Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Ana Aboitiz-Delgado elevated as senior EVP of UnionBank

Philippines — The Board of Directors of Union Bank of the Philippines has approved and confirmed the largest number of executive promotions ever done by the Bank with a total of 74 executive officers. Leading the newly-promoted executive officers is fifth-generation business leader Ana Aboitiz-Delgado, from executive vice president to senior executive vice president effective June 1, 2022.

In her previous roles as the UnionBank’s chief customer experience officer and chief digital channel officer, Delgado took great strides in growing UnionBank Online in terms of user base and features, transforming and re-branding of branches even during the pandemic, and creating the business models for self-service branches and Corporate Ark.

Additionally, she was key in the seamless signing of the game-changing deal between Citi and UnionBank last December 2021 and is now at the forefront of the ongoing integration of both banks.

The Board likewise approved and confirmed the extension of Edwin R. Bautista as the president and CEOofUnionBank until December 31, 2025. Bautista was appointed as the Bank’s president in 2016 and CEO in 2018. Bautista was responsible for starting the Bank’s digital transformation six years ago and has successfully put UnionBank’s name on the global digital map. Bautista was the driving force behind the acquisition of the consumer banking business of American banking giant Citi in the Philippines.

SME Featured Southeast Asia

Almost half of Indonesian SMEs could ditch traditional lenders in 2022

Indonesia – In the middle of businesses taking their recovery from the after-effects of the pandemic, almost half of Indonesian small businesses, or 44%, plan to consider alternative and non-traditional lenders moving forward, this is according to a new report commissioned by analytics software company FICO

This percentage reflects the Indonesian SMEs that expressed interest in trying new borrowing products in 2022 with 45%. APAC-wide, SMEs are citing dissatisfaction with their main banks. The report found that 62-70% of APAC SMEs are less than satisfied with their main bank’s level of support in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The report noted that the insights indicate early signs that traditional banks in Indonesia are at risk of losing SME business to non-traditional competitors.

The top drivers for Indonesian SMEs in choosing a funding provider are competitive interest rates (49%), ease and speed of application process (39%), and the ability to gain the lending options or credit line suited to their needs (33%). 

“The pandemic put a sudden, massive burden on SMEs, globally, and they didn’t think banks did enough to help them,” said Aashish Sharma, senior director of decision management solutions in Asia Pacific for FICO

“Indonesia’s SMEs have made it clear that they require financial support in 2022 but are less optimistic about getting it from their main banks. This is a potentially worrying trend for traditional banks, considering there are over 62 million SMEs in Indonesia, which is one for every five Indonesians,” Sharma added.

The report noted that banks need to understand what’s causing SMEs to consider alternative funding sources. SMEs across APAC pointed to frustrations with the typical funding process of traditional banks and identified room for improvement in specific areas which is led by access to credit (70%), followed by financial assistance (69%), and information and guidance (68%). Meanwhile, businesses in the region also said traditional banks must improve with regards to transparency in decisions and processes (68%) and speed of response (64%). 

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Loyalty solution Ascenda kickstarts new meta-aggregation engine for merchant offers

Singapore – Ascenda, a loyalty solutions company, has launched OffersHub, a meta-aggregation and personalization engine that allows merchants to personalize their offers and loyalty programs for their customers.

Primarily targeted to banks and other digital payment platforms, the recent product launch aims to allow these merchants create customer connections through their reward values.

“Our proposition delivers a rich pool of personalized offers with sustainable funding mechanisms – all delivered in a turnkey solution. The unique meta-aggregation engine at the heart of OffersHub enables our enterprise clients to tap into deal content across multiple sources, so they can provide the most compelling proposition to their customers and capture the greatest return of investment (ROI) on their marketing investments,” Mark Mullinix, head of strategy & partnerships at Ascenda stated.

Included within Ascenda’s offering are streamlines for various gateways of reward programs such as card-linked offers, coupons, e-commerce affiliate rewards, and discounted gift card purchases. A hyper localized approach is also offered to predict relevance factors such as demographics and geo-location.