Championing digital banking and financial innovations

This woman of power is a millennial banking executive and heiress who is firmly attuned to the nation’s evolving financial future.

Isabelle Gotianun Yap, East West Banking Corp. special projects officer and director, is leading the group’s charge in the areas of digital innovation and financial technology.

Mentored by her grandmother, Mercedes Gotianun—the county’s first female universal bank president—and her mother, Filinvest Group president Lourdes Josephine Gotianun Yap, Isabelle is among those named in the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Women of Power list, which recognizes Filipino women with exceptional qualities and professional achievements across a diverse range of fields.

The younger Gotianun exemplifies these traits in her professional journey. After completing a double major in finance and marketing at Singapore Management University and earning a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School, she served as a consultant at McKinsey where she worked with a wide range of clients throughout the country.

She then joined the management associate program of industry giant Singapore Telecommunications, gaining valuable experience in digital marketing, product development and project management.

Gotianun, one of two Filipinas to make it to the Young Global Leaders 2023 class of the Switzerland-based World Economic Forum, is taking the lead in EastWest’s digital innovations to make banking more convenient for clients.

She is credited for her leading role in the development of KOMO, a pioneering digital banking service that was launched in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These efforts were recognized last year as KOMO was named the most innovative smart banking services provider for digital banking in the Philippines at the International Finance Awards.

The bank’s other projects include EastWest Pay, described as the first contactless payment app where clients can make credit card charges by tapping their phones on a point-of-sale system.

The banking giant is also moving to harness artificial intelligence (AI) tools via the EastWest System Tech Assistant chatbot. This AI-powered chatbot is designed to assist customers on various services, including providing real-time credit card balances after transactions made through EastWest Pay.

“At EastWest, my work is really focused on building and launching these strategic and transformational initiatives to the organization. I hope to provide lasting impact here, similar to how the strong female role models I have grown up with have achieved much in their own times,” Gotianun told the Inquirer in a previous interview.

In the family’s publicly listed conglomerate Filinvest Development Corp., Gotianun is the chair of digital venture builder and transformation arm F(Dev)—a division that she helped establish. Its projects include Investree Philippines, the very first registered crowdfunding platform in the Philippines, which aims to address gaps in fundraising by servicing the extensive network of small to medium-sized businesses in need of financial support.

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