Philippines-Based UnionBank to Scatter Crypto ATMs throughout the Country

UnionBank Inc., one of the largest banks in the Philippines with over 300 branches across the country, is reportedly launching a cryptocurrency two-ways automated teller machine (ATM) allowing customers to buy and sell units of cryptocurrencies with Philippine Peso.

As reported by The Philippine Star on Wednesday, the country’s first cryptocurrency ATM machine will be in compliance with the rules and regulations set by the central bank – Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). The approval of UnionBank’s crypto ATM machine is apparently part of the Philippine government’s new regulatory vision and outcome of UnionBank’s continuous collaboration with the country’s central bank, BSP.

UnionBank said in a statement:

“In the bank’s continued quest to cater to the evolving needs and tastes of customers, including clients who use virtual currency, the ATM will provide these clients an alternative channel to convert their pesos to virtual currency and vice versa.”

in a recent interview, Union Bank Chairman Justo A. Ortiz announced that the Aboitiz-led lender will soon have virtual currency ATM in its concept branch ‘The ARK’ in Makati City. “We’re going to put up a Bitcoin ATM in our Ayala Ave. ARK [branch]. The machine is here already,” Mr. Ortiz said.

After seeing the steady rise in the uses of cryptocurrencies for payments and remittances in the country, the central bank decided to establish a formal regulatory framework for cryptocurrency exchanges which was adopted through the issuance of Circular No. 944 dated 6 February 2017. This circular has established a code of conduct that every crypto exchange in the country must follow.

According to the circular, crypto exchanges are required to obtain a certificate of registration from the BSP in order to operate as a remittance and transfer company. Moreover, these virtual currency exchanges also require to deposit adequate safeguards to tackle the various issues and risks associated with cryptocurrencies including technology risk management systems, control measures to counter money laundering and other criminal activities including terrorist financing, and consumer protection mechanisms.

President and chief executive officer at UnionBank, Edwin Bautista, said that they are looking forward to providing Filipinos with innovative solutions to their evolving needs by rolling out more ‘The Ark’ branches across the country & enhanced mobile app features.