BPI says 'Let's get phygital' or both physical and digital

Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 27 2023 06:40 PM

MANILA - Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) said is set to transform all its branches into "phygital" banks which operate as both physical and digital branches.

At a media briefing following the company's Annual Stockholders' Meeting, BPI President & CEO Jose Teodoro Limcaoco said it will refurbish 25 branches into phygital banks this year with the first one opening in May in Agoo, La Union.

"We hope to renovate and reposition all of our branches as phygital branches," Limcaoco said.

This move is seen as a step further into the digital space as more consumers prefer to transact online. The number of BPI branches may also drop as the bank consolidates its branches and may combine branches that are located near each other.

Maria Cristina Go, BPI's Head for Consumer Banking, explained that phygital banks would still be manned by employees, but there will be bigger spaces for self-assisted areas with machines and computers. There will also be meeting pods if one prefers to talk to a bank employee and meeting rooms if one needs to talk virtually to other bank representatives in other units.

The Ayala-led lender said it remains confident with the economy this year despite high inflation and interest rates. 

"We think the consumer has adjusted to it, we think the BSP is on top of it, therefore inflation target of 5-7 percent is very manageable," said Limcaoco.

BPI said its loan business remains high, growing over 13 percent in the first quarter of the year. Credit card loans also grew 38 percent, while housing and auto loans jumped 40 and 30 percent respectively.


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