Many of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation’s (RCBC) consumer banking oeprations in the Philippines had already been digitized when Covid-19 struck. But a Digital Committee ensured it could quickly add to its digital estate and fortify its IT infrastructure to meet surging demand, while distrubuting government relief and retraining Relationship Managers (RMs) virtually to refocus on service not sales requirements in order to reassure worried clients. Their efforts won RCBC the Best Retail Bank in the Philippines category at the virtual RBI: Asia Trailblazer Awards 2021 held on 7 October. A further win was achieved for Excellence in Mass Affluent Banking.
One of the key ways the bank could meet the spike in demand for non-branch digital services during the Covid-19 pandemic was through the RCBC Online Retail mobile banking app. This already comprehensive offering got additional features in 2020 to meet new capacity and functionality demands, such as a time-deposit account opening ability and Unit Investment Trust Fund (UITF) portfolio management capabilities.
- RCBC Touch: A fully digital, online on-boarding platform also enabled clients to open any deposit account remotely, with full on-boarding and electronic eKYC (Know Your Customer) authentication capabilities in place to digitally capture and easily validate customers and their data.
- RCBC OneAccount: created in 2020 eliminated a traditional customer pain point. Namely, having to deal with separate savings, checking, and time deposit accounts. Previously, this sowed confusion. OneAccount offers all the best features of each in a single all-in-one deposit account. One account, one check-in, one service experience is easier and cheaper to maintain – and can lead customers from the branch to digital and premium accounts as well. Initially targeted at young professionals who have growing needs for different banking services as they progress in life, OneAccount is positioned as an account that evolves with customers. Its customizable features can be added or removed to keep pace with the client's changing financial capabilities and needs.
- Bank-From-Home (BFH): This semi-digital platform negates the need to go to the branch, but it combines the human touch with its digital self-serve solution via video capabilites, frquently asked questions, and other such assistance, reminding customers during lockdown that the bank is always there to help.
When restrictions were lifted – and the Philippines government imposed one of the longest and strictest Covid lockdowns – a new Branch of Today (BOT) service empowered personnel to perform all types of transactions in the branch in a quicker light touch manner using artifical intelligence (AI) inspired robotic process automation (RPA) techniques that speed up automation and introduce easy self-service options for in-branch customers in the future.
In many ways, the pandemic served as a stage for RCBC to demonstrate and flex its retail banking capabilities, while easily adding new tools as required. Its digital platforms, descriped above, meant the bank was still able to increase operating profits and improve efficiencies, regardless of the Covid-19 challenges. It grew loans, deposits and capital during the crisis, helped additionally by its RCBC Hexagon Club aimed at the emerging mass affluent segment. Launched in March 2019 to offer premium services and perks inside or out of the branch, the service benefited immensely from the bank’s pre-existing digital capabilities.