Cantilan Bank has become the first rural bank in the Philippines to adopt cloud technology regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), in a move designed to deliver digital financial services.
The financial institution has embarked on a digital transformation strategy with the help of financial inclusion company Oradian, backed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and in line with BSP regulations and sandbox environment.
Through the implementation of Oradian’s cloud core banking system Instafin, digitised operations and a fully trained team across all their branches, the Philippine-based financial institution has seen significant improvements to its daily operations.
“We worked closely with Cantilan Bank to digitise their operations and processes and enable their business to run on one platform — across all branches,” said Julian Oehrlein, head of product and co-founder of Oradian.
“Regulatory reporting is simplified and more efficient with the dynamic reporting platform. Now that all Cantilan Bank’s processes and data are consolidated, they can focus more resources on their clients and serving their needs.
"One of the most important aspects of Cantilan Bank using Instafin is the improved strategic decision-making capability enabled by the data that is readily available in real-time."
The implementation of cloud technology has provided the bank with access to accurate real-time data about their operations and client base, across all of its branches.
Unlike their previous system, the Instafin platform provides the bank with a consolidated real-time view of important data such as the number of clients they have, demographics, detailed portfolio analysis, key performance metrics, and how each of their products are performing, across all of their branches.
The bank can now focus on areas where their business is performing well and why, providing greater insight to further optimise their processes, informing key business decisions, such as where to open new branches for the biggest impact in their rural communities it serves.
Adopting cloud has also seen the cost of opening a new branch greatly reduce, effectively needing only an internet connection and a laptop, compared to previously were they had to apply for permission, get an on-premise system setup, contact the cable provider, etc.
“Cloud technology is revolutionising the financial services sector in the Philippines,” added Lotte Schou-Zibell, chief of finance sector group at ADB. “Digital financial services offer new opportunities to save, make a payment, get a small business loan, send a remittance, or buy insurance.
“These services are made possible with cloud technology and serve as a pathway for underserved communities to leap over traditional barriers to financial inclusion."
Furthermore, by integrating Instafin with alternative delivery channels and through Oradian’s strategic partnerships, the bank is able to deliver its services through ATMs in the Philippines, making key financial services more convenient.
Earlier in 2019, IBM revealed it had signed a US$260 million multi-year services agreement with the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) as part of its digital transformation plans.
As the third-largest bank in the Philippines in terms of assets, nine million customers nationwide are expected to be impacted by this agreement, which will see the firm provide IT infrastructure services to support an “agile IT and hybrid cloud."
And much like Cantilan Bank's partnership with Oradian, the adoption of cloud technology will provide added benefits such as online banking, mobile apps, ATMs, cash accept machines (CAMs) and new branches.