Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) sealed a partnership with Singapore-based insurtech Igloo, becoming its first Philippine bank partner and strengthening the startup’s foothold in the country.
Through UnionBank’s globally award-winning API Marketplace, Igloo increases reach of its Application Programming Interface (API) for digital non-life insurance in the country. The partnership also bolsters the API Marketplace’s offerings which currently include 369 endpoints of banking and fintech open APIs.
“Our partnership with fintechs such as Igloo play a crucial role in strengthening Open Banking in the Philippines,” said Arvie de Vera, UnionBank Fintech Group Head. “UnionBank will continue enabling our partners and customers through APIs and other innovative technologies to co-create financial solutions and enhance inclusion for all Filipinos.”
Igloo, formerly known as Axinan, recently raised $8.2 million in Series A funding which will go to its expansion across key markets in Southeast Asia and Australia, including the Philippines. Igloo leverages artificial intelligence and big data to provide customers with non-life insurance products best suited to their lifestyle.
With Igloo’s API available on UnionBank’s API Marketplace, Philippine fintechs and other partners can easily integrate Igloo’s digital non-life insurance products which span travel, electronics, phone screen protection, personal accident, and cross-border insurance. This unlocks opportunities for platforms to tap a millennial, digital-savvy market looking for a customized insurance experience, while minimizing spending on monthly payouts.
“Igloo’s partnership with UBP is another step towards digitizing insurance and thereby making it more accessible for Filipinos. As per a recent ADB study, fintech could contribute almost 40% towards financial inclusion of the underserved population in the Philippines. Igloo, using its deep pedigree in data and technology and helped by its ecosystem partners, intends to play a significant role in increasing insurance awareness and penetration,” said Raunak Mehta, Igloo CCO.
UnionBank’s API Marketplace (developer.unionbankph.com) empowers developers and fintechs to build products and services using a wide range of open APIs available for sandboxing via its easy to use platform. Most recently, it was lauded by global financial services research firm Celent which awarded the bank its 2020 Model Bank for Financial Inclusion award.
Union Bank is also the only Philippine bank to be part of the API Exchange (APIX), a pan-regional API sandbox for banks and fintechs run by the ASEAN Financial Innovation Network (AFIN). Through APIX, UnionBank exposes APIs of the bank and its fintech partners to markets across Southeast Asia.
The partnership with Igloo furthers UnionBank’s advocacy for open banking in the Philippines. It is also the latest addition to the growing number of fintech APIs available on the Marketplace, opening up opportunities for adoption of innovative solutions in the country.
A recently held digital signing event marked the partnership and was attended by Igloo CCO Raunak Mehta, Igloo Philippines General Manager Eric Bataga, UnionBank Senior Vice President & Fintech Group Head Arvie de Vera, UnionBank API Marketplace Product Owner David dela Paz, API Marketplace Product Manager for Client On-boarding Javi Angela de Gorostiza, Product Manager for API Management Reinier Mañosca, UnionBank Sales Director for South Luzon Ben Sy Chu and Relationship Manager Enrico Robles.