MANILA - The economy should speed up the adaption of digitalization to "remain viable" as the old brick-and-mortar strategy is no longer enough to meet the changing needs of consumers, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said Wednesday.
Digital technology is particularly useful in finance since the banking system has been affected by restrictions imposed to limit the spread of COVID-19, Dominguez said during the virtual groundbreaking ceremony of UnionBank's Innovation Campus.
“Our experience during this pandemic underscored what we already knew: our economy will have to quickly adjust to the trajectory of modern digital technologies if it is to remain viable,” Dominguez said.
During the pandemic, Filipinos holed up at home turned online for their daily needs including financial transactions. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas earlier said the use of electronic fund transfers InstaPay and PESONet have surged during the pandemic.
Dominguez said other sectors should also go digital as consumers spend more time and "engage" online and on their smartphones.
“Those that cannot swim in the digital tide will drown in its wake,” he said.
UnionBank's Innovation Campus based in San Pedro, Laguna aims to become a hub to develop talents and to serve as the bank's business continuity facility to ensure unhampered service in times of disasters, the DOF said.
BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno earlier said digitalization kept economic gears running when the COVID-19 pandemic put almost every sector to a halt last year due to movement restrictions.
The country's digitalization efforts, which include the national ID system, will broaden access to financial services and reduce corruption, officials have said.