Delivering on Its Promise of BetterBanking

With banking seen as vital to economic resilience and recovery, Security Bank raises the bar for customer service in these unusual times by putting clients first as it digitises key services.

In this Covid-19 pandemic, the Philippine banking sector plays a critical role in ensuring that the national economy has enough liquidity to survive an economic crisis and in helping the country move towards eventual recovery. As banks navigate the new landscape, the surge in digital adoption has paved the way for more proactive institutions to personalise the customer experience. Security Bank is one of them. “We are certainly facing something we have not faced before, at least not in our lifetime, ”Security Bank Chairman Alberto S Villarosa says of the current situation. “Whether this will be a period of blessing or curse, of opportunity or threat, is really up to us. We believe that the more you know and the faster you can adapt, the better your chances to not only survive but thrive in these trying times.

Despite the challenges arising at the end of the first quarter of 2020, Security Bank’s profits were up by 14 percent by the end of the first half of the year. Wealth Management Head Binky Mirabueno credits this to a strong sense of continued relevance with the Bank’s stakeholders.

“Regular communication is key to ensuring the continued confidence of our stakeholders,” she says of the Bank’s strategy for standing firm throughout the extended quarantine period. “It is a must to keep internal and external stakeholders frequently informed, especially on our overall response and recovery plans.”

Putting a carefully crafted contingency plan into action even before the quarantine went into effect has been instrumental in retaining customers’ confidence in the institution. This agile approach to business continuity is part of Security Bank’s campaign called BetterBanking.

“When the quarantine started, many of our clients took a cautious stance in doing investments,” Mirabueno recalls. “They were concerned about how the pandemic would impact their businesses. For some, it was an opportunity to get into the market since share prices dropped and many were trading at very low levels. Hence, this segment of customers now enjoys good returns as the market has somehow stabilised, although still far from pre-pandemic levels. Some have even started going back to the market where they see opportunities in their portfolios.”

This is partly because Security Bank has made its remote, off-site operations almost as smooth as its standard daily in-branch operations. Employees are given the necessary tools to work effectively from home and provide quick, efficient and empathetic service that makes clients feel that their needs are being met.

Crediting their people to be at the heart of the business, President and CEO Sanjiv Vohra says: “The employees who work for the sustainability of our business, the customers who depend on the services we provide, and the shareholders who continue to place their trust in us have allowed us to remain in a position to enrich lives, empower businesses and build communities.”

“Our unique customer engagement model serves as the foundation for business initiatives. It leverages technology and is focused on building beneficial customer relationships, both crucial to steady, solid growth,” Mirabueno adds. This online approach includes availability of account opening through Skype and InstaPay, as well as Covid-ready concierge services for Wealth clients, among others.

Through all these advancements in technology, Security Bank will continue to innovate and provide high quality, end-to-end experiences—a testament to the Bank’s commitment to provide a holistic BetterBanking experience.

(in photo) From left: Alberto Villarosa, Security Bank chairman; Binky Mirabueno, Wealth Management head; Sanjiv Vohra, president and CEO

This story was originally published in The Philippine Tatler.