Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank), through its subsidiary UBX, and Shiptek Solutions Corp., developer of pioneering on-demand shipping and logistics platform called XLOG, recently inked an agreement formalizing their strategic partnership.
With this alliance, the UnionBank Group effectively holds a 30% stake in Shiptek and will be integrating its e-commerce payment gateway and other digital financial services into the XLOG logistics platform. Coupled with UBX’s expertise in technology development and blockchain, this will further power XLOG’s end-to-end supply chain solution that consolidates shipping, warehousing, trucking, and customs brokerage.
Having been in the logistics industry for 26 years, Shiptek Solutions Corp. president Jun Ynion said that the industry is ripe for digitization.
“Our traditional manual processes—the many and winding paper trails, emails, phone calls, negotiations—they are no longer enough to keep up with today’s business landscape which demands logistics to be more agile. We need radical transformation to be globally competitive and going digital is the way to go,” Ynion said.
XLOG’s digital infrastructure sets a launchpad for the country’s logistics industry to take a leap from the complex and error-prone analog practices of moving goods, bringing it to a higher level of efficiency, connectivity, visibility, and optimization. Injecting UnionBank’s financial mettle into the platform endows greater benefits for stakeholders, allowing them to enjoy more streamlined, transparent, and seamless transactions. The companies are also hopeful that XLOG’s disruptive technology will contribute to establishing the Philippines as a recognized hub for technological innovation.
“As an industry leader in digital banking, we continuously endeavor to co-create innovations with like-minded companies who are as obsessed in forging transformative experiences for customers. We have long sought to serve the logistics sector, and with the onset of digitization, the introduction of platforms like XLOG, represents the industry’s movement from traditional methods to electronic. And with such change, it is vital for the bank to continue to be relevant to its customers by being present,” said Edwin Bautista, president and CEO, UnionBank.
“UBX’s main thrust is to invest in complementary capabilities. We are developing platforms to go to market with business models that are beyond banking. We will also invest in capabilities and platforms that share the same objective,” said John Januszczak, CEO, UBX.
For Ynion, the relationship with Unionbank is more personal as he recalls the start of his entrepreneurial journey two decades ago.
“UnionBank was the only bank that approved my credit card application when I had nothing. I was in so much debt and they gave me a chance to fulfill my dream of starting my business,” he said.
Now working together, UnionBank, UBX and Shiptek Solutions can tap into each other’s expertise and customer network from SMEs to large-scale corporations. UnionBank will also be significantly involved in Shiptek’s daily operations, holding two out of five seats in the company’s Board of Directors.
Shiptek Solutions projects that UnionBank’s investment will help the company reach its aspiration of moving 500,000-1,000,000 20-foot equivalent units (TEU). The company has already generated thousands of TEUs to date, since its launch in 2018.
More possibilities open up as Shiptek, UnionBank and UBX bring into existence a new ecosystem where logistics and financial services naturally fuse together, creating value-laden experiences and conveniences for stakeholders.