The Union Bank of the Philippines has launched a pilot program to launch crypto services for its clients in collaboration with METACO, a Swiss technology company. Under the program, select retail customers of the UnionBank will be able to trade Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
METACO announced that UnionBank had gone live on its flagship platform, Harmonize, in a post made on its website on 2 November. Harmonize is Metaco’s digital asset platform.
The initiative follows a popular trend among major banks around the world that are adopting crypto services. UnionBank has been actively exploring the crypto industry in recent years. Its new initiative is a significant step toward the bank’s exploration of blockchain technology. It follows the Philippine bank’s similar digital asset initiatives, such as launching its own stablecoin for remittance payments. Besides, the bank became the first Philippine bank to enter the metaverse in April, a sign of its willingness to explore the Web3 space.
The announcement comes after Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos underlined the importance of adopting blockchain technology to master digital banking and transactions at the opening of UnionBank’s Innovation Campus. Henry Aguda, Chief Technology & Operations Officer and Chief Transformation Officer at UnionBank, lauded the partnership as “being the first regulated bank in the country to allow digital currency exchange feature for clients.” In a joint announcement, he said METACO has been critical in the bank’s goal to provide customer-centric services to the Philippine market.
METACO’s Harmonize allows UnionBank to securely explore a range of retail and institutional digital asset use cases, like crypto custody, investment and trading, said Seamus Donoghue, Chief Growth Officer of METACO.
For context, UnionBank is one of Asia’s leading financial services firms, ranking among the country’s top universal banks in terms of profitability and efficiency. It has been at the forefront of crypto adoption in the country. METACO is a Swiss technology company founded in 2015 to enable financial and non-financial institutions to securely manage their digital asset business.