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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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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.

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Digital with a Human Touch: How Standard Chartered excels in end-to-end digital banking

Bagging the greatest number of awards and numerous accolades at the Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards 2020 (GRB Awards) by The Digital Banker, Standard Chartered proved once again that it is a leader in its field. Employing a data-driven approach into product development and research, matched with a 360-degree understanding of client needs, Standard Chartered continuously delivers enriching experiences to its customers all year round. Among the coveted awards bagged by Standard Chartered this year include:

  • Retail Banker of the Year, Asia – Vicky Kong
  • Winner, Best AI Initiative
  • Winner, Best Digital Banking initiative
  • Winner, Best Digital Financial Inclusion Initiative
  • Winner, Outstanding Client Onboarding & Account Opening
  • Winner, Best Self-Service Banking
  • Winner, Best Digital Bank Singapore
  • Winner, Best Digital Bank Taiwan
  • Winner, Best Digital Bank Pakistan
  • Winner, Best Digital Bank Africa
  • Winner, Best Digital Bank Hong Kong
  • Winner, Best Islamic Retail Bank – Global
  • Winner, Best Islamic Retail Bank – Malaysia
  • Winner, Best Islamic Retail Bank – Pakistan
  • Winner, Best Islamic Retail Bank – Bangladesh
  • Highly Acclaimed, Best Mobile Banking

“Standard Chartered is one of the largest and fastest-growing banks in the world. It offers best in class services to its customers across all lines of banking, allowing it to expand significantly in the major markets it serves. For Standard Chartered, the key has always been “digital with a human touch.” The team’s passion for implementing new digital capabilities while simplifying its customers’ digital banking activities is a true game-changer,” said Nirav Patel, Managing Director at The Digital Banker during the awards ceremony.

“For Standard Chartered, the key has always been “digital with a human touch.” The team’s passion for implementing new digital capabilities while simplifying its customers’ digital banking activities is a true game-changer.”

Outstanding digital initiatives across Asia and beyond 

Standard Chartered employs a proactive approach to using technology to deliver a seamless client experience. In Hong Kong, they launched MyRM, a new chat function within the SC Mobile banking app that allows clients to connect with its relationship managers through messaging, co-browsing and conferencing within a secured environment to discuss wealth management solutions.  Its user-friendly wealth management platform enables clients to make investments and buy insurance round-the-clock. Within its Mobile Unit Trust platform, the Bank has a shortlist of the best performing, most popular and high-dividend funds so clients can easily assess products best suited for them.

Meanwhile, in Taiwan, an initiative called ‘SC Keyboard Banking’ was launched. Utilising the keyboard of a client’s mobile phone to make payments, the Keyboard Banking function has since become the first-ever keyboard-based social media payment gateway in Taiwan, enabling users to send money and view their account balances without having to logout from messaging apps.

In addition, with customers’ high stickiness to social media, Standard Chartered has been able to use LINE as new client acquisition and communication channel. In Taiwan, LINE has an existing 21 million monthly active users with 91.3% market penetration. Standard Chartered’s official LINE account has provided a new avenue to approach customers. Any person who is interested in a product or service can be directed to the application page within a click. LINE’s account binding function enables personalised services for clients including inquiries on credit card statement and reward points without having to log in to mobile banking separately.

Similarly, in Pakistan, going heavy on digital also helps streamline internal processes. Using its ‘eOPS’ facility (otherwise known as electronic operations facility), it allows the Bank to store all client applications and documents electronically, removing the dependency on physical documents and eliminating scenarios of misplaced or damaged documents. Moreover, as the systems are well integrated, the entire exercise of moving physical documents to back-office operations team has now been made redundant, saving precious time and effort of company employees. This capability has greatly improved staff efficiency resulting in quicker turn-around-time of service delivery to clients.

Moving to over to Africa, Standard Chartered launched its first pure digital bank in Côte d’Ivoire in 2018 and completed a multi-market roll out this year across 8 additional markets in Africa including Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and  Nigeria. The Bank has invested heavily in the research and development of products that align with its customers’ fast-paced and digitally connected lives. For example, the end-to-end technology that the team deployed in its digital banks in Africa was developed in-house. The goal was to design state-of-the-art products that provide its users with the right balance of functionality and capability to meet their banking needs. That goal has been successfully achieved.

Making headway in Islamic banking

Standard Chartered Saadiq offers the complete range of Shariah-Compliant financial solutions to clients in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The Bank offers unmatched digital solutions resulting in greater client convenience and satisfaction. By offering a complete range of Shariah-Compliant products – from credit cards to financing and wealth management solutions – the Bank has been able to expand its Islamic banking footprint on a global scale.

Recently, in Malaysia, Standard Chartered Saadiq Berhad (SCB) launched a Shariah-compliant proposition called ‘Halal360’ to support local businesses to thrive within the global eco-system. The most attractive feature of this proposition is the financial incentives offered by SCSB for halal businesses in Malaysia. All initiatives are focused on growing Islamic banking businesses and provide exceptional customer experience.

“Employing data driven approach into product development and research, StanChart continuously delivers enriching experiences to its customers all year round.”

Retail Banker of the Year, Asia – Vicky Kong

On a bigger scale, Standard Chartered truly excels as a team. But individually, some people show consistently exemplary performance that moves the needle when it comes to retail banking. One of them is Ms Vicky Kong. Awarded  Retail Banker of the Year for Asia, Vicky Kong is the Regional Head of Wealth Management, GCNA and Global Head of Wealth.

In one of the most turbulent years for Hong Kong, first with the protests and later with Covid-19, Vicky Kong, helmed the retail banking operations at Standard Chartered Hong Kong. During this period, SC Hong Kong’s retail operations and digital usage grew significantly as a result of various initiatives meant to enhance customer experience. In the first nine months of 2020, the Bank’s unit trust transactions via digital channels increased more than two-fold and transaction volumes for foreign exchange were up almost 50% year-on-year.

 

>> 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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Africa’s Best Retail Bank Absa’s digitally led initiatives bring possibilities to life

Africa’s Best Retail Bank: Absa’s digitally led initiatives bring possibilities to life

One of the largest and most complex separations in the banking sector began in March 2016 when Absa Group Limited began its separation journey from Barclays PLC. What then ensued is a massive transformation that birthed a new purpose, a new brand, and a new strategy for the company. Absa Group Limited is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and is one of Africa’s largest diversified financial services groups, with a presence in major markets across the continent and around 40,000 employees. Clearly, the move that had transpired just three years ago has allowed Absa to become a self-sufficient bank of the future, enabling it to own and control its systems, processes and infrastructure across the continent to best serve the needs of its customers.

For these reasons and scores of others, it comes as no surprise that Absa Regional Operations, Absa Group Limited was adjudged Winner, Best Retail Bank – Africa at the recent Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards 2020 (GRB Awards) by The Digital Banker. Known as the world’s leading and most definitive Retail Banking awards program, it recognises cutting-edge banks that blend the best technology with a service-oriented mindset to raise the bar in consumer banking. Judging this year’s best of the best in retail banking are trusted experts from companies such as KPMG Digital Village, Imaginarium Advisors, EY and Forrester.

“Digital has been an impetus to a wave of innovations, both in front-end and back-end, which has allowed Absa and its regional operations to flourish as a leading and digital-first African financial services group. Inspired by the continent and the people it serves, they deliver customer experiences that are seamless, convenient and safe to use – and for that, they truly deserve to win this award,” said Nirav Patel, Managing Director at The Digital Banker during the awards ceremony.

Vimal Kumar
Chief Executive – Retail & Business Banking, Digital and CX Absa Regional Operations, Absa Group Limited

‘Africanacity’: The distinctly African ability to always find a way to get things done

The Absa Regional Operations (ARO) is known to overcome every challenge with authenticity, ingenuity, positivity and creativity. They call it ‘Africanacity’, and they embrace it fully well.

One of the most notable examples of this happened during the COVID-19 pandemic when ARO reached out across all its territories in Africa to assist customers and communities with solutions to best navigate the economic impact of the health crisis. In addition, the bank also contributes extensively to local social relief efforts.

Just recently, the Bank’s Kenyan subsidiary also committed to plant 10 million trees in various parts of Kenya to boost the forest cover to 10 per cent. Currently, the country’s tree cover is believed to be at 7.2 per cent. This program aims to assist the Kenyan government in combating the effects of climate change and unemployment.

For Absa, creating opportunities for its customers to make their possibilities come alive is a mission always supported by action. By creating seamless experiences that engage and delight, the team has proven its steadfast commitment to living up to its ideals.

“Absa Regional Operations (ARO) is known to overcome every challenge with authenticity, ingenuity, positivity and creativity. They call it ‘Africanacity’, and they embrace it fully well.”

ARO: Digital to the core

In 2019, the Retail and Business Banking teams set out a new strategy to pursue further growth. ‘Digital’ was at its core and this has extended not only to new products and services but in areas such as back-office operations and banking administration.

Perhaps unknown to many, a huge number of people across Africa cannot be reached or serviced by traditional brick and mortar banking channels. Seeing the pressing need of the market and the value it can offer, ARO collaborated with innovative partners such as technology platform provider, JUMO, and a mobile network operator, MTN, to provide loans via mobile in Zambia and Ghana, to the largely unserved and underserved customers. Through these products, many customers who would have had no access to finance because of thin credit files and were unable to save due to onerous onboarding requirements, can now formally borrow money. This has greatly contributed to driving financial inclusion across Africa.

To this day, ARO’s commitment to delivering seamless and innovative solutions to all its customers across Africa never stops. Across its African markets, ARO has about two million customers with varying needs and preferences. Given the size of its customer base, the challenge is to aggregate and analyse data to facilitate swift and accurate decision-making. To this, ARO has turned to its C360 data analytics platform, which helps Absa anticipate the changing needs of its customers through predictive modelling and multifaceted data science approaches.

Currently, the Bank has over 20 systems in 10 African markets with no integration between them, while disparate reporting mechanisms and intensive manual reporting processes further complicate any measurement or evaluation. As a result, relationship managers, who are key to serving customer journey and experiences, are unable to execute real-time delivery of products or service offerings as they were reliant on retrospective customer insights.

The design and subsequent deployment of the web-based C360 data analytics platform have enabled the Absa to convert data into customer insight as part of its customer-centric approach. The deployment of the KAI Conversational AI Platform enabled Absa customers to engage with the bank, with human-like conversations over digital channels including such public web and WhatsApp.

This impressive feat of achievement has yielded a 30% year-on-year growth for digitally active customers while total digital volumes including mobile banking, internet banking and Hello Money increased to 41%.

In a post-COVID-19 world, Absa is well-positioned to reach greater heights. Through its digital products that are designed to meet the needs of its existing customer base, and its ability to provide an access point for a large number of unbanked customers in Africa, there is no limit to what Absa can accomplish in years to come.

 

>> 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.

cimb

CIMB THAI Bank: Digital-led bank delivers value through memorable moments

CIMB THAI Bank demonstrates its digital transformation not just in its products and services but also in its marketing strategy. As part of CIMB THAI’s transformation into a digital-focused bank, the team has launched a brand-new mobile app, CIMB THAI Digital Banking app, in the latter part of 2018 to replace the web-based legacy CIMB Clicks platform. Then in July 2020, it launched a digital savings product that has caught the attention of many Thai customers for its uniqueness and fun vibe. The campaign is so successful it became a hot topic on social media and boosted account openings during the campaign period.

As such, it comes as no surprise that CIMB THAI Bank has been conferred the award Winner, Best New Product Launch and Outstanding Digital Marketing Initiative at the recent Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards 2020 (GRB Awards) by The Digital Banker. This exceptional accolade recognises CIMB THAI’s excellent achievements in the area of digital innovation and customer centricity.

Known in the industry as the world’s most credible and transparently judged Retail Banking awards program, the GRB Awards gives honour to the industry’s best in business, whose initiatives blend top-notch technology with service-oriented mindset to raise the bar in consumer banking. Judging this year’s select winners in retail banking are impartial adjudicators from companies such as KPMG, Digital Village, Imaginarium Advisors, EY and Forrester.

“CIMB THAI Bank places strong emphasis on customer experience as it pursues its digital transformation initiatives. By coming up with programs that excite its customers while offering maximum banking convenience at the palm of their hands, the Bank has been able to make digital a catalyst of value,” said Nirav Patel, Managing Director at The Digital Banker during the awards ceremony.

‘Chill D’ Savings Account: CIMB THAI Bank’s first truly digital product

Since 2018, CIMB THAI has been undergoing a digital transformation journey to spur further growth of its  Consumer Banking arm. Pivoting towards digital presents CIMB THAI Bank with a compelling opportunity to compete with larger Thai banks that have a bigger branch networks and customer reach. Thus, CIMB THAI Digital Banking app was born. The new mobile app offers user friendly interface, with more features compared to its predecessor. Since then, it has gained traction among its users, with fund transfer increasing from about 1,000 in Jan 2019 to more than 170,000 in Jan 2020. 90% of fund transfer transactions and more than 50% of mutual fund subscriptions are now performed via the digital app. Moreover, 80% of those mutual fund subscriptions have ticket sizes below THB50k, further validating CIMB Thai’s strategy of using digital channels for the mass affluent segment.

CIMB THAI Bank launched a digital savings product called ‘Chill D’, which is a play on a common Thai slang, “Chill Chill”, which means, to relax.

As part of its efforts to acquire new customers and further enrich the features of the new digital app, CIMB THAI Bank launched a digital savings product called ‘Chill D’, which is a play on a common Thai slang, “Chill Chill”, which means, to relax.

The ‘Chill D’ Savings Account is the Bank’s first truly digital product, with three key propositions that make it unique and special:

  1. Zero fees – everything is free including Chill D debit cards with no annual or sign up fees, zero FX fees, and free unlimited cash withdrawals at any banks’ ATM machines. This means that customers have the widest choice of ATM networks to choose from, at no additional cost to them.
  1. Attractive interest rate – the Chill D Savings offers a maximum interest of up to 2% p.a., which is the highest in the market. This is particularly attractive in the current low-interest rate environment.
  1. Convenience – clients no longer have to go to a bank branch to open an account. They can open an account via CIMB THAI Digital Banking app for only 5 minutes and authenticate at any 7-Eleven stores nationwide with more than 13,000 locations. Using a similar concept as the no-fee ATM withdrawal strategy, by leveraging on 7-Eleven’s extensive store network across Thailand, CIMB THAI Bank made it even easier for customers to authenticate their account opening.

The primary target audience of the ‘Chill D’ campaign are those within the age range of 25 to 35 years old, the so-called Gen-Ys, with an average monthly income of around THB30k. This segment has grown up with a digital lifestyle, and are avid consumers of multiple media channels and digital platforms.

Based on these characteristics, the Chill D marketing campaign was heavily focused on social media, while being supplemented by traditional platforms such as video advertising on mass transit systems, posters and banners on buildings and billboards.

The digital marketing campaign proved to be successful and helped boost take-up of both the CIMB THAI Digital Banking app as well as the ‘Chill D’ product. Average daily new registrations of the CIMB THAI Digital Banking app increased by approx. 12%. Meanwhile, the number of ‘Chill D’ savings accounts increased by an astounding 34% after the launch of the ‘Chill D’ campaign based on latest available data.

 

>> 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.

How StanChart Malaysia Used Social Media to Amplify Wealth Management

How StanChart Malaysia Used Social Media to Amplify Wealth Management

Wealth management is a form of financial planning that provides bespoke solutions to a wide range of clients – from the affluent to the high-net-worth or even ultra-high-net-worth. As such, it has always been a high-touch business, where customer engagement is usually conducted via personal meetings and face-to-face interactions. However, in recent years following the rapid growth in social media  usage by the general public, there has been an ongoing shift in the demographics of affluent and high-net-worth individuals towards embracing digital platforms and social media in keeping with this trend.

Given this new reality, Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad had launched their Facebook Live initiative in 2019, with the goal of expanding its reach to tap into this new breed of affluent and high-net-worth base. Easily, this initiative has provided an accessible avenue for customers to obtain relevant educational content on wealth management and planning.

Just recently, Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad was awarded Winner, Best Social Media Marketing Initiative at the Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards 2020 (GRB Awards) by The Digital Banker. This exceptional recognition is a vote of confidence in StanChart Malaysia’s ability to execute such an ingenious idea and turn it into a fruitful reality.

Known in the industry as the world’s most authoritative and transparently judged Retail Banking awards program, the GRB Awards gives honour to the industry’s high achievers, whose initiatives blend innovative technology with a service-oriented mindset to raise the bar in consumer banking. Judging this year’s select winners in retail banking are well-respected adjudicators from companies such as KPMG Digital Village, Imaginarium Advisors, EY and Forrester.

“Standard Chartered rolled out the Facebook Live initiative to build awareness around wealth management and engage with clients further. By organizing monthly Facebook live sessions between January to December 2019, Standard Chartered had enabled its customers and audience to have direct access to financial experts, broadening its reach and increasing its visibility in the wealth management space,” said Nirav Patel, Managing Director at The Digital Banker during the awards virtual gala.

Standard Chartered has pioneered Facebook Live streams on wealth management topics.

Social Media and Wealth Management

The fact that social media is such a powerful engagement medium is already a given in this day and age. What’s more interesting though is the rapid rise of live video streams on these platforms – by going live on such platforms, brands can project authenticity in their messaging and draw its audience into deeper engagement. Presenting a video live sends a message to the target audience that the brand is open, transparent, and receptive to feedback.

Standard Chartered has pioneered Facebook Live streams on wealth management topics in January 2019, with the main objective of educating, updating and providing real-time access to financial experts on topics relating to wealth management and planning. To name a few, some of the notable themes covered in these streams are:

  • Global Market Outlook 2019
  • The China Growth Story
  • Asian Multi-Asset investing
  • Goal-Based Investing

Through its launch, it has provided an easy and convenient way to access financial advice from the Bank’s esteemed guest speakers, via the web or mobile devices anywhere, anytime. Furthermore, clients can participate in live sessions through the interactive comment section, or even re-watch the stream at a later time based on their convenience. This initiative has allowed StanChart audiences to have an unimpeded way to express their views, offer feedback and come up with suggestions.

It has also been proven beneficial for the business as it allowed StanChart to access the world’s largest online audience through a platform they use every day, which enables good customer engagement and helps in building brand equity and customer trust. Also by leveraging on the built-in analytical capabilities of Facebook to measure a video’s performance, the Bank has created a new avenue to attract and acquire new customers.

Throughout 2019, this initiative successfully garnered 545k reach, 131k views and 5.1k engagement. As this is still an ongoing initiative, the team continues to learn and adopt better ideas to improve future video content.

 

>> 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.

A silhouette of the business lady

Leadership and The Age of Women in Power

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the year 2020 has been one of the most unpredictable periods in business and governance.  It was also the year when it became evident that power, just like wealth, could become a transformative tool to effect positive change.

One area where this swift change in power is apparent is among the women of influence on the world stage. For centuries, women have been discriminated against and not given equal opportunity to amass power. But in recent times, the tides have changed in favour of women. It is interesting to note that the pandemic’s impact on society’s social and economic cohesion has largely been managed, thanks to outstanding leadership by many notable women leaders across the globe.

The most influential women worldwide are continuously working hard to ensure that their various areas of responsibilities continue to thrive during and after the pandemic. They are doing this by wielding all the political and economic power at their disposal to address society’s most pressing needs.

The pandemic has also necessitated a change in outdated power structures and systems that society has adopted for years. For females to continue assuming leadership positions and long-lasting progress, there is a need for equitable distribution of opportunities as the world makes its recovery efforts.

KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

Women Leaders on the Rise

There is no question that one of this year’s most historical events has been the election of Kamala Harris as the Vice President of the United States of America, the first woman ever to be elected into this office. She went through a rigorous process to become the first woman to win the vice-presidential ticket and the first African-American to become the president’s running mate. She was also in charge of the second-largest justice department in the United States, where she perfumed beyond reproach.

Women have also infiltrated and achieved incredible feats in other male-dominated areas in 2020. Jane Fraser rose to one of the most admirable positions at Wall Street, and she’s now gearing up to become head of Citi in February.

A seasoned CEO, Jane Fraser has spent the last seven years providing exemplary leadership, first as CEO of the U.S. Consumer and Commercial Banking and CitiMortgage and more recently as CEO of Citigroup Latin America before taking over the reins as CEO of Global Consumer Banking in 2019.

During her tenure in Latin America, Citi underwent a significant restructuring of operations and substantial investment in technology and digital capabilities was made in Mexico. Citi in more recent times has undertaken significant steps to transform its products and services, in the process building a digital ecosystem which fosters collaboration with companies such as Zelle and Google in the US. In her current remit, she is responsible for retail banking and wealth management, credit cards, mortgage and operations and technology in 19 markets.

Just recently, Jane Fraser was adjudged CEO of the Year at the Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards 2020, hosted by The Digital Banker.

Amongst a plethora of criteria, Jane’s shortlisting was mainly attributed to her impressive service and leadership, under which Citi has undergone an impressive digital and physical transformation, synonymous with highly competitive customer satisfaction rankings. The Digital Banker’s panel of judges also takes into consideration the consumer bank’s overall financial performance, growth, digital journey and other key attributes.

JANE FRASER, PRESIDENT, CITI & CEO, GLOBAL CONSUMER BANKING

Equally notable is Christine Lagarde who, in November 2019, became the first female head of the European Central Bank. The bank controls the single currency and monetary policies of the 19-member nations of the Eurozone. In the past, Christine Lagarde was also the head of the International Monetary Fund, an organization consisting of 190 countries, which ensures the stability of the international monetary system.

As the global crisis hits an unprecedented scale, women leaders continue to rise above the challenge and stare down the enemy from the frontlines. Karen Lynch became the C.E.O. of Global Healthcare giant CVS. She is now the first woman to run the biggest S&P 500 company.  Meanwhile, Emma Walmsley is leading one of the most extensive Covid vaccination efforts as head of GSK. Using her leadership role at UPS, Carol Tome is also spearheading the safe delivery of billions of doses of vaccine.

The pandemic has also necessitated a change in outdated power structures and systems that society has adopted for years.

Women Leaders in Political Stage

While political leaders worldwide struggle to revive their nation and economies from the effects of the pandemic, female leaders are showing results worthy of applause.

Sanna Marin, the Prime Minister of Finland and the world’s youngest head of government has devised tough measures to curtail the spread of the virus in Finland. In New Zealand, Jacinda Arden was swift in ordering a lockdown that stunted the virus’s spread both in the first and second waves. The president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-Wen, also implemented the most effective pandemic response in the world ever since the coronavirus pandemic started.

In Germany, Angela Merkel led a science and wellness-focused pandemic control effort that favours her country’s citizens, not minding the cost.

Despite the challenges of populism in Europe, Markel took charge of the liberal West and exerted her influence against the AfD in Germany.  She has shown outstanding leadership in managing the pandemic and has pioneered the establishment of the E.U. recovery fund.

Thus far, these women’s efforts will, for a long time, serve as a template for leadership across the world, especially during times of crisis. Furthermore, these leaders have demonstrated that gender balance will benefit the world a great deal.

 

>> 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.

These Ideas Will Help the FSI Industry Bounce Back

These Ideas Will Help the FSI Industry Bounce Back

The banking and finance sector today is dynamically changing at a fantastic speed never seen before. It begs the question – how would the next generation of financial services look like? It’s true. Transformation does not occur overnight, but in small, incremental phases.

It will be fueled by an explosive combination of rigorous regulations, investor capital, globalisation and futuristic financial technologies.

Nevertheless, it is equally evident that technological innovation is at the centre of this lightning-fast changes we’ve been seeing of late. Still, what fascinating developments will the next decade bring?

Here are some ideas that will help stimulate growth in banking and financial services:

Reach Out to the Unbanked

The World Bank Report states that over 1.7 billion adult individuals across the globe have no account with any financial or mobile money provider. About half of these unbanked individuals live in developing nations such as Indonesia, India, Nigeria, China, Mexico, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. High-income economies, on the other hand, do not have significant numbers of unbanked individuals as nearly everyone owns an account.

However, statistics also show that about 1.1 billion unbanked adults globally have a mobile phone. Therefore, these mobile phones can be used to access mobile money accounts and other financial platforms. This presents an enormous opportunity waiting to be tapped.  Paired with internet access, there is a huge opportunity for banking institutions to drive financial inclusion.

Statistics reveal that about 1.1 billion unbanked adults globally have a mobile phone. These mobile phones can be used to access mobile money accounts and other financial platforms. This presents an enormous opportunity waiting to be tapped.

Still, these financial services should be designed for unbanked users, many of which are poor, disadvantaged or lack adequate literacy and numeracy skills. The technologies created for these groups will help eliminate the obstacles limiting unbanked individuals from using financial services. Furthermore, providing services to the unbanked will no longer require travelling great distances to meet a need. As such, digital technology will help lower the cost of transaction. Most banks and financial institutions have one core objective – to reach the greatest number of customers possible. Given these facts, it is clear that the unbanked market will be actively pursued in the years ahead.

Get Serious About Blockchain Technology

Blockchain is another trend that will grow in the next few years. About 48% of banking executives in a survey by Business Insider Intelligence stated that AI (artificial intelligence) and blockchain will have the most decisive influence in the growth in the financial sector. No doubt, blockchain will shake the industry globally. As Blockchain drives the new ideology of substituting centralised processes for decentralised finance, it will inevitably drive change in financial systems worldwide. Already, it has led to the creation of a diverse online peer-to-peer (P2P) financial system for monetary dialogues in a decentralised manner. This distributed ledger technology, which gave rise to cryptocurrencies, can help transform existing processes and systems remarkably.

Many cryptocurrencies have been created, and many more will be “mined” soon. Already, several countries are creating their own cryptocurrency. Such a move could significantly push the shift from fiat to cryptocurrencies.  The shift will, in turn, boost coin stability, drive the creation of regulatory frameworks, and make people gravitate more towards decentralised transactions. In fact, some financial institutions are already exploring blockchain technology to uncover how it can help cut costs, improve internal processes and increase efficiency.

Speed up Development of RegTech

Technological innovations present tremendous opportunities. However, the finance industry is heavily regulated. It is essential to realise that technological innovation has also given rise to diverse challenges, including data breaches, cyber hacks, and other fraudulent activities. RegTech was created for this purpose. It involves using innovative technologies to manage regulatory processes in the finance sector. Some examples of regtech include real-time tracking of airliners’ locations and automated monitoring of a company’s compliance with sustainability regulations.

However, even as technology companies, legislators and other stakeholders in the finance industry, work closely together to spring regulatory innovations, it will still take some time before everything comes into fruition. One such example is the implementation of biometric authentication for financial transactions, which has met strong opposition after a high profile data theft case that happened in the US. Notwithstanding this incident, recent studies show that the size of biometric authentication market is fast expanding. By 2023, biometric authentication is expected to have over 2.6 billion users.

 

Can Technology Spur Growth in Finance

Can Technology Spur Growth in Finance?

The finance and banking industry is under an increasing pressure to create new strategies and cutting-edge solutions using data, analytics and artificial intelligence. To improve customer experience, it is necessary to implement programs that will contribute to faster and smoother transactions.

There used to be a time when customers were impressed by the prospect of being able to resolve disputes and financial queries in the comfort of their own homes. Today, customers demand lightning-fast response and resolution. They no longer have the patience to wait a minute longer than necessary, which presents a considerable challenge and opportunity. Customer service is mostly driving chatbot development within the financial sector. Backed by AI and Machine Learning technologies, chatbots can help financial institutions reduce costs and meet the ever-changing needs of their customers.

Gartner’s report states that in 2020, chatbots will handle about 85% of customer service-related affairs. This is because it reduces the cost of two-way communication systems,

such as phone and email. Chatbots inspire conversational interactions and can aid financial companies to offer an outstanding experience to their customers. Chatbots can personalise these interactions and present solutions as though they are happening in-person, which help meet and exceed the customer’s expectations.

Some traditional institutions have been using bots for quite some time to deal with simple issues. However, today’s chatbots provide a lot more. They can help detect and mitigate fraudulent actions, offer financial tips to customers and help customers make informed decisions.

Some traditional institutions have been using bots for quite some time to deal with simple issues. However, today’s chatbots provide a lot more. They can help detect and mitigate fraudulent actions, offer financial tips to customers and help customers make informed decisions. For the best part, these bots help financial companies have smart and effective conversations with millions of customers within seconds. Therefore, it drastically reduces the cost of customer service while creating great interactions with their customers.

Another important aspect to look at is the integration of Big Data into core processes. Big Data presents a huge opportunity to harness actionable and relevant insights from increasing piles of data (credit/debit card transactions, money transfers, ATM withdrawals) created daily by the financial sector. These insights can be transformed into strategic opportunities, which can help any financial institution stay competitive and meet future demands.

Big Data helps financial institutions harness deeper insights about, for instance, their customers’ purchasing habits. This, in turn, enables real-time business decisions about better ways to serve their customers. It can also help financial institutions make smarter decisions about their marketing strategies, sales management and fraud detection.

Overall, big data can help banks and other economic sectors keep up with emerging trends, streamline internal processes and mitigate risks more efficiently.

 

>> 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.

What to Expect in Retail Banking Technology in 2021

What to Expect in Retail Banking Technology in 2021

Many people envisioned that the 2020s will be a decade of ground-breaking digital banking transformation, seamless innovations and technological advancements that greatly improve user experience.

These advancements are geared towards helping banks decrease cost-income ratios, increase return-on-equity ratios and improve their efficiency through and through. For example, Open Banking, which allows third-party applications to access bank accounts, is adding tremendous value to all parties concerned. Such systems have created an opportunity for companies like Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon to compete favourably by splitting the value chain into manufacturing and distribution.

Due to the effects of COVID-19, consumer demand for more flexibility and control are driving the need for new tools and technologies.

Banks are now tasked to create new strategies and innovative solutions using available data, digital technologies, novel delivery platforms, and transactional and behavioural analytics.

Future retail banking trends are expected to improve customer experience by facilitating faster and smoother transactions. Here are a few trends expected to disrupt and shape the retail banking industry in the year 2021:

Banks will need to be proactive in recognising the changing needs of customers at the exact time they need them, as having the right products and services will no longer be enough.

1. Artificial Intelligence will drive a shift in the business model

Stakeholders in the banking industry believe that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be the most consequential technology in the sector.

They expect that AI will play a huge role in creating an improved and personalised user experience, supporting new businesses and in strengthening portfolio management through the use of advanced investment algorithms.

Furthermore, banking executives are optimistic about using AI in fraud detection and improving back-office functions to trace anomalies in future business plans.

Business executives all over the world have invested heavily in the development of artificial intelligence. This massive investment was done to strengthen cybersecurity, curb cybercrime and prevent a breach of data.

The viability of AI depends on its expandability. Regulators require that banks must only use explainable AI. EU’s GDPR, for instance, has introduced a “right to explanation” mandate to guide AI algorithms and other new technologies.

If AI denies a customer loan, for instance, it is necessary to explain to the customer what the reason for this decision is, guide them on alternative ways of sourcing for what they need, or help them solve this problem.

2. Banks will overhaul business models to create digital ecosystems

As new banking technologies come into existence, banks have been changing their business models to be in tune with current trends. They have had to extend their most vital services from strictly branch operations to the internet and mobile banking, thereby providing more access and control to customers from any location. Basically, only the mode of access to banking services has changed. The banking services, on the other hand, did not change.

The digital ecosystem model adds more push to these changes. Ecosystem banking model is based on intuitive self-leading software which studies customer needs and integrates them into banking to create offerings that provide solutions to these needs. Just as mobile banking brought banking to customers’ fingertips, ecosystem brings human needs into banking. It is built on cloud, open APIs, explainable AI and other critical elements of modern banking technology.

3. There will be an increased expansion in Open Banking

Open banking is a banking initiative that allows third parties access to a bank’s APIs. While many people think that open banking is a European issue, the reality is that it is a derivation from traditional business practices that allow third parties to access banking data and functionality. Open banking is also called banking-as-a-service, banking-as-a-platform, open APIs, and API banking.

Open banking seeks to help financial institutions ease the burden of providing customers with seamless financial services without the usual hassles. Fintech companies and other retail banking institutions are already taking advantage of the API banking ecosystem to ease financial hassles involved in making and receiving payments, buying homes, and general financial management. This trend is expected to advance in 2021 and beyond.

4. Wider Acceptance of Real-Time Financial Products

As digital banking accelerates, there will be an increased need for real-time financial products. In 2021, real-time payment is expected to be the norm. Creating real-time experience will no longer be a challenge to the banks. The new challenge would be in creating ways to better compete with other banks in real-time payments.

Real-time payments will rely significantly on APIs. As such, the retail banking community can play a central role in putting up robust and innovative real-time transaction services that will attract individual customers as well as fintech companies.

As digital banking accelerates, there will be an increased need for real-time financial products. In 2021, real-time payments is expected to be the norm.

5. Always-on Invisible Banking will become the Norm

Invisible banking refers to the new trend where financial institutions can integrate their financial services into their customer’s everyday life. Direct deposit is an example of invisible banking.

Today’s technology-driven, always-on world is one where business opportunities appear and disappear in just a snap. Experts believe that in the nearest future, banks will need to be proactive in recognising the changing needs of customers at the exact time they need them, as having the right products and services will no longer be enough.

A Unique Opportunity

Banks are struggling to keep up with the effects of the pandemic, the dynamism of the tech world, and the increased operational pressure from customers.

In all of these, however, banks still have their resources and customers’ trust. Hence, if they implement the right strategies, and adapt adequately to the advanced technologies in banking and the digital ecosystems, they will still succeed in the long term. These changes, when implemented, will also help banks cut cost, become more efficient and achieve the required flexibility to weather future storms.

 

>> 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.