UnionBank pilots blockchain-based cross-border remittance
UnionBank has become the first Philippines-based bank to successfully pilot a blockchain-based cross-border remittance from the Philippines to Singapore, reports Jane Connolly.
The bank partnered with Singapore’s OCBC Bank to make the remittance via the Adhara liquidity management and international payments platform and UnionBank-UBX’s i2i platform.
A blockchain-based tokenised fiat was used to remit from OCBC Bank to an account holder at the rural Cantilan Bank in Surigao Del Sur.
The i2i blockchain-based platform connects rural banks to each other and UnionBank, with the aim of promoting financial inclusion for millions of unbanked Filipinos, while combating the long payment delays and high fees currently endured in rural areas.
“i2i, which is the blockchain platform which made the Philippine side possible, is now managed and operated completely by UBX, the fintech subsidiary of UnionBank,” says Edwin Bautista, president and CEO of UnionBank. “Enabling this pilot is the creation and use of UnionBank’s commercial bank-backed tokenised fiat called PHX, which will be officially launched very soon in the Philippines.”
“With the pilot’s use of i2i, rural banks can now receive direct-to-account remittances and this is only the beginning,” adds Arvie de Vera, UnionBank senior vice president and head of the Fintech Business Group. “This empowers rural banks that were once financially excluded, with access to universal banking services.”
UnionBank and OCBC will publicly demonstrate the system with a remittance from Singapore to a rural Philippine bank via the Adhara and i2i platforms in November.