The UnionBank of the Philippines is one of the most notable banking institutions in the country. They’re part of the top banks in the country in terms of members, benefits, and member privileges. Just recently, they unearthed one of the first few kinds of automated teller machines (ATMs) in the Philippines—the cryptocurrency ATM.
What are cryptocurrencies, by the way?
Have you ever heard of BitCoin? Well, you probably know a thing or two about it but BitCoin is known to be one of the pillars of cryptocurrencies. Many followed like Ripple, Ethereum, and a lot more currencies to be a part of the market.
During the prime of cryptocurrency, a lot of innovators and experts believed that it will be the future of finance and digital banking—this is what UnionBank might have believed, too.
Cryptocurrencies solely rely on cryptography and codes to ensure that all transactions are secure. More so, it’s used to verify these transactions. They’re also the ones to create more and more units so it’s not regulated by any type of central bank or any powerful institution.
What is a cryptocurrency ATM?
In definition, an ATM is made for people to withdraw cash in it. So, essentially, a cryptocurrency ATM is an ATM that would allow customers to exchange their units in cryptocurrency for cash—and vice versa.
According to UnionBank, this ATM is located in the digital branch called The ARK in Makati City. With this, they’re known to be the first bank in Asia to do this.
What can you do with the cryptocurrency ATM?
In compliance to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) rules and regulations, the cryptocurrency ATM will allow account holders and members to withdraw cash from their cryptocurrency wallet. More so, it’s going to allow them to buy and sell currencies on the spot—what you do with an app or a computer program, you can do in the cryptocurrency ATM, too!
In this move, they partnered up with Coins.PH, a technological financial firm for the system that they’re using.
Justo A. Ortiz, Chairman of the UnionBank of the Philippines, said that they innovated this in order to place the machines for the demand of cryptocurrencies in the country. More so, he believes that providing banking experience with digital currency is more secure.
Whenever we launch a new product, customer protection is always our primary concern. And because we want to elevate our customer experience, we envision creating a banking opportunity by co-creating them with our customers.”
The Chairman also said that they’re making this possible because a lot of their clients are looking for this option. Maybe, they have clients who are cryptocurrency giants and wants to innovate more on what the future of digital banking might be.
The reason we’re doing this is because our customers are asking for it.”
If you haven’t used coins.ph at least once, then you’re definitely missing a part of your technological life. Coins.ph is a sytem that offers a lot of different perks and functions. It even allows people to pay for their bills and other more premiums through the coins.ph app!
You can read more about that here: How to Pay Utility Bills Online In The Philippines
Founder and President of Coins.ph, Ron Hose, mentioned that UnionBank is slowly becoming one of the banking institutions institutions to have developed a fintech feature.
This is a further testament that banks are now acting like a fintech firm. This launch blurs the line more and we see this move for banks to change the landscape of the world of finance.”
Although the cryptocurrency ATM is still only available at the site they disclosed, Edwin R. Bautista, UnionBank Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President said that it is in their plans to add more ATMs like this in more branches. However, they are still waiting for BSP’s approval of this.
The BSP made a statement saying
Following the warning advisory issued by the BSP in March 2014, a formal regulatory approach was adopted through the issuance of Circular No. 944 dated 6 February 2017. This establishes guidelines for virtual currency (VC) exchanges offering ‘services or engaging in activities that provide facility for the conversion or exchange of fiat currency to VC or vice versa.‘”
So, word from the BSP to UnionBank is that they just need to ensure that they’re able to preserve a control system in the own complexity of the business. They need to ensure that their systems are eligible to keep these machines running without the risk of data and financial breach.
Are you a cryptocurrency fan? If yes, then you should definitely try out the newest cryptocurrency ATM by UnionBank. It’s easy, efficient, and it will allow you a ton of different services and features dedicated to both financial and digital banking.