Press • May 3, 2023

AI, new tech to accelerate financial inclusion in PH

With the present administration’s promise of prioritizing digital transformation on a national scale, the Philippines ought to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and new technologies to accelerate financial inclusion, according to UBX President John Januszczak.


AI will address the problems that digital financial services currently face in the country, since it has the power to accommodate different customer profiles and protect sensitive data at the same time. Most importantly, it can deliver what is needed at a reasonable rate. 


At the helm of the country’s leading open finance platform, Januszczak has high hopes for the potential of AI and other new technologies to fast track the government’s aspirations of digital transformation.


“It is obviously one of the key technologies which has the power to leverage data to drive inclusion. And it’s not just risk, it’s also fraud. It’s also customer insighting, to make sure that it’s the right risk and for a transaction that is clean from a fraud perspective, which usually isn’t being delivered at the right place, at the right time. AI can answer that problem.” Januszczak said during the AI Summit PH 2023 event held at the Manila Marriott Hotel, Pasay City.


Januszczak added that the financial “protection crisis” in the Philippines is the reason behind the fact that many Filipinos are still underbanked or unbanked to this day. 


As of 2022, 47 percent of the population remains unbanked. This year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) aims to bring at least 70 percent of adult Filipinos into the formal financial system.


Earlier this month, UBX leveled up its lending platform SeekCap with AI solutions in partnership with Aboitiz Data Innovation (ADI). With the introduction of PortfolioPro, a new AI-powered service that streamlines the process of building a borrower portfolio, lenders are empowered to grow their borrower portfolio at a scale in accordance with their preferences. The new AI-powered credit scoring solution also filters fraud, confirming identities at a 99.99-percent confidence rate. 


UBX is open to exploring other modern systems as well. 


“One of the technologies for financial inclusion that still interests us after a number of years is the blockchain. Its underlying technology has the chance to revolutionize the financial services industry. It’s secure, it’s tamper proof, it’s transparent. It promises to take out the intermediary so I think it is a very, very promising approach to deal with the cost of delivering financial services,” Januszczak explained.


Aside from improving on the logistics of financial services, AI and new technologies can also aid the growth of financial literacy in the Filipino population. 


“It’s not just about education, it’s a way of thinking. A lack of literacy usually corresponds to hyper dependence on authority and conformity, so you really need to train people in learning to know what they need to know,” Januszczak said.

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