The story of a Digital Banking pioneer – success is all about the improved management of risks

President of Cantilan Bank at the BSP headquarters

Clouds on the horizon

On the 1st November 2020, an exceptionally powerful cyclone hit the Philippine coast, causing the deaths of at least 25 people and estimated damage to infrastructural objects, crops and buildings, of over 295 million US dollars. This typhoon also forced the evacuation of over 1 million people from their homes and businesses.

Who could have foreseen that another devastating typhoon will hit Luzon and Metro Manila area just 11 days later, bringing torrential rain, flooding and property devastation, causing immense damage and brining the economy of the capital to a halt. To top it all, the weather people project the possibility of 3 more typhoons until the end of the year.

Six storms in five weeks. And counting. These days it seems there is only one cloud that is welcome and brings prosperity. The Oradian cloud.

Pioneers pave the way

We all know that geo-hazards are not uncommon in the Philippines. It is prone to earthquakes, typhoons, and severe flooding, but how do you best protect your bank from such risks? These were the exacts thoughts that pushed pioneering banks like Cantilan into a process to evolve their core banking system into the cloud. A process that brings many benefits, but in times like this the ones that come to mind are business continuity and insurance against any possible calamity and geo-hazard. A much more affordable insurance.

This is not a story of the third piglet that built a brick house and kept safe. This is a very real, Filipino, Cantilan story.

Smart cost management – can you afford to build two houses while you live just in one?

In August 2013, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank in the Philippines, issued regulations on managing information technology (IT) risks in financial institutions. Known as Circular 808, this visionary document provided the basic framework that every financial institution in the Philippines has to follow. When it comes to tackling the risks presented by geo-hazards, Circular 808 states that every rural bank using an on-premise core banking system needs to have not one but two IT data centres – a primary one and a disaster recovery one – and in different physical locations. Not only do those centres have to be earthquake, typhoon, flood and fireproof, but in the event that the primary centre fails, the disaster recovery one has to be able to kick in within a few seconds. Very few rural banks can afford the capital expenditure connected with building, establishing and maintaining such data centres. This is where cloud technology can help.

This problem simply doesn’t exist, if your bank uses Oradian’s cloud banking system Instafin. You will no longer need to physically manage and protect IT data centres. This is what Oradian does for you, with its servers located in Europe, far from the reach of such natural disasters. However, geo-hazards are only one of the risks, a strategic technology partner like Oradian, can remove from your bank’s horizon. There are many others, as Ms Tanya Hotchkiss, the Executive Vice President of Cantilan Bank, in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur, Mindanao knows only too well.

Choosing a strong long-term partner to secure your bank’s future

With over 46 branches across 12 provinces in Mindanao and Visayas, Cantilan Bank is a rural bank which was established in 1980 and now serves over a hundred underbanked communities. It was the first bank in the Philippines to get the BSP’s approval to use cloud-based core banking technology and it chose Oradian as its strategic technology partner. Since then, this pioneer of digital banking in the Philippines has continued to go from strength to strength.

In a recent webinar, Ms Hotchkiss explained in detail Cantilan Bank’s digital transformation journey – how moving to Oradian’s cloud banking system means that Cantilan Bank is now not only more reliable and secure, but also has cut its capital expenditure and expanded its network and services. What’s more, Ms Hotchkiss is confident that by forming a partnership with Oradian, Cantilan Bank has succeeded in making itself future proof!

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