The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), an Ayala-backed universal bank, has recently launched its e-wallet application VYBE. In a media briefing last Wednesday, October 26, the bank revealed that the initiative is already its sixth installment for its digital expansion efforts.
“We envision VYBE as a one-stop lifestyle and payment app. As an e-wallet, it enables our clients to do secure, cashless, and quick day-to-day payments,” said Frederick M. Faustino, BPI Digital Partnerships and Ecosystems Head.
BPI’s VYBE is set to offer services such as free cashouts, QR code payments, and a rewards program, among others. The e-wallet will also “house the bank’s rewards programs. It’s a unique proposition because it allows our clients to have points and rewarding interactions with BPI.”
The bank executive also highlighted that the platform will target users from the bank’s existing BPI Online database, which currently has around 5.6 million users.
BPI Online is an app where users can avail of the services and products of the bank through online transactions. Users can log in to VYBE via the username and password registered in BPI Online.
“We want them to be part of the VYBE ecosystem as well. In terms of the amount, what we’re seeing is that since this is our lifestyle and payment app, we are looking at micropayments ranging from P200 to 500, the usual ticket size that we want our clients to use with this app,” Faustino explained.
Moreover, as the e-wallet is expected to be “flexible to do anything,” BPI expressed its excitement “to see its potential to expand the BPI client base and become a leading form of payment.”
Though VYBE is currently available on Google Play Store and Apple Store, the app is currently available for BPI users, it will then be available for non-BPI users by early 2023.
“The VYBE wallet will soon allow you to receive or send money from other banks so it’s part of the bigger ecosystem in the Philippine InstaPay network,” he concluded.
Aside from the e-wallet, Faustino also disclosed that the bank will also launch other upcoming services, including a micro-insurance and a high-yield savings platform
Aside from BPI, other banks are also digitalizing their services. Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) announced recently that it will integrate The Sandbox, one of the world’s leading metaverse platforms, into its platform as part of its “Tech-up Pilipinas” advocacy. It also received a limited virtual asset service provider (VASP) license while its application is still pending. (Read more: BSP Grants UnionBank with Limited VASP License)
In line with this, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) thanked the collective effort of the banking industry in supporting the country’s economic growth and ongoing digitalization.
Unlike Unionbank, which has its own digital banking arm, UnionDigital, BPI is a traditional bank and has no digital banking arm at the moment.
BPI President Jose Teodoro Limcaoco, however, stood his ground and stated that their bank can go head-to-head with digital banks because it has more assets and physical branches to assist its consumers. In the same interview, he claimed that their “advantage is that we have assets that can mitigate the high cost of liabilities that these fintech and digital banks are putting on.” (Read more: BPI Can Compete Head-to-Head with Digital Banks – President)
In 2021, Limcaoco expressed that he did not see “any underlying value” in cryptocurrencies. A month prior to this, the bank halted transactions related to crypto and stopped deposits to crypto exchanges. (Read more: New BPI Head Doesn’t See Value in Crypto, Endorses CBDC Initiative)