Digital banking may have been slow to arrive in the Philippines compared to its Asian neighbors, but things are changing fast. Consumer demand for innovative digital financial services is surging in the wake of economic recovery post-COVID 19 driven by a young, technophile base, leading to the rapid expansion of mobile payment platforms such as e-wallets and digital apps of traditional banks.
According to a 2023 McKinsey report, by the end of this year, three-quarters of the population will have internet access, with mobile penetration nearly universal. Having one of the fastest population growth rates worldwide, the country’s bankable population is projected to rise from 65 million in 2022 to 85 million by 2030— a 30 percent increase.
For both traditional banks and new entrants (digital banks), the key to taking advantage of the vast digital opportunity will be to overcome customer worries about security and complexity.
Hence the challenge for these digital banks including GoTyme Bank would be to build trust and confidence in customers in a country with low financial services saturation and a preference for face-to-face interactions.
These scenarios comprise the classic stuff of customer rants and complaints on social media having to do with digital and online financial experience: Money transfers freeze in mid-process, one-time PINs don’t arrive, unauthorized deductions and transactions between channels, “help centers” run by AI chatbots tapping responses off a playbook, or email messages that go unanswered for days, sometimes even weeks. Meanwhile, frustrated customers, hearing no real person at the other end with a solution or explanation, are left with little choice but to stew and wait for as long as it takes.
Indeed, online transactions save time, expense, and processes, but people mostly form opinions and reach decisions through a mental calculation prompted by biases, emotions, and memories. Thus, personal relationships count for much and, ironically, the more digital the world becomes, the greater the need for the human touch.
A new phrase has cropped up in the banking industry: human banking. This means the provision of digital banking services with a personalized and humanized customer experience. It focuses on human support so that customers feel that their needs, and even wants, are understood and addressed.
GoTyme Bank offers the convenience and security of digital banking supported by best-in-class personal customer service available 24/7, making for a unique high tech-high touch approach to banking.
Access to next-generation banking with GoTyme Bank starts with a hassle-free account opening process that only takes 5 minutes via a free app, or with a free personalized Visa debit card at kiosks staffed by bank ambassadors in Robinsons retail spaces nationwide. So, yes, the “high touch” part of its brand promise is not limited to touching screens and tapping keys; rather, customers interact with real people who provide valuable assistance every step of the way. This is the best possible world of digital and physical— “phygital”—customer engagement.
“The main reason people are going to join the first phase is the customer service, which is quite different from traditional digital banks,” says Albert Tinio, GoTyme Bank co-CEO, adding that “this is what GoTyme Bank wants to be famous for.” He notes that Filipinos, being highly sociable, appreciate human interaction when the chance presents itself: “Sometimes we even see people in an ATM queue enlisting security guards for assistance.”