Philippines: UnionBank Completes Pilot of Blockchain-Based Cross-Border Remittance

In a press release published on Wednesday, the Union Bank of the Philippines has facilitated a pilot of a blockchain-based border remittance from the Philippines to Singapore.

The initiative is a result of a collaboration between the UnionBank and OCBC Bank of Singapore, wherein both parties implemented the Adhara liquidity management and international payments platform and UnionBank-UBX’s i2i platform to facilitate the remittance.

Particularly, the bank utilized a blockchain-based tokenized fiat to remit from OCBC Bank to a rural Cantilan Bank account holder. The initiative intends to offer millions of unbanked Filipinos with the capacity to use financial services by linking rural banks to the nation’s primary financial network.

The OIC at the technology risk and innovation supervision department of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Melchor Plabasan, stated that the central bank expects further adoption of blockchain as the technology simplifies remittances and payments. UnionBank senior vice president and head of the fintech business group, Arvie de Vera, said:

“With the pilot’s use of i2i, rural banks can now receive direct-to-account remittances, and this is only the beginning. With this connected platform, other value added services can now be made accessible to rural banks. This empowers rural banks that were once financially excluded, with access to universal banking services.” 

Blockchain-based bankless money transfer solution Bitspark revealed in April that it will introduce a cryptocurrency pegged to the Philippine peso for money transfers called “peg.PHP.” Users will reportedly be allowed to pay their bills with the stablecoin in the form of a cash deposit at one of Bitspark’s network accredited shops.