PH FinTech Champion Highlights AI and Cybersecurity at ASEAN Summit

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KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA – Lito Villanueva, the Chief Innovations and Inclusion Officer of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) and Founding Chairman of FinTech Alliance.PH, delivered a keynote address at the ASEAN Financial Services Excellence & Transformation Summit (AFSET) on March 6 and 7, 2024. Villanueva underscored the crucial role of AI in fostering economic growth and emphasized the necessity of investing in cybersecurity to safeguard the region’s economic future.

Recognized as one of the fintech pioneers and champions of financial inclusion in the Philippines, Villanueva joined a diverse group of experts and bankers from across Southeast Asia to discuss innovation trends, digital strategies, and customer experience enhancement. This year’s summit focused on key topics such as quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and tokenization, which are reshaping the landscape of banking and fintech industries.

Addressing a delegation of 500 attendees, including professionals from the financial services sector, banking, fintech, and technology, Villanueva raised awareness about emerging cybersecurity threats that could undermine the region’s economic progress. With the digital economy expanding rapidly and a growing number of Southeast Asians embracing digital finance and fintech solutions, Villanueva stressed the importance of proactively addressing cybersecurity challenges to sustain current growth trajectories.

“We urge companies to invest in robust security protocols and advanced threat management strategies,” said Villanueva. “This includes adopting enhanced malware detection, deep learning systems, risk mitigation processes, and vulnerability detection networks.”

Highlighting the transformative power of Artificial Intelligence, Villanueva discussed its potential to revolutionize the economy and redefine work processes in the region. Drawing from RCBC’s experience, Villanueva outlined how AI can streamline bank application processes and enhance the overall customer journey.

“Leaders leverage generative AI in various aspects of their operations, from marketing and sales to product development and customer care,” Villanueva explained. “In fintech, AI is utilized to predict financial trends, generate analysis reports, improve customer service, and analyze consumer behavior to tailor personalized services and targeted offers.”

Villanueva currently leads RCBC’s digital transformation and advancing financial inclusion initiatives in the Philippines. RCBC offers a range of digital solutions catering to diverse segments of Philippine society, including RCBC Pulz, a comprehensive AI-powered digital concierge, RCBC ATM Go, the Philippines’ largest grassroots-based mobile-point-of-service ATMs network, and RCBC Diskartech, the world’s first multilingual financial inclusion application available in Taglish (Tagalog-English) and Cebuano.

With remarkable growth, RCBC has ascended from eighth position in 2018 to fifth in 2023 among the Philippines’ largest privately-owned banks in terms of assets. The bank has received over 200 global and local accolades, including four consecutive awards as the Philippines’ Best Bank for Digital by Asiamoney, the Eye on Innovation Award by Gartner, and recognition for being the leader in customer service and system uptime in the Philippine banking landscape.

FinTech Alliance is the Philippines’ first and largest digital industry association with over 100 corporate members. It collectively generates over 95 percent of all digital financial transactions volume in the country today.



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