UNION BANK of the Philippines, Inc. (UnionBank) has received approval from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to operate as a virtual asset service provider (VASP), letting customers buy and sell cryptocurrencies through its mobile app.
The VASP license, issued by the BSP, covers a broad spectrum of financial products and services, allowing for virtual assets to be used as payments and investments. With this license secured, UnionBank is now the first and only universal bank to offer virtual asset exchange services, the Aboitiz-led bank said in a statement on Tuesday.
Randomly selected users of UnionBank’s mobile app previously received access to a new feature wherein cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and major altcoins could be bought and sold within the app. This new feature will slowly be introduced to all app users next quarter.
“This milestone represents a significant leap forward for UnionBank as we continue to revolutionize the banking landscape,” said UnionBank President and Chief Executive Officer Edwin R. Bautista. “By obtaining this license, we are not only paving the way for even more groundbreaking opportunities, but also enhancing our digital capabilities and further transforming the way our customers interact with us.”
UnionBank has long advocated for the exploration and application of blockchain technologies in the country. With the rollout of this new feature, their customers will now be able to manage both traditional banking and digital assets within a single mobile platform, further leveling the playing field for these asset types in the investing landscape.