Philippines-based Union Bank has allocated more than $9m annually to its UBX subsidiary to pursue financial technology opportunities.

Financial services firm Union Bank of the Philippines has set aside ₱500m ($9.6m) per year to incubate and invest in fintech companies through innovation subsidiary UBX Philippines, The Inquirer reported on Monday.

Union Bank set up UBX late last year to digitise its traditional banking business and discern new banking models including the I2I project, which provides financial inclusion for remote communities, linking rural banks to the national banking system through a blockchain-powered payment scheme.

UBX conducted its first corporate venturing deal last week, acquiring 30% of digital logistics platform operator Shiptek Solutions for an undisclosed amount.

John Januszczak, president and chief executive of UBX, told Business Mirror: “[UBX] is a new entity that operates separately from Union Bank and is designed to be like a fintech company.

“With UBX, we want to usher in the age of embedded banking in the Philippines, where banking services are woven into the very fabric of everyday life.”