Al Hilal Bank Leading the way through simplified banking

Al Hilal Bank: Leading the way through simplified banking

It is no easy feat to create a digital bank of the future able to meet exacting consumer demands while transforming its business processes. But this is exactly what Al Hilal Bank, an Islamic bank headquartered in Abu Dhabi, has been able to achieve through its philosophy of “simplified banking.” Offering Shari’ah-compliant retail banking, treasury and wealth management solutions across the United Arab Emirates, its strong focus on UAE nationals makes Al Hilal a trusted name in this region. Recently, Al Hilal introduced an innovative digital on-boarding experience through its mobile app, Ahlan – a first-of-its-kind app in Islamic Banking offering simplicity and convenience like no other.

Having been awarded Best Digital Account Opening, Middle East at the recent Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards 2020 (GRB Awards) by The Digital Banker further solidifies its stature as a bank that leads the way.

“Ahlan, Al Hilal Bank’s mobile banking app has redefined the concept of digital account opening by enabling new-to-bank (NTB) customers to open new savings account instantaneously with the bank in just 3 simple steps.  Ahlan not only reduced Al Hilal’s cost of new-to-bank acquisition but also helped transform its sales channels,” commented Nirav Patel, Managing Director at The Digital Banker during the awards presentation.

“With Ahlan, UAE residents can open a bank account instantly from anywhere without having to visit the branch or provide their documents offline for verification.”

Ahlan: Simplified banking for a digital world

Ahlan was created with a vision to redefine new-to-bank customer on-boarding experience. With Ahlan, UAE residents can open a bank account instantly from anywhere without having to visit the branch or provide their documents offline for verification. Through 3 simple steps of 1) providing personal information, 2) documents scanning and 3) delivery, customers can instantly open a savings account and start their banking journey with Al Hilal.

The process has been designed from the ground up with simplicity and intuitiveness to ensure that customers across all segments can use the app with ease. The most advanced technology has been deployed to ensure that minimum information is required to be manually fed by the customer as the app has been made capable to capture maximum information from the scanned documents using tools like MRZ scanner and visualiser.

Functionalities like API integration is used to ensure regulatory guidelines are adhered to, and the customer is acquired as per the Bank’s policies and guidelines. During the delivery of the debit card, the customer’s Emirates ID (a chip-enabled card provided by the government to every UAE resident), is checked through a tablet device, which is linked to the Emirates ID authority for real-time verification. Only upon the successful verification does the account gets activated.

Through its sheer simplicity and unquestionable value to customers, Ahlan has been a tremendous success receiving an overwhelmingly positive response so far, with over 80% of NTB customers currently on-boarded through this channel. In addition, with over 22% of customers sourced through Ahlan being UAE nationals, this channel has been proven to contribute significantly to the Bank’s business objectives. Also, over 75% of all accounts acquired through Ahlan are funded within the first 30 days.

Indeed, the concept of digital onboarding has redefined the acquisition business model of Al Hilal Bank. Judging from its recent slew of achievements, its vision to enhance the Ahlan app to cater to customers across its entire lifecycle – from childhood to retirement – is very much within reach.

>> To read more about this story and other exclusive features about the digital banking landscape, download the latest issue of The Digital Banker Magazine HERE.

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Image: Sophie James / Shutterstock.com

 

Finastra’s core banking platform, an accelerator of growth and innovation

Finastra’s core banking platform, an accelerator of growth and innovation

It has been several months into the Coronavirus outbreak, and the world is still reeling from its impact. Different institutions and sectors are feeling the impact in multiple ways, and the financial markets are no different. Financial institutions have had to adopt new processes to deliver their customer services and it looks like these processes will remain even after the pandemic has passed.

The world of consumer banking is currently undergoing a massive shift. Driven by the explosion of new technology, market changes and the far-reaching impact of the pandemic, retail banks are forced to compete in an environment with thin margins and tough regulations. As such, banks need to have an extremely agile and flexible platform that enables them to fend off competition and accelerate growth. Finastra’s Fusion Essence 2020 responds to all these market challenges. Partnering with Microsoft Azure for cloud enablement and Power BI for data analytics, this comprehensive solution helps banking institutions optimise cost, mitigate risk and continually meet the changing needs of customers.

Just recently, Finastra was awarded Winner, Best Core Banking Software Suite at the recent Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards 2020 (GRB Awards) by The Digital Banker.

“Finastra unlocks the potential of people and businesses in finance, creating a platform for open innovation. Fusion Essence 2020 is a next- generation core banking platform that forms the foundation for Finastra’s digital suite of applications. With all key banking services built-in, including mobile and internet-first digital access, the solution helps banking customers drive growth, innovation and security, making it an invaluable solution in today’s highly competitive environment,” said Nirav Patel, Managing Director at The Digital Banker during the awards presentation.

“Finastra unlocks the potential of people and businesses in finance, creating a platform for open innovation.”

Next-generation core banking platform

Fusion Essence 2020 is a next-generation core banking platform that forms the foundation for Finastra’s digital suite of applications. All the key banking services such as party, accounts, deposits, loans and payments are built-in, with a rich set of web services that boost business functionality. This translates to high levels of STP because the solution is delivered with pre-configured processes aligned to banking best practices. The solution also includes optional components such as Islamic banking, teller, and analytics using Microsoft’s Power BI.

Fusion Essence is an advanced core banking system that is digital to the core, customer-centric, and cloud-enabled for next-generation banking, covering retail and commercial banking whether conventional or Islamic.

  • Available with pre-integrated digital engagement capabilities for mobile, internet and branch to drive a superior frictionless and tailored customer experience to support banks’ go-to-market campaigns.
  • Seamless 24×7 capability removing the operational risk and cost of more legacy solutions.
  • Multi-entity, multi-currency, multi-lingual, multi-time zone, one central source of operation thereby reducing support and running costs.
  • Has inbuilt standard banking processes and workflows to streamline operations, increase STP and reduce the cost of ownership.
  • Includes a workbench and product launching capability; reducing time to market for new products by over 50% and putting the bank in control; avoiding increased vendor costs.

This next-generation banking platform has been recognised as a leader amongst retail banking solutions. “The Forrester Wave™: Digital Banking Processing Platforms Q3 2020” report illustrates that Finastra is leading the way by combining next-generation technologies with extensive business capabilities. It has also been recognised by Gartner in its Global Retail Core Banking Magic Quadrant saying, “No other core banking vendor has market-leading digital channels integrated with the core.”

“Fusion Essence is an advanced core banking system that is digital to the core, customer-centric, and cloud enabled for next generation banking, covering retail and commercial banking whether conventional or Islamic.”

Success with Digital Banks and Neobanks in Asia

Finastra’s Fusion Essence Cloud is revolutionising banking across Asia. TONIK, the first licensed digital-only bank in Southeast Asia, has selected Fusion Essence Cloud to power its end-to-end core banking capabilities. The move supports TONIK as it launches its retail deposit and customer loans services, giving it agility and the ability to scale quickly – and further revolutionise banking in the Philippines.

The key proposition for digital banks is providing a customer experience that traditional banks struggle to offer. This requires modern, cloud-native technology that facilitates innovation whilst future-proofing investment. Fusion Essence Cloud enables TONIK to benefit from a low cost of entry into the market, ease and speed of deployment, and the ability to increase business volumes and diversify its product set cost-effectively.

Greg Krasnov, Founder & CEO at TONIK, said, “The banking sector in the Philippines is ripe for digital disruption. The country has high internet usage, the majority of Filipinos are unbanked and research shows half of the people who do have bank accounts would be interested in switching to a neobank.”

On the other hand, Yoma Bank in Myanmar upgraded its Fusion Essence solution to enable them to leverage open APIs and collaborate with third parties, enhancing customer experience with a 7% increase in bank’s gross profit in one year. The suite of new digital banking offerings enabled Yoma Bank to reach out to more customers, increase its market share and make Yoma Bank a truly nationwide bank.

Other Fusion Essence users have also expanded their branch network, increased profit by business quarter, doubled transaction processing speed across all channels and reduced time taken to complete end-of-day processing.

>> To read more about this story and other exclusive features about the digital banking landscape, download the latest issue of The Digital Banker Magazine HERE.

Wave Money Advancing Greater Financial Inclusion in Myanmar

Wave Money: Advancing Greater Financial Inclusion in Myanmar

Covering more than 91% of the country, Wave Money is the largest mobile financial services provider in Myanmar. It has pioneered mobile financial technology in Myanmar and has played a pivotal role in the country’s digital transformation. The financial institution’s digital wallet, WavePay, is a super app that meets the lifestyle needs of digital natives in rapidly urbanising Myanmar while helping advance greater financial inclusion among the unbanked population in the countryside.

WavePay offers a convenient, secure, simple and reliable way to remit and receive money, pay utility bills and loans, top up mobile services, shop online as well as pay at physical checkout counters.

It is also the digital wallet of choice among government, non-government organisations, humanitarian agencies and cause-oriented groups in Myanmar.

Recognising this exceptional feat, Wave Money has been awarded Winner, Best Digital Wallet of the Year and Winner, Best Mobile Payments Service at the recent Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards 2020 (GRB Awards) by The Digital Banker.

“WavePay is a digital wallet that meets the lifestyle needs of digital natives in Myanmar. During this COVID-19 pandemic, through its “WavePay It Forward” campaign, Wave Money was able to help government, NGOs and humanitarian agencies securely mobilise and disburse emergency funds to vulnerable sectors. In 2020, Wave Money moved an equivalent of 11.5% of Myanmar’s GDP just on remittances, a true testament of the impact and the scale of its operations,” said Nirav Patel, Managing Director at The Digital Banker during the awards ceremony.

“With a vision to greater financial inclusion, Wave Money has brought the benefits of financial services to millions of Myanmar citizens who were previously unbanked and underserved.”

Helping vulnerable sectors through the “WavePay It Forward” campaign

Technology has helped transform many businesses and organisations. For Wave Money, technology can be a force for good. As part of its community outreach, it initiated the “WavePay It Forward” campaign, with the aim to help vulnerable sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Governmental organisations, humanitarian agencies and corporate entities have teamed up with Wave Money and leveraged WavePay to effectively deliver cash assistance for social security payments, loans for farmers, emergency funds for garment workers, and cash relief for street vendors. Wave Money has waived all service fees related to the disbursements of these funds.

“Digitally-delivered financial assistance is an efficient crisis response. It saves time and resources for development organisations and government. Wave Money’s support for a number of COVID-19 humanitarian programmes and our own ‘WavePay It Forward’ fund-raising is in line with our mission to create a fairer future for Myanmar through financial inclusion. More importantly, it is in line with what every one of us believes — that technology is a force for good. “ said Brad Jones, CEO of Wave Money. Myanmar’s Social Security Board, the Myanmar Agricultural Development Bank (MADB), the Myan Ku Fund project of the European Union, multi-sector fund-raising campaign “I Do Nation”, and Free Cash Program for the Needy (FCPN) project are among those that used WavePay free-of-charge. In parallel, Wave Money has also run a public donation platform through WavePay to raise funds for Myanmar’s National Level Central Committee on Prevention, Control and Treatment of COVID-19. Also, Wave Money successfully launched the campaign #StayStrongMyanmar which consolidates all active programmes and community support for sectors adversely affected by COVID-19 and their digital platform, as the trusted channel for COVID-19 relief government and NGOs fund disbursements, was responsible for channelling direct subsidies to 300,000 beneficiaries. In total, the 2020 transactions channelled through the donation and disbursement channels to those severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic reached 32 billion kyat (US$ 24 million).

“In 2020 alone, Wave Money moved a total of 12 trillion Myanmar kyat (US$ 8.7 Billion) in remittances which is equivalent to about 11.5% of Myanmar’s gross domestic product (GDP).”

Using WavePay, millions were able to transfer money and make daily payments and financial transactions in the comfort and safety of their own homes. Wave Money has processed more than US$ 24 Million in disbursements and emergency relief to at-risk sectors since the first wave of COVID-19 hit Myanmar.

Greater financial inclusion benefits millions of Myanmar citizens

With a vision to greater financial inclusion, Wave Money has brought the benefits of financial services to millions of Myanmar citizens who were previously unbanked and underserved. For example, in 2015, less than 20% of the population had access to formal financial services. Since then, this number has grown by leaps and bounds.

In 2020 alone, Wave Money moved a total of 12 trillion Myanmar kyat (US$ 8.7 Billion) in remittances which is equivalent to about 11.5% of Myanmar’s gross domestic product (GDP).

During the same period, total disbursements from government, humanitarian and non-government sectors also grew to more than 32 Billion Myanmar kyat (US$ 24 Million).

From mobilising and disbursing funds for COVID-19 relief to sustaining lives and livelihoods through trustworthy money transfer and electronic payment, indeed, Wave Money is a testament to the far-reaching social impact of fintech.

>> To read more about this story and other exclusive features about the digital banking landscape, download the latest issue of The Digital Banker Magazine HERE.

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HSBC Malaysia Eliminating Friction in Foreign Currency Transfers

HSBC Malaysia: Eliminating Friction in Foreign Currency Transfers

HSBC is one of the largest and most recognisable banking institutions in the world, with operations in 64 countries and territories and millions of customers across its businesses. Leveraging on the strength of its global footprint, HSBC Malaysia is pushing the boundaries of innovation to deliver maximum customer convenience. Its 24/7 Foreign Currency Transfers with real-time foreign currency conversion, allows customers to link HSBC accounts in multiple countries and transact within a single online banking experience. By transcending the limits of geographical borders and location, the team had been able to provide seamless online channel capabilities, helping HSBC Malaysia reach out to local and international customers at a scale never been achieved before.

Having been bestowed the award, Winner, Best Frictionless Customer Relationship Management at the recent Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards 2020 (GRB Awards) by The Digital Banker only proves that HSBC Malaysia is relentless when it comes to providing the best experience for its customers.

“The 24/7 foreign currency conversion service helps customers save more as they can buy and sell currencies at favourable rates, anytime.”

“HSBC Malaysia’s passion to meet the increasing demands of its customers is truly admirable. Through GVGT, the team had been able to remove customer’s restriction on a fixed transaction schedule by empowering customers to conduct a global transfer from anywhere in the world, 24/7. This initiative is a significant step towards achieving the Bank’s goal if making banking cost-effective and personalised for its customers,” said Nirav Patel, Managing Director at The Digital Banker during the awards ceremony.

Faster transfers. Seamless experience.

HSBC Malaysia’s 24/7 Foreign Currency Transfers with Real-Time Foreign Currency Conversion leverages on the strength of HSBC’s established experience and ubiquitous presence in all corners of the world. The 24/7 foreign currency conversion service helps customers save more as they can buy and sell currencies at favourable rates, anytime.

With Global View Global Transfer (GVGT), customers with HSBC accounts in multiple countries or territories can easily link their accounts and transfer funds between these accounts. As a result, it enables customers to have a single view of all their Global HSBC accounts. Once customers have linked their accounts together, they would be able to conduct instant Global Transfer, seamlessly. They can also set up future or recurring transfers to manage future transactions.

“With GVGT, customers with HSBC accounts in multiple countries or territories can link their accounts and transfer funds between these accounts.”

On top of this great initiative, HSBC Malaysia has also launched Global Transfer Friends and Family (GTFF) where customers can make instant transfers to friends and family with HSBC accounts. Some of the most notable features of GTFF include:

  • Ability to perform instant transfers to 22 sites
  • Exclusively available to Premier and Advance customers
  • Instant transfer to overseas HSBC third party personal accounts and;
  • Waiver of fees waived for Premier customers
  • Global Transfer fee is also waived for Advance customers effective 7 Dec 2020
  • HSBC Malaysia customers will be able to receive instant fund transfer from other GTFF enabled sites (Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam

The successful rollout and implementation of HSBC Malaysia’s full suite of cutting-edge Global Transfer capabilities make it a top contender for customer experience leadership. The real-time foreign currency conversion with the ability to hyper-personalise foreign exchange rates down to customer-level is a clever manoeuvre to reward the Bank’s most loyal customers. From a business point, the upside is equally impressive with foreign exchange contribution increasing by 28% compared to the previous year (2019). There has also been a notable increase in Global accounts opening across key markets such as Australia, Canada, China, France, Greece, Hong Kong, India, UK and USA.

>> To read more about this story and other exclusive features about the digital banking landscape, download the latest issue of The Digital Banker Magazine HERE.

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Standard Chartered Malaysia Offering smart wealth solutions to build sustainable trust

Standard Chartered Malaysia: Offering smart wealth solutions to build sustainable trust

For a number of years now, Standard Chartered Wealth Management in Malaysia has been investing in areas that matter deeply to its customers. Understanding that every client is unique, it aims to make quality advisory accessible to its clients. Its value proposition is based around what StanChart calls the SMART Wealth Management framework. The SMART framework focuses on areas which include Solutions, Market insights, Advisory, Relationship management and Technology to help StanChart gain a good understanding of what its clients want and how to help them achieve their financial goals.

This laudable strategy did not go unnoticed and just recently, Standard Chartered Wealth Malaysia has been conferred the award Winner, Best Mass Affluent Banking Offering at the Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards 2020 (GRB Awards) by The Digital Banker.

“The SMART Wealth Management framework by Standard Chartered Bank is truly world-class. Through this framework, clients benefit from personalised and comprehensive advisory services delivered by a team of expert. In addition, they also enjoy transactional convenience offered via digital and remote transactional capabilities. By leveraging on technology, the bank has been able to deploy a robust digital investment platform, making StanChart Wealth Malaysia a trusted advisor to its clients nurturing a sustainable relationship with its clients,” said Nirav Patel, Managing Director at The Digital Banker during the awards virtual gala.

The SMART Framework

At the heart of StanChart’s SMART framework is the bank’s expertise in offering personalised investment advisory services to its clients across the footprint. As the industry shifts towards a more personalised approach to advisory services, the Bank’s relationship managers are being supported by a panel of internal wealth management specialists able to provide bespoke solutions that are further optimised by technology.

The Bank’s investment philosophy starts with the idea that diversity of perspectives, views and decision-makers are crucial when it comes to countering many of the decision-making biases all investors face. StanChart gathers as many views as possible from leading investment banks, independent research houses, central banks, asset managers and international organisations such as the IMF, World Bank and Bank of International Settlements before arriving at a particular conclusion or recommendation.

“At the heart of StanChart’s SMART framework is the bank’s expertise in offering personalised investment advisory services to its clients across the footprint.”

The team uses deep research and data analytics to perform adequate market and product due diligence. This is supplemented by products that are responsive to the peculiar needs of the market. For example, StanChart’s Asset Transfer programme is a solution that lets clients pool their investments under one roof, enabling them to get a 360⁰ view of their holdings. This product caters to the need for account aggregation services where one-stop shop for wealth management is in high demand.

StanChart’s SMART framework is further fortified by the bank’s strength in its technological capabilities.

StanChart, of late, has been investing heavily in digital capabilities offering its clients seamless access to their investments and other holdings with the bank.

One such example is StanChart’s SmartGoals, a digital investment platform that allows clients to take up investment products for as low as RM400, without the need to physically visit a bank branch. This first-of-its-kind platform is available through both the SC Mobile smartphone app and Standard Chartered online banking website.

Instead of trading investment products, the idea behind SmartGoals is to get people to think about their financial goals and then help them craft a path towards achieving them. As the platform is intelligent enough to understand the client’s risk tolerance and return preferences, it can offer a diversified portfolio of mutual funds tailored to those preferences.

For clients who favour access to more DIY options and prefer to trade within their own portfolios, StanChart has also recently launched its SmartDirect platform which offers one-touch access to more than 200 mutual funds available in as many as 5 different currencies. The bank is also committed to fulfilling the foreign currency needs of its clients and to that end has also recently launched LiveFX, a client-facing FX trading platform.

Lastly, in addition to its transactional capabilities, SC Wealth Malaysia has been one of the first banks in Malaysia to leverage on video conferencing capabilities within the government-imposed lockdown period, allowing them to reach out to clients without the need for physical interaction.

This, combined with its breadth of digital capabilities, has allowed  SC Wealth Malaysia to reach out to clients and continue servicing them throughout the turbulent times arising from the global Covid-19 pandemic.

“The idea behind SmartGoals is to get people to think about their financial goals and then help them craft a path towards achieving them.”

Personal, effortless, and safe

By truly understanding clients’ needs – even in times of crisis – StanChart has been able to respond with initiatives that make wealth management easier for its clients. The SMART Wealth Management framework has benefited clients through:

  • Personalised and comprehensive advice -clients get personalised services from their Relationship Managers who are supported by a team of wealth specialists that help clients create short and long-term financial strategies suitable for their needs or preferences.
  • Technology – cutting-edge platforms such as SmartGoals, SmartDirect, and LiveFX enable clients to seamlessly act on StanChart’s expert investment advisory capabilities.
  • Safety and convenience – both digital and remote transactional capabilities have enabled clients to access wealth management offerings from anywhere, anytime at the comfort of their own homes especially during the COVID-19 restricted movement period.

>> To read more about this story and other exclusive features about the digital banking landscape, download the latest issue of The Digital Banker Magazine HERE.

Taipei Fubon Bank Optimising Wealth Management Through Data Analytics

Taipei Fubon Bank: Optimising Wealth Management Through Data Analytics

The dramatic growth of the fintech sector has been on full display over the past couple of years. Industry estimates put the global fintech market to grow at a CAGR of around 20% between 2020 and 2025. This dramatic improvement in fintech innovations has been embraced by Taipei Fubon Bank, making it an important pillar in its growth strategy. Currently, Bank has 4.60 million regular account holders and more than 400,000 wealth management customers with access to over 700 financial consultants. To effectively manage its different wealth management segments, Taipei Fubon Bank turned data analytics to streamline the data search process and optimise its decision making to a level where it can bring the greatest impact.

It is only fitting that Taipei Fubon Bank has been awarded Winner, Best Data Analytics Initiative at the recent Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards 2020 (GRB Awards) by The Digital Banker.

“Taipei Fubon Bank continues to promote and apply cutting edge technologies to product management, client journey monitoring, client relationship management, and the tracking of client spending patterns. Its accomplishments in data analytics are truly one of a kind. Digital innovation is clearly embedded in Fubon’s corporate DNA,” said Nirav Patel, Managing Director at The Digital Banker during the awards presentation.

Strengthening performance and customer stickiness

Fubon ventured to create a dynamic online sales support system and management dashboard called “Dynamic Minority Report – Sales Dashboard”, that provides tools needed to manage financial consultants and optimise the wealth management client base. It compiles massive amounts of Bank data into an interactive data visualisation interface that gives managers at all levels the information they need through a company computer – and even a mobile phone – to quickly set strategies and manage their businesses, anytime, anywhere.

Working with the help of customer relationship, product and channel department resources, the team came up with a system that provides interactive indicators to eliminate blind spots in managing performance. A mobile phone version of the performance monitoring system has been developed for managers to stay on top of branch activity. Ultimately, the weekly and monthly business review meetings of the past have been streamlined into daily or real-time checks of information on client journeys in different dimensions.

The Dynamic Minority Report – Sales Dashboard system also enabled users to set different levels of authorisation, so that managers at varying levels of the organisation can get access to specific ranges of information they need to manage and adjust their strategies accordingly. This 360° interactive model for sharing information contributed to Taipei Fubon Bank’s growth in assets under management, loans under management, total revenue and the number of high-net-worth clients in the first half of 2020 despite the challenges brought about by COVID-19.

“The dramatic improvement in fintech innovations has been embraced by Taipei Fubon Bank, making it an important pillar in its growth strategy.”

Sterling results

The results are nothing less than stellar. The real-time monitoring capability of the online sales support dashboard made it possible to observe changes in how financial consultants manage their client relationships and strengthen performance and customer stickiness. After the system was introduced in the early part of 2020, the Bank experienced significant growth in 1H 2020 in the following areas (YOY):

  • Assets Under Management: Up 8.9 per cent
  • Loans Under Management: Up 7.6 per cent
  • Total Revenue: Up 2.9 per cent
  • Number of High Net Worth Clients: Up 5.8 per cent

As results and performance can be observed in real-time through the dashboard, if any data point trends lower, the online sales support system reacts immediately, triggering an actionable response. In addition, the information in different dimensions can be called up at any time, dramatically reducing the time needed to check information and generate statements, resulting in much more robust decision-making capabilities.

“As results and performance can be observed in real-time through the dashboard, if any data point trends lower, the online sales support system reacts immediately, triggering an actionable response.”

This phenomenal outcome only strengthens the fact that the role of data is changing in the era of big data and digitisation. Once used in a supporting role to review or check operating results, data has now become an integral part of the decision-making process. Taipei Fubon Bank’s Dynamic Minority Report – Sales Dashboard helped generate valuable real-time data in Taiwan’s financial services sector and empowered managers to develop data-driven wealth management business models.

>> To read more about this story and other exclusive features about the digital banking landscape, download the latest issue of The Digital Banker Magazine HERE.

Bank One Mauritius Making credit cards a source of customer delight

Bank One Mauritius: Making credit cards a source of customer delight

Shehryar Ali, Head of Retail Banking at Bank One Limited, Mauritius

Shehryar Ali, Head of Retail Banking at Bank One Limited, Mauritius

Innovation is a core tenet of Bank One Mauritius (Bank One) allowing it to accomplish many firsts in the Mauritian market over the years. Led by a professional with over 16 years of international exposure in the Retail Banking segment, Bank One seeks to offer differentiated and best-in-class products and services that challenge the status quo in the domestic Retail Banking market in Mauritius. In particular, its credit card products offer the best value for customers in the domestic market. A constant source of customer delight, Bank One credit cards provide a solid pillar of support to the company’s bottom line. Having been adjudged Winner, Credit Card of the Year at the recent Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards 2020 (GRB Awards) by The Digital Banker comes as no surprise anymore.

“As a pioneer of best-in-class products and services, Bank One seeks to offer a differentiated experience to its domestic Retail Banking market in Mauritius. Underpinned by the strength of its operations, and a clear objective to revamp and transform the credit card segment, Bank One launched a unique value proposition encompassing contactless credit cards with cashback and free-for-life offers,” said Nirav Patel, Managing Director at The Digital Banker during the awards ceremony.

In a statement, Shehryar Ali, Head of Retail Banking at Bank One Limited, Mauritius said: “We are delighted to receive the award for the “Credit Card of the Year 2020”! It is a proud moment for Bank One and I congratulate our entire team on achieving this impressive feat. Our incomparable cashback offering, social and environmental contribution via the contactless feature and zero annual fees* have certainly enhanced our unique value proposition. We are committed to further developing our payments menu with the ultimate objective of enriching the greater ecosystem and making payments contribute to our social and environmental well-being”.

“As a pioneer of best-in-class products and services, Bank One seeks to offer a differentiated experience to its domestic Retail Banking market in Mauritius.”

Mr Shehryar Ali also emphasised the importance of its customer’s safety saying, “Since the pandemic and the lockdown in Mauritius, we have witnessed an accelerated rate at which the migration is taking place between cash and card payments. At Bank One, contactless transactions have grown by over 400% since March 2020. The health and safety of our customers are of paramount importance to us and that is the reason why we trebled our contactless limits. I think that it is only a matter of time before Mauritius becomes predominantly a cashless society.”

Keeping Customers Safe with Contactless Cards

In 2019, Bank One launched a series of initiatives that revitalised its credit card offering, boosting its market positioning and making it the preferred card of many Mauritians.

The adoption and usage of contactless payments have increased multiple times as more and more customers discover the security, convenience and time-saving benefits of using them astheir preferred mode of payment for in-store transactions. Users of contactless payments also found their exposure to COVID-19 reduced with the elimination of physical cash or traditional POS transactions which require longer interaction and physical contact at checkout. Indeed, the COVID-19 crisis has been a ‘wake up call’ for consumers, businesses/merchants and banks for the need of having digital payments solutions in place.

In Mauritius, there has been a significant increase in digital on-boarding and online payments during the lockdown period leading to trial and adoption of digital payments. Notably, digital users had  an advantage of not being exposed to contamination through the handling of cash, using ATMs or making traditional card payments by using keypads at merchants.

The adoption of contactless payments has increased manifold as more customers discover the security, convenience and time-saving benefits of using contactless cards as a mode of payment for in-store transactions. Many users have recognised that their exposure to COVID-19 can be reduced by eliminating physical cash or POS transactions, which require longer interaction and physical contact at checkout. Indeed, the COVID-19 crisis has been a ‘wake-up call’ for many customers and businesses on the need of having digital payments solutions in place.

Bank One has been among the few elite banks in Mauritius offering contactless payments option. It also has the highest contactless payment thresholds on the island at MUR 3,000 per transaction and MUR 6,000 daily.

“Bank One has been among the few elite banks in Mauritius offering contactless payments option. It also has the highest contactless payment thresholds on the island at MUR 3,000 per transaction and MUR 6,000 daily.”

Hassle-free Cashback that’s Free-For-Life

Solidifying its unique positioning in the market, Bank One also launched the first Cashback Credit Cards in Mauritius that allows customers to get a monthly Cashback when they pay with their Bank One VISA Credit Cards. Unlike other card loyalty programs, the Cashback program does not require cumbersome processes to claim for gifts and rewards. The Cashback is calculated automatically and credited to the customer’s monthly credit card bill. In addition, it’s free-for-life!

Bank One’s Cashback and Free-for-Life benefits are among the best rewards program anywhere in the world. It is also the only bank in Mauritius to apply a reward system on all its credit card categories – from Classic to Infinite. The peculiarity of Cashback is that no customer intervention is necessary. Hence, there is no need for customers to accumulate points, fill out forms or wait for gift vouchers. The customer simply uses his credit card wherever he wants – be it in Mauritius, online or while travelling and, at the end of the month, the Cashback is automatically credited on his credit card account statement.

>> To read more about this story and other exclusive features about the digital banking landscape, download the latest issue of The Digital Banker Magazine HERE.

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Best Retail Bank in Singapore: OCBC puts customers at the heart of business

Over the past couple of years, the banking experience has been redefined by the rapid advancement of digital innovations. Similarly, OCBC Bank continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of its customers. With customer-centricity at the heart of OCBC’s consumer banking business, it has stayed true to its mission to improve both customer experience and product offerings that deliver maximum value than ever before. At the same time, the Bank continues to invest in physical touchpoints, recognizing that many of its customers still prefer an offline banking experience.

For continuously raising the bar in service excellence, OCBC has received numerous industry accolades – and this year is no exception. At the recent Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards 2020 (GRB Awards) by The Digital Banker, this exceptional mettle has once again been proven when OCBC bagged the following awards:

  • Winner, Best Retail Bank Singapore
  • Winner, Excellence in Digital Innovation
  • Winner, Excellence in Digital Wealth Management
  • Winner, Automobile Lending Product of the Year
  • Winner, Digital Lending Product of the Year

Having built a trusted consumer franchise in Southeast Asia over the past 87 years, OCBC continues to deliver service excellence and reliability. With its digital capabilities, OCBC’s banking services are accessible 24/7. This enables the Bank to better support its customers especially in the current environment where various restrictions are being strictly implemented. OCBC’s cutting-edge mobile banking app continues to serve as a bank in the customer’s pocket, supporting them with their banking needs every step of the way.

“Customer centricity is at the heart of OCBC’s consumer business. The Bank “Stays True” to its customers and is continuously improving its product offering. OCBC’s digital platform enables a bank-in-the-pocket experience for its customers and allows them to enjoy a seamless omnichannel experience. The bank’s profitability is also beyond question. The investments made by the bank to redefine its banking experience have significantly improved customer satisfaction and made banking fuss-free,” said Nirav Patel, Managing Director at The Digital Banker during the awards ceremony.

OCBC leads in Singapore and beyond

One of OCBC’s core strengths is its ability to harness the latest technological advancements to enhance its omnichannel proposition. With a strong offline network in place, the Bank’s focus has been to deliver a seamless digital experience that goes beyond the usual norms, making them a confident leader in Singapore and other markets it serves. Some of OCBC’s most notable initiatives include:

Simplified car loan, home loan and renovation loan application process: With a streamlined process, car, home, and renovation loan applicants can complete the entire process digitally. OCBC recognises that the loan application process can be a stressful experience for customers, especially during these uncertain times. To that end, OCBC has launched the first-in-the-region digital car loan application process which features instant approval and online acceptance within 60 seconds.

“Even as OCBC strengthens its digital infrastructure, the Bank has remained committed to boost its offline offering.”

Alternate mobile login option: OCBC is the first bank in Singapore to enable the use of SingPass Mobile, a secured application used widely by residents for government-related matters, as an alternative login for its mobile banking application. By doing this, customers have one less password to remember.

HealthPass by OCBC app: OCBC launched its health and wellness app to help customers with safe and affordable access to doctors in the pandemic. The app is the first in the market which provides access to both general practitioners and specialist doctors, and has over 100 wellness offerings, offering customers a holistic approach to health. With HealthPass, OCBC helps customers protect their fundamental wealth – their health.

STACK platform: The multi-partner loyalty platform allows customers to consolidate their points from multiple rewards programmes in one place. It boasts two key features – points exchange and marketplace. The point exchanges enable real-time conversion of points from one rewards programme to another. The STACK marketplace allows customers to use their reward points from the participating partners to redeem for deals across F&B, shopping, travel and entertainment.

Enhanced in-person banking experience

Even as OCBC strengthens its digital infrastructure, the Bank has remained committed to boosting its   offline offering, recognizing that a large segment of its market continues to prefer an in-person banking experience.

One of the important initiatives is the launch of the next-generation ATMs, which allows customers to self-serve for most of their frequently performed transactions. One new feature activity is the cheque encashment service that allows customers to instantly encash cheques, for up to a maximum of $30,000 in a single cheque, simply by depositing them in the ATM machine.

In addition, OCBC is the first in Singapore to avail the QR code cash withdrawal function, which reduced the time taken for cash withdrawal at ATMs from 80 seconds to under 45 seconds. It also has the added benefit of enhanced security via biometric authentication.

“OCBC’s digital platform enables a bank-in-the-pocket experience for its customers and allows them to enjoy a seamless omnichannel experience.”

Also, earlier this year, OCBC launched an industry-first SORA-based mortgage. To date, $350 million worth of SORA-based mortgages has been disbursed, which represents approximately 40% of the average monthly mortgage sales.

With all its digital and in-person initiatives, OCBC continues to be well ahead of the curve. Even during difficult times such as the COVID-19 pandemic, it has remained steadfast in its commitment to stay true to its customers.

 

>> To read more about this story and other exclusive features about the digital banking landscape, download the latest issue of The Digital Banker Magazine HERE.

 

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Image: TY Lim / Shutterstock.com

Qatar Islamic Bank Accelerating Digitisation to Attract New Customers

Qatar Islamic Bank: Accelerating Digitisation to Attract New Customers

For several years now, Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) has been steadily scaling up its digital banking services, ensuring that its customers adopt the new digital banking methods and significantly reduce reliance on traditional banking services. This extraordinary foresight to strengthen its digital capabilities has served QIB well not only in normal times but more importantly, in times of crisis. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, QIB has managed to significantly reduce customers’ reliance on face-to-face services made through physically visiting its branches. With an Accelerated Digitization of Banking Services, the Bank has contributed to ensuring the safety of its customers and has allowed them to bank safely from home, while having all their banking needs fulfilled remotely.

Just recently, in recognition of its outstanding digital innovation, Qatar Islamic Bank was awarded Winner, Best Digital Bank of the Year – Qatar, Best Retail Bank of the Year – Qatar and Outstanding Client On-boarding & Account Opening – Middle East at the recent Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards 2020 (GRB Awards) by The Digital Banker.

Globally acclaimed as the most authoritative and transparently judged Retail Banking awards program, the GRB Awards recognises trailblazing banks that are leading with digital innovation, product development, service delivery, customer centricity and customer experience. Making it through is a feat in and of itself, with adjudication panel that includes industry experts from companies such as such as KPMG Digital Village, Imaginarium Advisors, EY and Forrester.

“QIB embarked on a bank-wide transformation program with the primary objective of improving and simplifying the customer experience, modernize the bank’s offerings and introduce an agile methodology to continuously deliver innovative features to attract new customers. Robust profitability and a stable financial performance were underpinned by large scale transformation, which significantly increased digital sales and reduced the cost to the bank,” said Nirav Patel, Managing Director at The Digital Banker during the awards virtual gala. For its part, QIB Group CEO Bassel Gamal said: “We are pleased to be recognized for our innovation and outstanding performance in servicing all our customers. QIB has developed its own repertoire and know-how in offering the best products and services to existing and potential customers, and we are proud that our customer-centric approach is now a reference not only in Qatar but in the region as well.

“QIB will continue implementing its long-term strategy where the customer comes first, and we are always dedicated to offering the best, fastest, and most trusted banking products in Qatar.”

“QIB was the first bank in the region to introduce Instant Finance (One Click Financing), the fastest and fully digital way to obtain personal financing in Qatar in 5 mins.”

5-Minute Digital Onboarding Process

Over the past 2 years, QIB has excelled in welcoming new segments of the community to its extended network of customers in Qatar. Its new digital onboarding process allows customers to open accounts in a fast, simple, and convenient way from anywhere in the world in only 5 minutes.

The new solution makes it easier for prospective customers to scan and submit identification documents, such as passports and ID cards, without any need to type the required personal information. This is made possible by OCR technology that allows the platform to read the necessary information from scanned documents. All the customer has to do is to confirm the information displayed on the app.

Along with an added Live Chat feature, the new solution also offers customers a smart authentication process and an integrated identification system to analyse biometric information and help eliminate fraud as it is linked to Qatar Central Bank and Qatar’s Ministry of Interior databases. In addition, the documents are checked against global compliance databases for blacklisted customers. Using this technology, QIB is now able to validate the documents provided by the customers and cross verify them with their selfie image taken through the journey.

“The new solution makes it easier for prospective customers to scan and submit identification documents, such as passports and ID cards, without any need to type the required personal information.”

Digital Innovations to Bank Safely

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, QIB introduced a number of new features as part of its Bank Safely from Home campaign. As a result, it has seen accelerated digitization of banking services since March 2020, which enabled both retail and corporate customers to use the Mobile and Internet Banking channels to remotely complete their daily banking needs.

QIB has introduced major digital services on its Mobile App, updated its Internet Banking Portal, and launched a new Corporate Mobile App for its corporate customers. Consequently, the Bank has not only seen unprecedented demand of its digital services, but it has also helped anchor the culture of adopting digital banking services across customer channels, a practice that has carried on even after the recent lifting of the government restrictions.

QIB was also the first bank in Qatar to introduce a digital Instant Credit Card solution via its Mobile App late in 2019, giving customers the opportunity to get a full-digital approval on a credit card that will be ready for use within just a few hours. Moreover, QIB was the first bank in the region to introduce Instant Finance (One Click Financing), the fastest and fully digital way to obtain personal financing in Qatar in 5 mins.

For SME’s, QIB has accelerated the Digitization of SME Financing, and QIB’s SME/WBG Financing was introduced as a parametrized financing and automation of standard credit applications that significantly reduced the “time to yes” to 80% and “time to money” to 50% for SME’s. In addition to being one the first banks in Qatar to introduce corporate mobile app (QIB’s Corporate App), the Bank has also implemented a total revamping of its corporate internet banking platform to offer automated features for corporate customers on the levels of payments, transfers, bulk upload of salary files, liquidity management, and positive pay, post-dated cheques, in addition to FD and CD account opening and other services.

With initiatives such as Instant Finance (One Click Financing), a complete digital onboarding solution, digital Instant Credit Card and SME financing, the bank has utilized digital channels to reach its customers effectively.

 

>> To read more about this story and other exclusive features about the digital banking landscape, download the latest issue of The Digital Banker Magazine HERE.

Banco Sabadell implements innovative digital identification solutions for its clients

Banco Sabadell implements innovative digital identification solutions for its clients

Banco Sabadell, a leading Spanish banking group, has taken a proactive approach to accelerate its digital transformation and improve user experience. Through a partnership with Onfido, an identity authentication and verification company, Banco Sabadell has implemented artificial intelligence and facial biometrics capabilities to identify and onboard clients remotely.

Recognition of this amazing feat of innovation came as Banco Sabadell was declared Winner, Best e-KYC at the recent Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards 2020 (GRB Awards) by The Digital Banker.

“Looking to overhaul and digitise its banking experience, Banco Sabadell has partnered with Onfido to transform its KYC process. Onfido’s technology has made it possible for Sabadell to implement an instantaneous and fully digital identity verification process by using biometric identification. The team’s efforts to accelerate end-to-end digital processes have been absolutely incredible,” said Nirav Patel, Managing Director at The Digital Banker during the awards ceremony.

“Banco Sabadell combines internal innovation with collaboration with startups to add to its value proposition and accelerate its time to market.”

Committed to digitisation and innovation

Banco Sabadell has been focusing on strengthening the relationship with its digital customers by launching new features and functionalities in its digital channels to meet their increasing demands. The combination of the Covid-19 pandemic and the exponential adoption of technology by customers in Spain has spurred efforts to deliver end-to-end digital processes and self-service capabilities. Banco Sabadell is also scaling up its organisational, methodological, and technological capabilities to improve productivity, improve user experience and enable partnerships on a large scale.

The Bank has developed new ways of working with agile methodologies and user testing capabilities, which have reduced the time required to analyse, develop, and deliver solutions for its customers. Furthermore, to provide customers with financial management resources and optimise the process for carrying out transactions remotely, it has simplified and improved the most frequently used features of its mobile app, thus enhancing its customers’ user experience. A recent example is the introduction of merchant logos in transaction records shown in the mobile app.

“Banco Sabadell has taken a proactive approach to accelerate its digital transformation initiatives to strengthen its customer relations.”

Banco Sabadell – through InnoCells, its digital innovation hub – combines in-house innovation with external capabilities, actively participating in the innovation ecosystem. Collaborating with startups on a large scale allows it to complement its value proposition, accelerate its time to market and offer its customers new features and functionalities. The partnership with Onfido is a clear example and, in a complex environment overshadowed by the current pandemic, has enabled the Bank to roll out new remote identification and authentication capabilities to offer its customers a faster and fully digital registration process.

Onfido’s technology is designed to complete the document verification process and confirm that the identity document sent by users matches their face, using facial biometrics. This ensures that the individual submitting the identity document is its rightful owner and is physically present at the time they are identified. Moreover, the technology eliminates the need to send additional documentation and makes the process significantly faster for the customer and Banco Sabadell.

As part of the Bank’s firm commitment to expanding its offering of digital services, self-service features are now available to customers on digital channels, thanks to improving and digitalising processes that had, until now, required customers to use other channels (branch network, telephone service, etc.).

Banco Sabadell has selected Onfido, out of several digital onboarding providers, for its excellent fraud detection engine and the ease with which it can be integrated into the Bank’s digital channels. Now that it has been integrated into Banco Sabadell’s security platform, it is ready to be rolled out to the Bank’s other business processes, as it can  be used as OCR technology, comparing selfie photographs and selfie videos against customers’ official documents to verify their identity, thus meeting the regulatory and statutory requirements of the various processes that are to be digitised.

Moreover, the integration of Onfido’s technology into Banco Sabadell’s systems has paved the way for other noteworthy internal projects, including new, 100% digital customer onboarding system, or fully digital processes (e.g., change of mobile phone number, PIN, etc).

>> To read more about this story and other exclusive features about the digital banking landscape, download the latest issue of The Digital Banker Magazine HERE.