Union Bank of the Philippines commonly referred to as UnionBank, has tapped Swiss institutional digital assets custody and trading platform METACO to offer cryptocurrency trading services for currencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
In effect, a pilot program offering crypto services to retail clients has been launched. UnionBank has gone live on the METACO flagship platform dubbed ‘Harmonize.’
This makes UnionBank the first universal bank in the Philippines to pilot crypto exchange services.
Although this is not the first time the bank will be collaborating with the Swiss technology platform. Their initial partnership which included IBM happened at the beginning of the year when they all worked together to implement digital asset management services.
UnionBank is among the few financial institutions that possess a digital asset license from the Philippine financial regulator and central bank Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
Before now, the bank released a payment-oriented stablecoin which is powered by the Philippine peso. The launch of this pilot program is an indication that the bank is deepening its roots in blockchain technology.
UnionBank Enters Strategic Crypto Partnerships
This universal bank has also ventured into the Metaverse through the Metaverse economy. During the already concluded opening of UnionBank’s Innovation Campus, the Philippines President, Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr, outlined the usefulness of blockchain and digital asset technologies. Particularly, he articulated the benefits of technology in propagating financial inclusion in the Philippines.
Henry Aguda, who doubles as the Chief Technology and Operations Officer and Chief Transformation Officer at UnionBank stated,
“UnionBank’s collaboration with its strategic partner METACO has been critical in the bank’s pursuit of realizing its vision of delivering superior, customer-centric services to the Philippine market. We are proud to continue UnionBank’s series of industry firsts, this time being the first regulated bank in the country allowing digital currency exchange feature for clients.”
Meanwhile, BSP has issued a warning to citizens of the Philippines against trading with non-local crypto exchanges.
In its argument, the apex bank pointed out that dealing with foreign digital asset service providers poses a challenge to the implementation of consumer protection. In September, BSP declared its strong belief in stablecoin as a means of payment compared to other tokens.