UnionBank balances data collection with customer privacy

In a recent online forum, Union Bank of the Philippines Chief Technology and Operations Officer and Chief Transformation Officer, Henry Aguda, discuss how the bank does data collection without compromising data protection . CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) Chief Technology and Operations Officer and Chief Transformation Officer, Henry Aguda, recently spoke about the importance of balancing data collection and individual privacy, and how this ensured the best experiences for customers.

Speaking at the online forum, “Realizing the Promise of AI (Artificial Intelligence) in Financial Services for Exceptional Customer Experience”, hosted by global technology company Altair, Aguda shared valuable insights on how UnionBank has been able to achieve this balance, to the benefit of customers and its employees.

“Everything must be balanced between the rights of individuals – our customers – and the need for the bank to maximize its turnover, that is to say: the more you know about your customers, the more you are able to to influence what they buy as services from you,” Aguda said.

Aguda explained that UnionBank uses what it calls “privacy by design” in accordance with a regulatory requirement from the National Privacy Commission. This required an entity to always consider data privacy from the start of product development.

“So what’s going on? Our product managers, when they develop a new product, are already collaborating with our data protection officer, making sure that nothing comes out on the market without guarantees. This has to be specific to the authorization.The client must always have the [final] say before the bank can use whatever is needed with the data,” Aguda added.

He cited the typical arrangement in other companies where data protection and business data officers normally had to balance each other’s domains. But not for UnionBank, as the data protection officer, regulatory groups and cybersecurity experts have all worked together towards customer centricity.

“Our customer focus guides everyone. So while our data protection officers and other regulators drive compliance, they know they can’t do it by sacrificing customer experience,” concluded Aguda.


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