Will StanChart and NTUC’s digital bank, Phoenix, be granted the coveted digital banking license in Singapore

Will StanChart and NTUC’s digital bank, Phoenix, be granted the coveted digital banking license in Singapore?

Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has resumed the assessment process to award its five coveted digital banking licenses and stated that the winners will be announced in H2 2020.  In April 2020, amid the pandemic concerns, the assessment process was put on hold and the 21 applicants were asked to review their business proposals, assumptions, valuations underpinning their financial projections keeping in mind the immediate and post pandemic impact on its business.

With the resumption of the assessment process, MAS announced in June 2020 that it will go ahead with reviewing 14 of the 21 applications stating that “eligible applicants, comprising five digital full bank (DFB) applicants and nine digital wholesale bank (DWB) applicants, will progress to the next stage of assessment”, doing so without revealing any names or bid details. This being said, certain applicants – SEA Ltd and Ant Financial and consortiums such as Grab and Singtel, Razer and Sheng Siong Holdings, FWD, LinkSure Global, Insignia Ventures Partners, Carro and iFast Corporation partnering with Hande Group & Yillion Group – have made their bids public.

While acquiring a digital banking license seems pivotal for all these players, most of them come with bare minimum experience of operating a bank. While having relevant experience when venturing into a new business is a stereotypical question, a relevant one is who are these applicants going to service? Singapore with a population of about 5.9 million has an internet penetration of about 88% according to a survey. Also mobile app banking in Singapore stand at about 65%.  Considering this, it’s hard to think of what value proposition could the 14 applicants bring which differentiates them from other banks? The simple answer to this is to serve the underserved SME sector and workers from unorganized sectors. This digital banking license could foster healthy competition, liberalise banking while being resilient. Companies which want to include financial services as a part of their company portfolio have the chance to use this offering to their advantage.

Another good news for StanChart is that it was recently qualified as a Significantly Rooted Foreign Bank (SRFB) in Singapore. According to the SRFB Framework, the bank can now “establish up to 50 POBs, of which up to 35 may be branches.”

While this is true for the known contenders, an unannounced applicant named Phoenix – a consortium of NTUC and Standard Chartered is also in the race for the digital banking license. While contemplating who could head the digital banking initiative in Singapore, TDB perceives co-founders of neobanks such as Judo Bank, Xinja or 86 400  could be credible candidates for this role. For those unaware, Standard Chartered forayed into Africa in 2018 with a digital-only bank in Côte d’Ivoire (CDI) following it up with Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana and Kenya in 2019.  Armed with this information, it is obvious why Standard Chartered is entering the race for the digital banking license in Singapore. The bank is well positioned to take advantage of this offering and with success projects in Africa, StanChart is uniquely qualified to come out a winner. Also, one of the key items in the business proposal for the digital banking license application must include regional expansion plans. This would provide the much needed entry point into Southeast Asian markets which hold similar value propositions as Africa.

Another good news for StanChart is that it was recently qualified as a Significantly Rooted Foreign Bank (SRFB) in Singapore. According to the SRFB Framework, the bank can now “establish up to 50 POBs, of which up to 35 may be branches.” Not only this MAS is considering enhancements to the framework which will grant “additional full bank licence to an SRFB that substantially exceeds the SRFB baseline criteria. This will enable them (SRFB) to have the same flexibility as Singapore-incorporated banking groups to establish subsidiaries, including with joint-venture partners, to operate new or alternative business models such as a digital-only bank.” With all this being said, StanChart seems to be in the right place to use’s MAS’s proposition.

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What Attracts Wealthy Entrepreneurs to Standard Chartered Private Bank

What Attracts Wealthy Entrepreneurs to Standard Chartered Private Bank

Standard Chartered Bank’s Ali Hammad, Market Head – Private Banking at Standard Chartered MENA shares insights on attracting wealthy families in the Middle East, the role of nascent technology in banking and how private wealth is dealing with the impact of COVID-19. Below are the excerpts of our interview.

What differentiates your business in the Middle East and what attracts wealthy entrepreneurs and families to Standard Chartered Private bank?

Ali Hammad: Standard Chartered has a unique position in the Middle East. We are an international bank with a unique global footprint that continues to provide clients with access to some of the biggest growth markets around the world and expertise to make the most of every opportunity.  Relationships with clients are at the heart of everything the Bank does, and its full spectrum of banking services offers clients the opportunity to grow and protect both their business and personal wealth, helping to build an enduring legacy for the future. This, importantly, is coupled with our deep-rooted history in the region, local insight, and on-ground capabilities. Additionally, despite our long-standing history, we remain innovative and are continually enhancing our services based on the current market and evolving needs of our client.

Our investment philosophy stems from the Bank’s commitment to empowering its clients to make unbiased investment decisions and make the most of their wealth, with a transparent process to curate and debate diverse insights for more objective advice. This is combined with open source access to solutions that meet their goals.

In 2019, the Bank’s growth was fuelled by strong income and Net New Money.  It was the third consecutive year of top-line growth with the business generating income of $577m, which was up 12% YoY.  It was also the third consecutive year that the business delivered positive inflows with Net New Money at $2.6bn.

Over the past year, the Private Bank has also continued to drive performance by incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into investment decisions, the foundation of sustainable investing.  It is also one of the key pillars on which our sustainability aspirations are built to truly be a force for good.

As such, we’re recognised as an industry leader in wealth management across our key markets, specifically the MENA region.

How important of a role has nascent technology such as Machine Learning, AI and Big Data played in your firm?

Ali Hammad: From retail and private banking, to digital only banks, Standard Chartered has placed the integration of progressive and disruptive technologies at the fore of its robust offering. On the ground, financial institutions are feeling the heat of a sluggish economy. In particular, private banking institutions are heavily impacted.

Our use of state-of-the-art technologies stems across the entirety of our operations. For instance, across eight markets on the African continent, client onboarding is fully digitised and takes less than 15 minutes. A client can open a new account entirely through our award-winning SC Private Banking app anytime, anywhere – from the comfort of their own home or while on the road, thanks to the accessibility and ease of our solution.  It provides a secure means for clients to communicate with their Private Banker, access investment publications, view all registered activity and manage personal details and preferences online.  As of June 2020, the Bank has recorded around a 40% increase in client usage over the past six months.

We are continually innovating our products and services to ensure we’re able to remain ahead of the curve. For example, the Bank’s proprietary open banking platform, aXess, serves as one of our many uses of progressive technologies, wherein the platform drives connectivity and partnerships between external developers, corporates and fintechs. The platform enables participants to co-create better client products and services through the sharing of APIs and libraries.

The Private Bank has also enhanced its trading capabilities for clients with a leading FX derivatives platform, called FXD Connect.  It delivers the best solutions at competitive market prices while cutting response times by more than 90% to less than a minute.  Standard Chartered Private bank is one of the first banks to launch the FXD Connect platform, positioning the Bank as a leading FX house in the industry.

Similarly, we were among the first international banks in the UAE to launch the major wallet solutions, including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay, giving customers the flexibility to complete mobile transactions faster, and through the wallet partner of their choice.

We will continue to invest in expanding these functionalities to evolve with our customers’ changing lifestyles and needs. These introductions, of course, could not have been plausible without the progressive abilities of tools such as AI, Big Data and Machine Learning.

Over the past year, Standard Chartered Private Bank has continued to drive performance by incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into investment decisions, the foundation of sustainable investing.

What is your outlook on the impact of COVID-19 on the private wealth landscape over the next 12-24 months, and what critical measures has SC Private Bank taken to navigate these waters?

Ali Hammad: The impact of COVID-19 on the realm of private wealth is sizable, specifically when accounting for the extreme volatility felt across various markets and the subsequent urge to ensure sufficient liquidity during these unprecedented times. As such, the next 12-24 months will be critical as we begin to emerge from the immediate crisis and clients begin to regain their financial health. However, it would be premature to make any definite predictions so early on.

Concerning our support efforts, the Bank has taken extraordinary measures to mitigate the health, financial, societal, and economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bank’s support is geared towards ensuring the wellbeing and stability of our clients, our employees, and the community as a whole.

Understandably, many clients are concerned about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their wealth, particularly with the volatility we have seen across financial markets globally during this period.  It has been a worrying time for most and, for us, being available and keeping in regular contact with clients has been critical.  The strength of our relationships and the trust built with our clients have come into their own.  We’ve been able to minimise any disruption to our client service and continue to provide expert advice and reassurance and keep clients up-to-date as the crisis evolves.

Across the wider AME region, including in the UAE, we have enacted a three-month payment holiday on existing personal loans, car loans and mortgages, with zero fees. Also, all clients can choose to pay only the interest component of their loan for a period of three months. Concerning credit card purchases, we have provided our clients the ability to receive a 50 percent reduction on cash advance fees and a refund on any foreign currency transaction fees on cancelled travel bookings. The Bank has also afforded clients the ability to convert selected fees and purchases, including hospital, school, utility, and grocery fees, into equal monthly instalments at 0 percent interest and no processing fees.

What are some of the digital capabilities your firm is investing in, as a result of client demand?

Ali Hammad: The Bank has kept its finger on the pulse of the emerging technologies sector. We are continually exploring opportunities for further integrating the latest digital capabilities to our portfolio of products and services. Our digital-only banks in Africa are a great example of this, as they were a direct-result of our clients’ demand for convenient and accessible financial services in the markets.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a bank’s ability to provide its clients with uninterrupted offerings via digital mediums was of the utmost importance. Fortunately, Standard Chartered was an early champion of digital banking and was well-positioned to provide clients with its full suite of services through its many technological offerings. A prime example of this is our real-time onboarding service, a first-of-its-kind in the UAE, wherein customers of Standard Chartered are able to sign up for an account in as little as 10 minutes through an entirely automated process.

However, looking ahead of the current crisis, digital adoption will certainly be a popular undertaking across the regional banking landscape, specifically surrounding contactless payments and mobile banking.

The young generation of today is exposed to technology in their lives more so than ever.  This brings about a certain level of expectation. They anticipate leading-edge technology solutions to manage and access their finances ‘on the go’.  It’s fairly usual for say, High Net Worth Individuals, to have multiple investment relationships across several platforms and advisors, and to require consolidation of information at the touch of a button.  Technology has made access to information much easier. Therefore, the requirement for sophisticated advice will continue to grow to help attract the next generation.

Although the Bank is a substantial player in the digital banking field, we look to further invest in emerging technologies, such as AI and Big Data, to ensure our offerings conform to the utmost standard.

Not only that but additionally being at the forefront of the latest technology helps to attract up-coming young professionals. These employees are looking for employers that are more innovative in nature, which provides a deeper sense of purpose and offers flexibility.

Which private products and services is your organisation focusing on innovating as a priority over the next year?

Ali Hammad: Across our various private services, including wealth solutions, legacy planning, and sustainable investments, we look to integrate the latest technologies, digitise our offerings, and provide our clients with flexibility that doesn’t compromise on efficiency.

However, as we slowly emerge from the current crisis, we are prioritising existing relationships with our private clients and ensuring that they are serviced and supported to the utmost standard. As I’ve previously mentioned, the Bank continues to heavily invest in the latest technologies, yet we’re also equally as invested in retaining the ‘human’ element of banking. Integrating top-of-the-line digital capabilities with elite customer service serves as the basis of our client-driven philosophy, ensuring that our clients are catered to the highest degree.

Customer satisfaction remains key to the success of our business and we are committed to seeing our clients through these turbulent times, as well as safeguard their wealth and investments. For our entrepreneurial clients, we aim to place our focus on their financial and operational health, as the current challenges continue to implicate their businesses.

The Bank’s drive to remain innovative will continue onwards, however, the current climate calls for increased attention on our clients and their endeavours.

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>> To read more about this story and other exclusive features about the global private banking landscape, download the latest issue of Global Private Banker Magazine HERE.

Standard Chartered Private Bank Living the Brand Promise

Standard Chartered Private Bank: Living the Brand Promise

While most brands can boast of an unforgettable, or even cleverly written tagline, one bank is consistently going far beyond to live up to its brand promise, Here for good. Standard Chartered Private Bank enjoys a rich history of over a century in the Middle East. More recently, it has been the title sponsor for some of the most prestigious events in the region. In particular, the Dubai Polo Gold Cup where SC Private Bank’s top leaders met and interacted with the crème de la crème of the region’s clients. Such landmark events resonate with its clients and build trust and confidence – key ingredients for business success in the region. For Standard Chartered, its brand promise is an honest commitment, for good.

It comes as no surprise that Standard Chartered Private Bank was adjudged Winner, Best Private Bank Middle East at the Global Private Banking Innovation Awards 2020 (GPB Awards) by The Digital Banker. Considered as the industry’s most authoritative private wealth awards, The Global Private Banking Innovation Awards 2020 (GPB 2020) organised by The Digital Banker identifies and distinguishes the world’s best in class Private Banks, Family Offices and Wealth Managers that demonstrate elite levels of performance & creativity.

Among the highly respected line up of judges at this year’s awards ceremony are industry luminaries from companies such as Forrester, Protiviti and EY. Previous year’s judges include PwC, KPMG, and Fuji Xerox.

“Standard Chartered Private Bank excels on the traditional values of Private Banking, such as good service, discretion and investment advice. In addition, they are strengthening their presence through digital capability and keen focus on sustainability. Offering a unique suite of products and proprietary tools in this space, SC Private Bank has enabled its customers to reach both their investing and social impact goals,” said Nirav Patel, Managing Director at The Digital Banker, the organiser of the Global Private Banking Innovation Awards.

Standard Chartered Private Bank excels on the traditional values of Private Banking, such as good service, discretion and investment advice.

Making an Impact in Sustainability Goals

Standard Chartered Private Bank enjoys a rich history of over a century in the Middle East. During this period and through its deep involvement in the achievement of its clients goals, they have tailored an offering that matches the unique needs of those wealthy clients in the Middle East to help them preserve and grow their wealth.

SC Private Bank launched the Standard Chartered Sustainable Linked Deposits, which was earmarked to support and fund sustainable programmes globally and in the Middle East. Its clients in the Middle East region have also been beneficiaries of its innovative ESG funds, targeting impact investments as well as sustainable bonds and cash deposits. At a Group level, its Sustainability Aspirations have been set as annual and multi-year performance targets aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Each Aspiration contains one or more performance measures. These are tracked to determine the percentage and proportion of all measures that have been achieved or are on track to deliver at the end of a period. In 2019, the group’s achievement stands 93.1% (rising from 90.9% in 2018).

The Bank has seen a sharp acceleration in assets under management in 2019 and even more so in 2020 as the COVID 19 crisis continues to unfold.

Some of the most notable accomplishments that have been achieved:

  • Developed a market leading product proposition in sustainable investing space which includes discretionary portfolios, sustainable structured products, ESG funds, targeted impact investments, alternative investments as well as sustainable bonds and cash deposits.
  • Partnered with firms that have the same values, and share a common sustainability focus so that a new ecosystem of like-minded corporate entities and wealthy families can be created. For example, they worked closely with the Al Habtoor Polo Club and Standard Chartered was the title sponsor of the 2020 Dubai Polo Gold Cup, as well as sponsorship of the DUBAI Marathon for the past 12 years.
  • Committed a US$1 billion of financing for companies that provide goods and services to help the fight against Covid-19, and those planning the switch into making products that are in high demand to fight the global pandemic.
  • Created a global fund of up to $50 million, which will provide relief assistance to those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, followed subsequently with recovery funding. The Group said that it will immediately donate US$25 million to support emergency relief in the most affected markets.

Inspiring confidence within the community

Such engagements brought Standard Chartered Private Bank closer to its clients and their families. Its success in connecting with clients and wealthy families in the region and gaining more of their trust and confidence, is helping the Bank to rapidly increase its client base. The Bank has also seen a sharp acceleration in assets under management in 2019 and even more so in 2020 as the COVID 19 crisis continues to unfold. The first quarter of this year has seen record revenues generated and a sharp increase in assets under management.

This is reflected in part in the recently published market reports and announcements showing the stellar results of SC Private Bank. This success has also garnered confidence internally to invest and expand its Middle East private banking team. In 2019, the Bank announced hiring of 16 new Senior Bankers and managers in London and Dubai to further deepen its market coverage and enhance its breadth of products.

In the year of significant social disruption, driven by a global pandemic and its consequences, Standard Chartered Private Bank exemplifies the importance of sustainability in helping communities recover. By being at the forefront of innovation in this space, SC Private Bank has consistently proved that its core strength will never waiver for it’s all about empowering people and supporting their growth.

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>> To read more about this story and other exclusive features about the global private banking landscape, download the latest issue of Global Private Banker Magazine HERE.

 

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Standard Chartered Korea’s ‘Leapfrog’ amongst the Best of the Best

Standard Chartered Korea’s ‘Leapfrog’ amongst the Best of the Best

Over the past year, the Standard Chartered Korea digital team and group team have worked tirelessly in developing an all new and next-generation mobile app – one it can be immensely proud of.

Known as ‘leapfrog’ the relatively new mobile app was awarded Best User Experience – Mobile at the Digital CX Awards 2020, hosted by The Digital Banker.

The Digital CX Awards is a gathering of the best-in-class worldwide banks that are recognised as pioneers at the cutting edge of customer experience innovation. Co-judging by subject matter experts from EY, KPMG, Bain & Company, Forrester and Wipro Digital augments this remarkable achievement for Standard Chartered Korea – especially amongst such avid global competition.

Best User Experience – Mobile

The new mobile app adorns an aesthetically pleasing user interface and offers users a state of the art mobile experience that dramatically simplifies the way customers manage their finances on the go. The all new and next generation version of the SC Mobile App delivers a reimagined ‘3.0’ experience which represents a quantum leap and a new global standard in digital banking. Many of the mobile app’s exciting new features are trailblazers in their own respect and allow Standard Chartered Korea to boast first to market status.

It’s all About the Metrics

The bank’s digital sales regained momentum post launch, with Digital Retail and Wealth products rising 44% and 36% against the Q2 2019 average. Subsequent to launch – App downloads stood at 1M, as of 2nd March 2020 and continues to grow. Eight hundred thousand clients currently actively use this feature with the number of users continuing to grow.

Multi-aggregation Technology

Standard Chartered is the first bank in Korea to have launched a mobile app affording customers an easy way to get a snapshot of their finances through multi-aggregation technology. This tech enables customers to monitor their entire financial portfolio at other financial institutions.

Further user benefits come in the way of money transfers, which the new app has made exceptionally easy: a simple sliding gesture to transfer money allows customers to send money directly to their friends via contacts or KakaoTalk messenger, the no.1 messenger app in Korea all this without requiring their bank account information.

Everything in One Place

Standard Chartered Korea’s multi award-winning ‘Self Bank’ app, mobile sales and onboarding app- designed for non-face-to-face digital interactions- and digital wealth capabilities have been combined into the new mobile app. The result for the end user is end-to-end customer journeys from real-time onboarding and retail products purchases, to day-to-day transactions and wealth tracking.

Enhanced Security and Access

The bank set out to create new ways to authenticate its customers for easier access with greater security. Customers can now choose their preferred way of accessing the app among various digital authorisation technology, such as fingerprint, face recognition, iris recognition, mobile token and a blockchain based digital certificate.

The Challenger Landscape in Korea

Challenger banks and fintech players in Korea began establishing their businesses in 2017. Similar to the vast majority of challenger banks across the world- the offering is a pure-play mobile / online banking application with an innovative UI/UX, combined with simplified processes. There are a select number of challenger players that have recently achieved a level of success in Korea’s digital banking space. Such success can almost undoubtedly be attributed to the increasing trend of the Korean mobile market moving towards a single integrated mobile application.

With an accurate assessment of the threats posed by such challengers, Standard Chartered Korea’s response was to create something that is meticulously designed and engineered for the new digital age. The bank’s team purposefully refined every detail from the ground up to provide customers full control of their finances in a single application. The new mobile app signifies a tremendous step toward the bank’s goal of providing superior user experience.

Read more about the winners at the Digital CX Awards 2020 here.

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Download the magazine print version of this article here.

Standard Chartered Private Bank Ushering Digital Transformation in Private Banking

Standard Chartered Private Bank: Ushering Digital Transformation in Private Banking

Transforming banking experience for private bank clients is easier said than done – but with Standard Chartered Private Bank, consider the matter resolved. Being one of the most innovative and forward-thinking banking organisations around, SC Private Bank continues to challenge conventional thinking, and as a result, reaps rewards and accolades for its wealth of services, including some of the most coveted awards around customer experience at the Digital CX Awards 2020 by The Digital Banker.

Among the awards received by the team are: Winner, Best Private Bank for Customer Experience and Best Digital Customer Experience in Private Banking; Highly Acclaimed, Best Product or Service Innovation and Best Use of Technology for Customer Experience – Overall. These awards are truly a mark of excellence as SC Private Bank had to compete with more than 200 nominations in various awards categories.

“The app was conceptualised through a strong collaboration between business, technology and design teams.”

The win was even more remarkable considering the judges at this year’s awards ceremony include highly reputable industry experts from companies such as Forrester, EY, Fuji Xerox, Bain & Company, Wipro Digital and KPMG.

“Our vision is to transform the existing online experience for Private Banking clients.  In addition to viewing their portfolios, we want clients to be able to interact securely with their Private Bankers, get investment publications, and authorise transactions digitally.  We are making steady improvements and feel honoured to be recognised for our progress so far” said Jonathan da Silva – Head, Strategic Initiatives and Analytics, Private Banking.

SC Private Bank App – Advanced Client-Banker engagement platform

The SC Private Bank App aims to transform the existing internet banking experience for private bank clients from a portfolio view tool to an advanced Client-Banker engagement platform. Besides viewing their portfolios or past transactions, clients are able to interact with their Private Bankers and share information securely via chat within the bank’s mobile application. They can do so using their mobile, tablet or web devices, allowing them to discuss investment ideas and exchange views with their private banker on-the-go.

When chatting with their private banker, Clients can snap, and share documents directly to their bankers through the app. This means clients can now submit client instructions to their private banker through the SC Private Bank app via chat for investment trade execution. They can also receive the latest publications or market views on the go and organise them into folders for ease of management.

Through this initiative, SC Private Bank has seen tremendous business value by way of increased usage of the platform (+30%) and improved client and RM satisfaction across multiple locations. Clients have reported positive experience with the app as it has been updated with the latest tools such as biometrics login capabilities, eStatement and eAdvices retrieval, secured document sharing and RM chat and more.

“Clients are now able to send messages or documents via chat securely through SC Private Bank’s platforms, which are stored within the bank’s servers.”

The app was conceptualised through a strong collaboration between business, technology and design teams. Overall time to market took 6 months from conceptualisation, design, build and launch. From a risk management angle, clients are now able to send messages or documents via chat securely through SC Private Bank’s platforms, which are stored within the bank’s servers. Sensitive files or documents can be shared securely within the bank’s infrastructure instead of relying on e-mails to external domains.

Summary of enhanced capabilities:

  1. Secure Communication Tools. In-app secure Chat capabilities between RM and Client to share trade ideas, investment publications and other documents
  2. Enhanced Mobile Capabilities. E-statement and e-advices self-retrieval on mobile and tablet devices
  3. Enhanced Portfolio Views. Consolidated portfolio views across multiple booking centres with breakdown of asset allocation and liabilities
  4. Increased Mobility for Front Office. Launch of Private Banker App on Corporate Phones For front office to get access to client portfolios on-the-go
  5. Improved Risk Management. Surveillance capabilities on RM-Client messages

Since the launch of the new web and mobile application, SC Private Bank has recorded significant benefits, including:

  • Average monthly logins increased by 30%globally across SG, HK, UK and UAE
  • No. of clients opting for paperless increased by 15%
  • Marginal increases of 4% in client adoption rates across all locations
  • More than 70% of polled clients (950 Clients) rated at least 4 of 5 stars within the app on web and mobile

Read more about the winners at the Digital CX Awards 2020 here.

Image: photobyphm / Shutterstock.com

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Download the magazine print version of this article here.

SCB HQ

Standard Chartered is the Best CX Institution of the Year

Sweeping numerous awards and outstanding recognitions at the Digital CX Awards 2020 by The Digital Banker, Standard Chartered took home the crown as the Best CX Institution of the Year. A rare feat even among the world’s biggest banks, Standard Chartered bagged an award in almost all categories it participated in – from Strategy to Product Innovation to Technology and even Islamic Finance – Standard Chartered showed everyone that when it comes to providing the best customer experience, it leaves no stone unturned.

Rising to the top among the more than 200 nominations in the various awards categories received this year, Standard Chartered’s achievements are truly something the entire team can be proud of. Among the highly reputable line up of judges who helped select this year’s award winners are respected subject-matter experts from companies such as Forrester, EY, Fuji Xerox, Bain & Company, Wipro Digital and KPMG.

“We are passionate about implementing new digital capabilities in servicing and transacting to simplify our clients’ digital banking activities. By putting the control and convenience in our clients’ hands, various products and services within our business have truly been game-changers. Winning these awards further fuel our passion to do more, to do better and to do everything that it takes to give the best to our customers,” said Millie Gillon, Global Head, Client Experience at Standard Chartered.

Nicole Kwa, Head, Wealth Propositions & Solutions, Wealth Management at Standard Chartered Singapore also added: “We constantly seek ways to differentiate our services and disrupt through digitalisation so as to better meet the needs of our clients. But beyond smart technology and processes, we also want to retain the “human touch” for clients who prefer more personal or require inclusive services. Having this kind of recognition is a great honour on our part.”

“By putting the control and convenience in our clients’ hands, various products and services within our business have truly been game-changers.”

Outstanding Initiatives that set Standard Chartered apart

Standard Chartered Fixed Income Mobile

Standard Chartered’s new Fixed Income Mobile platform is a purpose-built disruptive and innovative solution, extending mobile-first trading capabilities to clients in several fast-growing but under-served markets. By offering clients the ability to browse the list of available T-bills and bonds and submit orders from the convenience of their mobile phones, Standard Chartered has delivered a customer-centric application. Clients and Standard Chartered will both benefit from digitised and streamlined processes, as well as increased asset class awareness to help clients preserve and grow their wealth.

To date, FI Mobile has served clients in Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana. Leveraging Standard Chartered’s in-house design team and depth of product experience, FI Mobile presents investment opportunities directly to the client. Along with the ability to submit unsolicited orders it has eased the friction in investing in Fixed Income assets, thereby increasing order flows and associated revenues.

Improved Net Promoter Score

Improving the client satisfaction score and delivering client-centric improvements has been an area of focus for Standard Chartered Singapore. Through a multi-pronged approach to better  understand client experiences, the Bank was able to bring about tangible change to certain channels and platforms, and they were able to respond with features that augment and make banking smoother for the client. This has resulted in an increase of 13 points in Standard Chartered Singapore’s NPS score.

Enhanced Digital Capabilities for UAE Market

The bank has been investing significantly in digital technologies that enhance client experience. Over the last year, the bank has delivered 3 capabilities that brought digital banking to a whole new level of convenience in the UAE.

  • Card Controls – a feature that allows clients to control everything related to their credit card spending instantly, and on the go. It includes 5 main sub-features:
    • Temporary lock (instant lock/unlock of card usage)
    • Overseas transactions (control which countries to allow/disallow spending in)
    • Transaction Limit (set a limit on a single transaction amount)
    • Payment Channels (switch on/off online, contactless, and chip payments based on personal security preference)
    • Control which transaction categories to receive SMS alerts for
    • Real-time P2P – a new remittance mechanism that transfers amounts across countries in less than 3 minutes. Not only does it cover a wide range of countries, but also digital wallets
    • nGEN – an onboarding feature that allows New and Existing clients to apply for credit cards, get instant approval, and start using the card within minutes – by just adding its virtual credentials into a digital wallet.

These new initiatives brought about a better client experience, and higher adoption of digital services for Standard Chartered UAE. Mobile banking is close to 50% and digital active stands at over 65%. Over 95% of transactions are completed on digital channels, and 75% of the top 8 service requests are processed digitally.

State of the Art Digital Capabilities for Islamic Banking

Standard Chartered was the first international bank in Malaysia to be awarded Islamic Banking licence. Islamic Banking operates under the brand name of ‘Saadiq’ – which means truthful in Arabic. It is the only international bank catering to all Islamic client segments which include Retail, SME, and Corporate. Under Retail Banking, Standard Chartered offers the complete range of Islamic products like Credit Cards, Auto Finance, Home Finance, Current & Saving accounts and also distribute Wealth Management products such as Takaful, Sukuk, and Mutual Funds.

Standard Chartered offers a wide range of digital capabilities to its Islamic banking clients in UAE and is expected to continue to do so as the digital adoption and engagement rates within the Islamic banking segment continues to grow. By providing comprehensive Islamic banking services, the digital active rate in UAE is over 65% and the mobile active is close to 50%. The number of Islamic banking clients who engage digitally is close to 40%.

Member-Gets-Member Loyalty Program

Standard Chartered’s clients live in a highly digital world but tried-and-tested behaviours such as recommendations from friends and family still hold weight. In this project, the team had digitally powered word-of-mouth referrals for a seamless new-to-bank client onboarding experience.

Standard Chartered has provided a member-gets-member referral platform where existing clients of the bank can easily refer their friends and relatives through online banking and Standard Chartered mobile. Additionally, they are able to track the status of their referrals on their own. The team has built a simple and intuitive user journey, where both the referrer and referee are rewarded when the referee opens a new bank account with Standard Chartered.

The bank account opening process is real-time, leveraging APIs with the Singapore government’s MyInfo portal. The program was so successful that it contributed to 50% of new credit card sales. Furthermore, the gamification aspect of this program has engaged existing clients and kept Standard Chartered Singapore top of mind.

Making Social Media a Channel for Service

Standard Chartered identified an opportunity to significantly improve the way clients interacted with the bank on social media for servicing activities.  To turn things around, the team moved to an in-source model via its contact centre. Part of the strategy is to re-skill qualified contact centre agents to handle the social media channel. Furthermore, due to the reduction in call volumes and the increase in customer interactions in digital channels, Standard Chartered was able to re-deploy its excess capacity into social channel management.

Standard Chartered has extended its operating hours on social media from weekdays, 9am-5pm to seven days a week, 8am-12mn and have committed to achieving 80% of cases being responded to within 10 minutes and resolving issues for its customers end-to-end.

Social media is a key, strategic channel for the Bank, and part of a larger cross-channel build. With a holistic approach for social engagement including publishing, listening, servicing and sales, the Bank is responsive to clients in real-time. To continuously improve efficiency and customer experience, Standard Chartered engages with new technology, including AI-powered solutions.

Read more about the winners at the Digital CX Awards 2020 here.

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Download the magazine print version of this article here.

Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered Bank: Simplifying Innovative Banking

The future of banking is one that is driven by a culture of innovation, efficiency and automation. And by all measures, Standard Chartered Bank is leading this change. One of the most reputable names in the industry when it comes to technology and innovation, Standard Chartered Bank, through its Enterprise Data Management, Foundation Services and Technology Strategy (FSTS) team, bagged several major awards at the Digital CX Awards 2020 by The Digital Banker.

Among the awards received by the team are: Winner, Excellence in API Banking; Highly Acclaimed, Best Technology Implementation – Back-Office and Highly Acclaimed, Best User Experience – Internet. These prestigious awards are no small feat as they had to compete with more than 200 nominations in various awards categories.

The win was even more impressive considering the calibre of judges at this year’s awards ceremony, which include seasoned professionals from companies such as Forrester, EY, Fuji Xerox, Bain & Company, Wipro Digital and KPMG.

“A key focus for the Bank is in building our open banking capabilities. We are enabling partners and other fintech companies to discover and build with our APIs to create better customer solutions,” said Sham Arora, StanChart’s CIO, Foundation Services & Technology Strategy.

“Another area of focus is securing customers’ sensitive information given our role as custodians of trust. We have therefore invested heavily to identify and secure client data across the bank’s estate. To be able to be recognised by our peers in the industry, while pursuing our objectives for the benefit of our customers is absolutely rewarding.”

“Open banking is about putting more choices in the hands of our clients. They can decide what data they want to share, increasing their options of suitable services or products and how they are delivered.”

Dr Michael Gorriz, Group Chief Information Officer of Standard Chartered.

Dr Michael Gorriz, Group Chief Information Officer of Standard Chartered.

The Quest to Simplify Open Banking through aXess

“Open banking is about putting more choices in the hands of our clients. They can decide what data they want to share, increasing their options of suitable services or products and how they are delivered. From the Bank’s perspective, this also opens many opportunities, because we can now offer banking services through other platforms which are already integrated in our clients’ lives, whether its social media or ecommerce, for example. This connectivity is made possible through APIs” – Dr Michael Gorriz, Group Chief Information Officer of Standard Chartered.

Standard Chartered Bank’s mission to simplify banking, through the use of technology and innovative solutions, is a much-documented tale within the industry. By making banking easy for millions of customers across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, StanChart is well on its journey to make banking seamless.

“By relentlessly focusing on delivering the benefits of Open Banking to its customers, StanChart has been able to provide remarkable digital experiences.”

Driven by a rapidly evolving technological landscape, customers now demand access to banking products and services wherever and whenever they need it, instantly and seamlessly. Competition from fintechs and new entrants in the form of technology giants are now more intense.

One of the radical shifts in this evolution is the banks offering services to where the client needs them, fast, at low-cost, and in real-time. For example, clients can now trade in dynamic market conditions anytime, anywhere with the availability of the most updated FX rates on their mobile phones. This shift is enabled by APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) – what many refer to as Open Banking.

By relentlessly focusing on delivering the benefits of Open Banking to its customers, StanChart has been able to provide remarkable digital experiences. Through its Open Banking platform, aXess, the bank has accelerated its participation in partnerships, platforms and ecosystems which were not possible before.

Currently, aXess has over 100 APIs that are actively used by clients and partners, including services targeted at Corporate banking and retail banking, such as FX, retail products and custody services, and categorised by different regions, catering to local demands. Third party developers visit aXess to explore, understand how to use the APIs, test them through sandboxes and co-create solutions with StanChart experts.

With the new API platform, customers are able to quickly find and identify APIs that support their business objectives and get quick access to sandbox data and supporting documentation. Customers can also quickly engage StanChart’s Labs teams to help with integration, support, and testing. Use cases presented on the platform give ideas and inspiration for how the APIs can be leveraged in various business situations.

Working with customers, StanChart has embedded its APIs in their flows and user journeys creating solutions for their customers and deepening customer relationships in the process.

aXess has also been the focal point for transforming the architecture and culture of the bank. The bank now adopts an API-first approach using microservices-based architecture, resulting in increased agility. Problem solving is done at aXess Labs through increased use of Hackathons enabled by an internal engineering platform. StanChart’s tech community can also access its APIs, libraries, apps (marketplace) and talent site for matching skills and opportunities to accelerate innovation.

“A key focus for the Bank is in building our open banking capabilities. We are enabling partners and other fintech companies to discover and build with our APIs to create better customer solutions.”

Safeguarding Customer Data

Another important facet of banking innovation is the protection of customer data. In a data-driven world, securing customers’ sensitive information and ensuring the quality of the data is of absolute importance. StanChart has approximately 1,200 different systems across multiple markets in the bank that contains millions of fields, in addition to a 3 petabyte data lake. To ensure the data can be used and analysed, it embarked on a major project to automate the classification and protection of data.

This involved the deployment of an automated data classification framework to classify data across 1,200 systems, which included:

  1. Matching of personal data based on column names – using algorithms such as Bag of Words, Levenshtein
  2. Exact and probabilistic matching of personal data-based data signatures – based on training data sets created using known Personally Identifiable Information (PII) fields.
  3. Pattern-based data classification leveraging some of the out of the box meta data tool capabilities

This framework enabled them to deploy a repeatable process to identify existing PII data sets across various systems and platforms in the bank. Users can upload a schema or datasets to this application, and it will automatically identify potential PII columns based on either column names, data content or pattern.

This data classification framework enabled the bank to execute its data classification strategy with up to 75% savings in productivity.

The efforts driven by Standard Chartered in simplifying open banking through aXess is a clear indication of the bank’s innovative prowess and capabilities in this space. With numerous digital initiatives in the pipeline, Standard Chartered is looking to attain more pioneering achievements in months and years to come.

aXess API portal

Read more about the winners at the Digital CX Awards 2020 here.

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Download the magazine print version of this article here.