November 25, 2021

The ‘greatest’ innovations in digital payments to make financial transactions easier

Digital payments, according to one insurance executive, are one of the most important innovations that will help consumers with their financial transactions during the pandemic.

In a virtual briefing for the launch of the Robinsons Bank-Pru Life UK Mastercard on Tuesday, Pru Life UK president and chief executive officer (CEO) Eng Teng Wong said that electronic payments have increased during the pandemic as more consumers recognize their value in preventing the virus’ spread.

He claims that the shift to digital payments benefits both consumers and businesses because of their security features, among other things.

“Consumer comfort has risen at a breakneck pace. And, in my personal experience, the most rapid innovation in the banking industry has occurred in the payments space, which is led by credit cards,” he said.

Robinsons Bank-Pru Life UK is a joint venture between Robinsons Bank and Pru Life UK. Pru Life UK policyholders and users of the company’s mobile app, Pulse, are the only ones who can get a Mastercard.

The free annual membership fee for the first year and waived fees in subsequent years if the policy premium is enrolled in auto-charge, zero percent installment for three months on drugstore and hospital bills with a minimum transaction of PHP3,000 and a maximum transaction of PHP50,000 annually, and exclusive discounts and deals on membership fees of active lifestyle and health and wellness products are just a few of the benefits.

According to Robinsons Bank executives, around 50,000 of the co-branded credit cards will be issued within the next 12 months, with around 15,000 applications already received.

Robinsons Bank president and CEO Antonio Sarte said credit cards provide Pru Life UK policyholders with financial flexibility as well as exclusive benefits for health and wellness deals during the same briefing.

“With the Philippines on the mend economically and our vaccination rate steadily increasing, we encourage our customers to safeguard their health and future,” he said.

When asked about the impact of the BSP’s credit card interest rate cap, Sarte said he sees it as a temporary hit to the bank’s profitability.

“All we have to do now is absorb it to help our clients…and adjust our own costs to cope,” he said.

“I believe it is a temporary hit on many of us in terms of credit card profitability, but it does not render the product unprofitable.” “All you have to do now is adjust a few things to ensure that we can continue to serve our clients,” he added.

Following the central bank’s interest rate cut to help consumers and the economy during the pandemic, the BSP kept the interest rate cap on all credit card retail purchases and cash advances at 24 percent annually or 2 percent per month.

In 2020, it slashed its key policy rates by a total of 200 basis points to encourage lending and help the economy weather the virus-induced pandemic.

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