Rural areas in the Philippines get a boost from small banks adopting cloud technology

Financial inclusion fintech company Oradian, which serves the first regulated financial institution leveraging cloud-based technology in the Philippines, is now rolling out its services to many more rural banks.

Capitalizing on the innovation strategy of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for the rural banking industry, a growing number of rural banks are moving their operations to the cloud. One year after serving the first BSP-regulated bank to pioneer cloud-based technology, Oradian is now moving a fifth rural bank to the cloud, playing a vital role in the digital transformation of rural banks in line with the BSP’s agenda.

In February 2019, Cantilan Bank became the Philippines’ first financial institution regulated by the BSP to adopt cloud banking technology to deliver digital financial services. Cantilan Bank’s move to cloud-based technology is supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The rural banks Ardci Bank, Cantilan Bank, Agribusiness, and Rural Bank of Cauayan chose Oradian as their cloud technology provider and partner in digital transformation. As pivotal actors in remote areas where commercial banks have little to no presence, these rural banks recognized that innovation and digital transformation play a major role in boosting their efficiency, reducing operational costs and enhancing the financial services they provide to their unbanked communities.

Antonio Separovic, Co-founder and CEO of Oradian stated, “With a cloud-based core banking system, rural banks are now in a unique position to champion financial inclusion through reaching unbanked communities who need access to financial services in remote, hard-to- reach areas.’’

The BSP supports industry pioneers such as Oradian to hasten and facilitate the transition of rural banks towards digitalisation and automation. BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said, “We at the BSP recognize the significant role that fintech plays in driving the transformation of traditional processes in the financial system through technology-driven innovations to unlock financial inclusion barriers.”

In light of the challenges facing the rural banking industry in the Philippines, BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier encouraged financial institutions to become future-proof, stating: “We cannot deny the compelling advantages of moving to the cloud, that is: reduced costs, greater flexibility and scalability, increased mobility, and faster deployment. The change – the digital landscape – is here, and now. This should compel us to be open-minded and bold enough to test new ideas and pave the way for digital transformation by taking advantage of the game-changing benefits of cloud computing as part of our business strategies.”

The cloud-based core banking system designed by Oradian caters to the needs of rural banks of all sizes while enabling them with the tools to reach their growth goals. As a result, the rural banks that enter in such partnerships are able to provide current and new digital financial services without increased incremental costs and time-consuming manual processes.

“We are committed to our mission of financial inclusion in the Philippines and we are thrilled to continue serving the national rural banking industry built upon the success of the pilot project with Cantilan Bank and ADB,’’ said Separovic.

“We opened our Manila office in 2016 and have since grown to serve more than three million end-clients through our local partners and their over 2000 branches realizing this is only the beginning,” he added.

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