBS worked hard to ensure that ATM cardholders were able to utilize their CBS Mobile Banking App and Online Banking access and thus were not excluded. Aside from promoting internet banking, CBS strives to remain relevant. “We remain alert and adaptable to changes. CBS strives to stay open-minded and alert to new opportunities,” Yap emphasized as he rallied support for the Bank Marketing Association of the Philippines (BMAP) campaign to enhance consumer awareness and vigilance against cybercrime and fraud. Watch the event click here

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