Ripple’s partner, the UnionBank of the Philippines, has received regulatory approval to fully operate a crypto asset business.
According to a local report, the bank received a license from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas early this week to function as a virtual asset service provider (VASP).
Crypto Eri, a notable figure in the XRP community, spotlighted the development in a tweet for Ripple and XRP enthusiasts.
Asia Banking Changing FAST
2019, @unionbankph & @Ripple partnered to power a wallet with #XRP ODL
2022, Union Bank went live on @metaco_sa for Crypto Services
👉Today, Union Bank becomes First Universal Bank to secure a license to operate as a virtual asset service provider… pic.twitter.com/EfjPmxeJQZ
— 🌸Crypto Eri 🪝Carpe Diem (@sentosumosaba) September 20, 2023
UnionBank VASP License
Notably, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, which has authorized UnionBank to be a VASP, represents the country’s central bank. The report highlighted that the milestone of the Ripple partner positions it as the inaugural and solitary universal bank authorized to offer such services in the Philippines.
Before this approval, access to crypto asset services had been restricted to a select group of UnionBank app users. The report stated that UnionBank is now poised to expand its crypto business to a broader spectrum of its clientele through the full VASP license.
Cathy Casas, Senior Vice President of UnionBank, articulated the institution’s forward-looking approach.
“Our pursuit of this license isn’t just about staying current, but about being future-proof and future-ready,” Casas remarked.
Moreover, she emphasized the rapid evolution of the financial landscape and the bank’s commitment to staying ahead of the curve, ensuring they are well-equipped to meet the ever-changing demands of their clients.
Similarly, UnionBank’s Chief Executive Officer, Edwin Bautista, stressed the implication of the VASP license to their business operation. In his words:
“By obtaining this license, … [We are] enhancing our digital capabilities and further transforming the way our customers interact with us.”
Furthermore, the report highlighted that UnionBank has disclosed plans to introduce the expanded feature gradually in the last quarter of 2023. Per the update, the feature will facilitate the buying and selling Bitcoin via the bank’s app.
Ripple and UnionBank Collab
Notably, Crypto Eri highlighted the sequence of efforts UnionBank undertook up until its recent VASP approval. She mentioned that the bank and Ripple joined forces to power a wallet with XRP-based On-Demand Liquidity. That was in 2019.
In 2022, the bank went live with crypto services via Ripple-owned firm Metaco. The latest of UnionBank’s crypto endeavor involves this regulatory approval.