Microsoft empowers bank employees to create customer service apps

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    Microsoft technology allows Unionbank employees to create customer service platforms throughout the pandemic

    Technology creator Microsoft has helped Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank)  redefine banking by introducing automation to its Treasury & Investments Channel Management (TICM) workflows and experience.

    The TICM unit of UnionBank handles large volumes of outward remittances daily that rely on face-to-face transactions. With the Philippine Government’s imposition of Community Quarantine, these transactions had to be conducted remotely by both the customers and the bank’s staff.

    Dapple del Mundo, Distribution Operations Team Lead of TICM at UnionBank said that the bank was looking for an easy-to-use, virtual platform for everyone involved in creating solutions that optimize operations and allow them to better serve their customers and stakeholders in a remote everything world. Looking into the bank’s partnership with Microsoft was the realization of available solutions through Microsoft Power Platform.

    The Microsoft Power Platform is Microsoft’s low-code platform that allows everyone to build web and mobile apps, improve workflows, and gain insights from data while ensuring security. It enables people with little to no coding knowledge or experience to become developers and build intelligent solutions that integrate seamlessly with the rest of Microsoft’s world-class products and platforms. It serves as an end-to-end business solution, maximizing productivity, efficiency and collaboration in a remote everything world.

    “One thing we like about using Microsoft apps is that it’s already here, it’s not an added cost, unlike asking an external or third-party developer to develop something for us. In terms of editing or updating, it’s easier now since we can do it ourselves”, del Mundo said.

    Covid-19 pandemic drives innovation 

    The Microsoft Power Platform is Microsoft’s low-code platform that allows everyone to build web and mobile apps, improve workflows, and gain insights from data while ensuring security. It enables people with little to no coding knowledge or experience to become developers and build intelligent solutions that integrate seamlessly with the rest of Microsoft’s world-class products and platforms. It serves as an end-to-end business solution, maximizing productivity, efficiency and collaboration in a remote everything world.

    To manage efficient transactions remotely, the TICM harnessed Microsoft Power Automate. This application within Microsoft Power Platform allows users to easily create automated, multistage workflows across a variety of services and applications. One of its primary functions is to boost users’ productivity by saving workflows into everything from individual tasks to large-scale systems with seamless integration using hundreds of prebuilt connectors.

    “What surprised us were the learnings that we got from this flow—this one single approval flow that had multiple conditions and a tricky setup—we managed to adapt and mirror it with other bank processes like bond issuances,” explains del Mundo.

    The Treasury and Investments Channel Management (TICM) unit saw an immediate improvement on its productivity and efficiency; resulting in improved client transactions and faster service despite the entire experience being conducted online. According to del Mundo, the bank was able to simplify the whole process of remitting. It also significantly improved the coordination and communication between Treasury and Remittance through Microsoft teams. This allows them to have visibility to internal processes in real-time to track the approval procedures and give timely feedback.

    Digital banking benefits employees and customers

    UnionBank Trust & Investment customers can now receive copies of their statements, proof of investments, and remittances with e-signatures that can be easily accessed remotely—anytime, anywhere.

    Through UnionBank’s continuing innovation, customers benefit constantly through improvements in their experience that are not only more convenient but ensure their safety and peace of mind during this unprecedented period. Moving forward, they maintain their focus on driving innovation within their organization to provide the best service and experience possible, transform banking in the Philippines and aid in the nation’s economic recovery.

    “It is imperative we extend the capability of automation not only to our IT team, but across all employees of the bank,“ says Paulo Martin Santos, Enterprise Communication and Collaboration Head at UnionBank. “Thanks to our partnership with Microsoft, now our whole team can truly be digital to the core. This is just one clear example from our treasury group, but we have several groups building their own automation without coding.”