UBX leads open finance revolution with BSP

Manila, Philippines – UBX, the fintech venture studio and fund spun out of UnionBank of the Philippines, responds to the BSP’s drive for financial inclusion, promoting the adoption of innovative services through its first-in-industry platforms in eCommerce, lending, payments and now, in open finance.

 

Financial inclusion has become a policy objective of the government to further economic growth and reduce poverty especially for the most vulnerable sections in the country. However, gaps in creating a wholly inclusive ecosystem that connects all Filipinos to formal financial institutions still remain a challenge.

 

During the 2021 European-Philippine Business Summit, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno shared the importance of open finance as a tool in closing the gap. The BSP-approved open finance framework allows “consent-driven data portability, interoperability, and collaborative partnerships among financial institutions and third-party providers (TPPs)” to enable industry players to provide customer-centric products and better access to key financial services such as lending and insurance.

 

UBX has been complimenting the open finance framework ever since its incorporation in 2018: “UBX allows smaller players to leapfrog across the scaling-gap to get them to a technology level that can place them, in some aspects, at par with the bigger players. UBX connects hundreds of smaller financial institutions to NRPS through our banking-as-a-service venture i2i and we can leverage this established reach to include the long tail of the financial services ecosystem in open finance. We include everyone: smaller FIs, non-banks, other service providers and their customers in the innovation promised by open finance.” shared John Januszczak, President and CEO of UBX.

 

UBX heads new committee on open finance and financial inclusion

The Special Committee on Open Finance and Financial Inclusion (SCOFFI), formed by the ECCP with UBX, will bring together policymakers and industry players to help advance BSP’s agenda. This will serve as the space for stakeholders to discuss relevant issues and spearhead actionable solutions that will shape the country’s policy environment and improve financial inclusion through technology. UBX, recognized by the Global Banking and Finance Review as the Fastest Growing Fintech Company in Southeast Asia for 2020 and 2021, is leading the new committee. 

“In establishing the open finance ecosystem, a single body to oversee the efforts is necessary. As such, the open finance oversight committee is being constituted to perform this function. The committee shall formulate open finance standards and procedures.” BSP Governor Diokno announced.

 

UBX launches open finance platform, Xpanse

To further drive the momentum, UBX launches Xpanse, the newest addition to the fintech arm’s portfolio of first-in-industry ventures. Xpanse enables banks, fintechs and startups to build new financial solutions through APIs and customer controlled data sharing across hundreds of member institutions in the Philippines.

“UBX’s open finance infrastructure opens UBX’s aggregation of financial solutions and service providers to developers. Xpanse will not just connect developers to programmable services across hundreds of financial institutions in the Philippines, it will also connect customers and traditional financial markets to the world’s most innovative financial operating system and the future of banking.” shared John Januszczak, President and CEO of UBX.

 

About UBX – UBX is the financial technology venture studio and fund of UnionBank of the Philippines. UBX is predicated on a future where financial services are invisible: seamlessly embedded into the experiences and activities that truly matter to businesses and people. For partnerships, email us at partnerships@xpanse.fi.

 

For more information about the company and this article, please visit www.ubx.ph

 

Contact:

Agnes D. Casal

Public Relations and Events 

UBX Philippines Corporation

agnescasal@ubx.ph.

Unionbank’s fintech arm UBX to launch new open finance platform – xpanse

Closing large gaps in financial inclusion and MSME development in the Philippines has urged regulators to establish reforms such as open finance. In the simplest definition, open finance enables financial institutions to share data with each other through APIs and white-label products. The lack of access to consumer financial data handicaps financial institutions in providing key financial services such as lending and insurance causing the country’s large unbanked population to remain underserved. Open finance helps solve and alleviate this significant barrier to progression and inclusion. 

Last June 2021, Bangko Sentral Pilipinas (BSP) approved the new guidelines for the Open Finance Framework, allowing “consent-driven data portability, interoperability, and collaborative partnerships among financial institutions and third-party providers (TPPs).” 

Not just any open finance player

UBX, the fintech subsidiary of UnionBank of the Philippines, has already established its open finance footprint since 2018 with i2i – the country’s widest financial network and banking-as-a-service solution for financial service providers nationwide, boasting of hundreds of member institutions and thousands of agents to date.

Driving the momentum is xpanse, the newest addition to UBX’s portfolio of first-in-industry ventures – further solidifying UBX’s overall leadership in open finance. The xpanse platform provides a comprehensive suite of data, insights and solutions through direct APIs. Banks, fintechs and startups will be able to assess customers’ eligibility for products and services much faster and build highly-personalized products that are relevant to consumers with just a few lines of code. 

xpanse onboards Alibaba Cloud as first partner

Alibaba Cloud has partnered with xpanse to provide eKYC solutions to businesses. Alibaba Cloud provides Zoloz eKYC(Electronic Know Your Customer) solution to boost efficiency, reinforce system security by digitalizing the identity verification process of financial institutions and ventures. With Zoloz now in xpanse, developers can easily integrate cutting-edge eKYC technology towards their products and services through a single API integration.  This e-wallet security technology helps financial institutions meet regulatory compliance more easily.

“Alibaba Cloud shares UBX’s mission of enabling a financially inclusive society through accessible financial services, especially in the new normal. We believe our proven technologies in the e-wallet industry could assist UBX in promoting financial inclusion and equipping financial institutions in the Philippines with advanced solutions that operate seamlessly and reliably for end users,” said Allen Guo, Country Manager for the Philippines, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence. 

Gearing up for the future

As xpanse builds the biggest open finance platform and community in the Philippines, the team is actively networking with multiple partners across different sectors. 

“Open Finance is significantly changing the way financial institutions interact with each other and their customers. xpanse opens more transformational opportunities for these institutions to evolve their business through our already proven expertise in open finance and financial technology. The future of finance is here as xpanse pioneers services that will not only impact inclusion for Filipinos to formal banking and financing but also provide startups, financial institutions a way to use data for innovations and development.” shared John Januszczak, President and CEO of UBX

About UBX – UBX is the financial technology venture studio and fund of UnionBank of the Philippines. UBX is predicated on a future where financial services are invisible: seamlessly embedded into the experiences and activities that truly matter to businesses and people.For partnerships, email us at partnerships@xpanse.fi. For more information about the company and this article, please visit www.ubx.ph or contact agnescasal@ubx.ph.

UBX leads in Crypto: Becomes first regulated institution to run a public stake pool

UBX Staking Pool

Manila, Philippines – UBX, the fintech venture studio and fund spun out of UnionBank of the Philippines, is opening its own public stake pool featuring Cardano. UBX becomes first in the world to run a public stake pool as a regulated institution. UBX Staking provides Filipinos a reputable and trustworthy source to earn rewards on their ada for helping to secure and operate the Cardano blockchain. 

John Januszczak, President and CEO of UBX said, “The Philippines’ adoption of cryptocurrency is opening opportunities for financial institutions to create reliable platforms that will guide and support Filipinos with their finances. UBX is fully committed to maximizing blockchain technology such as that of Bitcoin, Ethereum and Hyperledger. To further excel and maximize the potential of blockchain, we’re looking at emerging protocols like Cardano to connect traditional financial markets to the world’s most innovative Financial Operating System.”

Launched in 2015, Cardano has emerged to be one of the leading  blockchain protocols in the world today with ada as its native digital cryptocurrency. Cardano is built on the industry leading Ouroboros proof-of-stake (PoS) protocol and developed using Haskell code, a highly secure, enterprise grade programming language. Cardano has been developed from rigorous peer-reviewed academic whitepapers, ensuring resilience, security and scalability. The Ouroborus consensus mechanism is mathematically verified to be provably secure and sustainable; benefiting as one of the most energy efficient, cost efficient, and decentralized blockchain protocols in the industry of public blockchain protocols.

Frederik Gregaard, CEO of Cardano Foundation said, “UBX is spearheading adoption efforts through operating decentralized blockchain technology as part of their mission critical infrastructure. UBX is setting standards for regulated financial institutions as they are one of the first regulated institutions to operate a public stake pool, not only in the Philippines but also the whole world. Cardano Foundation is proud to support UBX by guiding their management team on Cardano best practices and applications. The acceptance of Cardano as a Financial Operating System continues to derisk adoption efforts for other Financial Institutions, Enterprises, and individuals in the region.”

Staking is a way to earn rewards by allowing a number of users to delegate crypto in a shared pool without the hassle of maintaining separate nodes. This increases the probability of earning more rewards hence earning more profit. Whenever a new block is built, a blockchain network grows. Users are then rewarded for helping sustain the network. 

Users can delegate by buying ada coins and transferring it into a wallet that supports staking such as Daedalus and Yoroi. Through the delegation process on Cardano, the ada never leaves the users wallets in order to promote a more secure and instant capability to participate with stake pools. Through UBX Staking, not only can users easily find a regulated source in the local fintech space, users can also access soon-to-be-released comprehensive guides on blockchain and Cardano, bridging the knowledge gap in staking cryptocurrencies.

Launching a stake pool is just the beginning for UBX. Participating in the Cardano infrastructure and offering participants a platform where they can earn off of their holdings is the first step towards more cryptocurrency innovations for Filipinos in the future.

ENDS

About UBX 

UBX is the financial technology venture studio and fund of Union Bank of the Philippines. UBX is predicated on a future where financial services are invisible: seamlessly embedded into the experiences and activities that truly matter to businesses and people. For more information about the company and this article, please visit www.ubx.ph or contact agnescasal@ubx.ph.

About The Cardano Foundation 

The Cardano Foundation is an independent Swiss not-for-profit organization that oversees and supervises the advancement of Cardano and its ecosystem. The Foundation’s core focus is in developing a Cardano adoption strategy through to integration and execution, to enable fast-track value creation for inclusive and equitable growth. As the custodian of the protocol and the owner of the Cardano brand, the Foundation works to drive adoption and partnerships, grow the wider blockchain community, shape legislation, and commercial standards, and ensure stakeholder accountability. Find out more: www.CardanoFoundation.org