UNIONBANK Balances Data Collection




In my previous article, I have mentioned about the benefits of mobile banking. Aside from the fact that it has been an important tool for us, especially during the pandemic, it enabled people to make the most out of it—whether it’s personal or business use. With its undoubting demand for the people, having an online account would require data collection so it would be easier to transact even beyond banking hours. These information, however; has a downside— several scammers are cleverly scheming of ways to hack the customers’ account and get their hard-earned money.

Why is data collection important?

• To confirm about the person’s identity (This is very useful for fraud detection)

• To check the customer’s credit standing

• For updates about the service or for important announcements

Undoubtedly, data collection in banks is indeed very important, but the question of most customers is how safe it is, especially during this time that hackers use a clever way of accessing their accounts and make unauthorized transactions.

Union Bank balances data collection

UnionBank of the Philippines’ (UnionBank) Chief Technology & Operations Officer and Chief Transformation Officer Henry Aguda recently talked about the importance of balancing data collection and individual privacy and how this ensures the best experiences for customers.

Speaking at an online forum, “Realizing the Promise of AI in Financial Services for Exceptional Customer Experience,” organized by global technology company Altair, Aguda shared valuable insights on how UnionBank is able to achieve this balance, benefiting customers and its employees.

“Everything has to have a balance, between the rights of individuals—our customers; and the need for the Bank to maximize its top line — which is, the more you know about your customers, the more you are able to influence what they procure as services from you,” Aguda said.

“But the nice thing about our case is, we don’t have to tackle the balancing issue at the tail end of the product execution. We don’t have to ask the question, ‘how do we now balance a new digital app between data privacy and protection?’”

Aguda explained that UnionBank employs what it calls “privacy by design,” in keeping with a regulatory requirement by the National Privacy Commission (NPC). This obligates an entity to always consider data privacy from the onset of product development.

Ensuring UnionBanks’s Customers’ data privacy

The customers know the importance of giving their information, especially when opening a bank account or applying for a loan or credit card. The customers not only share her personal contact details, but their financial records as well. It is the bank’s responsibility to ensure that the collected data is not shared with others for the customer’s protection unless he or she has given a consent.

“So, what happens? Our product people, while they develop a new product, are already collaborating with our data protection officer, ensuring that nothing goes out there in the marketplace without safeguards. It has to be permission-specific. The customer should always have the FINAL say before the Bank can use whatever is necessary with the data,” Aguda said.

“Because we already have those guiding principles from the very beginning, we have a much easier time with the balancing act at the end,” he added.

He cited the typical arrangement in other companies, where a data protection and commercial data officers have to normally balance out each other’s domains. But not for UnionBank, as the data protection officer, regulatory groups, and cybersecurity experts all work together toward customer centricity instead.

“Our customer centricity guides everybody. Thus, as our data protection and other regulatory officers execute compliance, they know that they cannot do so by sacrificing customer experience.”

With this assurance, Union Bank customers can have a peace of mind with their data; however, it still pays to be cautious. The bank always provide helpful tips and reminders to their clients on how to protect their account. In the end, even with the bank’s constant safety reminders to its customers, the latter has to balance it also by doing their part.

Best Regards
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