The New Normal in Payments is Digital-thumb

The New Normal in Payments is Digital

The COVID-19 has prompted several countries to implement various modes of lockdown measures to contain its spread. Safe distancing has become the new norm and work from home has become the default option for many companies and organisations looking to strike a delicate balance between safety and productivity. As a result, it accelerated the adoption of digital payments across many industries.

The fact that using cash or physical bank notes could potentially help the spread of COVID-19 is just one of the factors. While there is no definitive conclusion on this matter yet, many government leaders are taking a cautious approach and are limiting the circulation of cash or bank notes in their system. For example, South Korea, China and the US Federal Reserve have implemented a process to disinfect their banknotes. In fact, “all Chinese banks must now literally launder their cash, disinfecting it with ultraviolet light and high temperatures, then storing it for seven to 14 days before releasing it to customers,” says CNN in its report.

Could these actions be considered extreme precautionary measures? Perhaps. But one thing is clear: such interventions on the supply and circulation of bank notes will directly impact cash payments, further opening the floodgates for further adoption of digital payments.

Safe distancing has become the new norm and work from home has become the default option for many companies and organisations. As a result, it accelerated the adoption of digital payments across many industries.

Digitally ready banks are poised to emerge stronger

As the situation stabilises, and some sense of normalcy start to kick in, banks that are digitally ready are poised to benefit greatly. Investments that help bolster digital payments infrastructure, open banking, artificial intelligence, and data analytics will prove to be wise decisions. In fact, some of the initiatives that have started even before the current pandemic hits now provide considerable value to the customers and entities they aim to serve. Some of them are:

UnionBank’s Financial Supply Chain on Blockchain

In an age where exchanges of goods and services has never been more closely connected, Financial Supply Chain has never been so crucial. Financial Supply Chain on Blockchain enables transparency while protecting sensitive data and information through distributed ledgers and smart contracts. This enables UnionBank to offer non-traditional payment options to Small and Medium Enterprises, Distributors, Suppliers and Dealers while digitizing the invoice presentment and demand order processing.

The development (in partnership with IBM) of the Financial Supply Chain System on Blockchain gives the Distributors, Dealers and Suppliers that are enrolled in the system the confidence to avail non-traditional financing options on a single click of a button. This provides efficiency in managing their receivables and payables as manual processing takes too much time.

NETS’ Click

NETS Click enables the digitisation of NETS Bank Cards on third party merchant mobile applications for secure seamless payments. The product was conceived and built in-house with a lean project team comprising cross-functional domain experts from product, technology, security and compliance teams. The design is aligned to concepts of EMVCo’s Secure Remote Commerce (SRC) and fulfils equally stringent industry security requirements.

NETS Click features a highly advanced security design incorporating multi-layered mobile digital security, EMV-based tokenisation technology, bank card and consumer verification methods. Most importantly, it was developed with a human-centred product design. The result is a simple and friendly user journey incorporating advanced mobile runtime threat detection coupled with host-based AI-driven fraud and security monitoring.

TMRW by UOB’s Intelligent Assistant

TMRW’s distinct service delivery model brings together a complex orchestration of chatbot, live chat, and VOIP voice call similar to some of the leading messaging platforms – creating an experience unmatched by any typical bank. TMRW’s chatbot Tia (TMRW Intelligent Assistant) is right at the center of this experience.

The chatbot orchestration is the first digital service model that uses chatbot to orchestrate the delivery of customer service as a combination of self service, FAQ responses and human support through voice or chat – all without the user having to ever exit or switch away from the TMRW app.

The New Normal is Digital

It is still early to conclude what’s the landscape will look like once the dust fully settles. As it is, the battle against the current pandemic is still ongoing. From a purely financial context, we can clearly see the signs towards increased digitisation of payments. How big and how fast it will grow still remains to be seen.

We can only hope that the present crisis could be eliminated soon. As the world continues to rely on technology to solve many of today’s ills, our habits, patterns and way of living never ceases to evolve. One thing is for sure: the COVID-19 is forcing upon us a new normal – a new normal that thrives on increased digitisation.

***

>> 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.

Digital payments surge amid safe distancing measures

Digital payments surge amid safe distancing measures

The coronavirus has totally upended the supply and demand markets. The urgent need for essential products coupled with the fact that governments and regulatory bodies are now discouraging the use of cash, has prompted a swift rise in digital payments. Convenience and security aside, digital payment is now the de facto mode of payment as many e-commerce sites are tightly intertwined with e-payment solutions that make the whole system work.

It is no coincidence that the daily downloads of online grocery delivery apps such as Instacart, Walmart Grocery and Shipt have surged by 218%, 160% and 124%, respectively.

People who are at home for long periods of time need to buy groceries and household essentials more frequently – and they prefer online shopping. Regardless of the level of lockdown being imposed, people tend to avoid visiting brick-and-mortar stores. Shops are taking notice and are rapidly ramping up their online presence as well. Stores that have already started implementing e-commerce solutions are rapidly building scale and capacity to be able to cater to stronger demands.

It is no coincidence that the daily downloads of online grocery delivery apps such as Instacart, Walmart Grocery and Shipt have surged by 218%, 160% and 124%, respectively.

As more consumers continue to stock food and other essentials, the volume of online transactions and digital payments will surge precipitously. In fact, it was revealed that COVID-19 has massively accelerated e-commerce growth to the tune of 77% year-on-year, with a total online spending hitting $82.5 billion in May, according to Adobe report.

“We are seeing signs that online purchasing trends formed during the pandemic may see permanent adoption,” Taylor Schreiner, Director, Adobe Digital Insights, said in a statement.

The future of payments is digital

This observation is consistent with what is happening on the ground. In Singapore, local banks such as OCBC, UOB and DBS are reporting that a significant number of customers have switched to digital banking due to COVID-19.

DBS Bank, Singapore’s biggest bank, noted that more than 100 million digital banking transactions happened this year, compared to the same period in 2019. In addition, digital payments have more than doubled and e-commerce transactions rose by as much as close to 40% in value. It’s interesting to note that there are around 3.3 million Singapore users banking online with DBS and about a quarter of whom are seniors – an indication that the adoption of digital banking cuts across various sectors and demographics in Singapore.

Meanwhile, in China, where digital payments are already in its maturity, COVID-19 may well push the country for the total elimination of cash transactions. In 2008, only 18% of Chinese internet users made online payments. This figure jumped to almost 73% in 2018, which is partly attributed to young people being open to the use of new technologies, according to a recent survey by Deutsche Bank.

Comparatively, China and many Southeast Asian nations have a larger proportion of young populations than Europe and the US. In places such as Japan, Western Europe and the United States, a third of the population still consider cash as a favourite payment method, according to the same survey.

“While we believe cash will stay, the coming decade will see digital payments grow at light speed, leading to the extinction of the plastic card.”

Deutsche Bank’s report, The Future of Payments, neatly summed up where the world is headed when it comes to digital payments: “While we believe cash will stay, the coming decade will see digital payments grow at light speed, leading to the extinction of the plastic card. Over the next five years, we expect mobile payments to comprise two-fifths of in-store purchases in the US, quadruple the current level. Similar growth is expected in other developed countries, however, different countries will see different levels of shrinkage in cash and plastic cards. In emerging markets, the effect could arrive even sooner. Many customers in these countries are transitioning directly from cash to mobile payments without ever owning a plastic card.”

What’s interesting is that even though a significant portion of the population in Western countries still prefer to pay with cash, their preparedness when it comes to digital payments could never be questioned. In the US, digital payments champions such as Paypal, Apple Pay and Google Pay are consistently thriving.

European countries, through its Central banks such as the the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, the Sveriges Riksbank and the Swiss National Bank, together with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) have initiated assessment of potential cases for central bank digital currencies. These would perform all functions of ‘cash’ and aims to be used by individuals and businesses to make both payments and savings. The task ahead can be daunting and will require enormous effort and commitments from both the governments and private sector organisations involved.

***

>> 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.

The Risks and Rewards of Going Cashless in a Digital World

The Risks and Rewards of Going Cashless in a Digital World

Since about 960 AD, when the earliest known paper money began circulating in China, the thought of eliminating cash, in favour of electronic or digital medium, had been inconceivable. Ironically, these days, China is one of the leading countries in the world with the highest volume of cashless transactions. Elsewhere in the world, the cashless revolution is being spurred by fintech firms and online payment platforms such as PayPal, Venmo, Stripe and Square. These corporate giants have never been busier these days. Merchants are now scrambling to provide digital payment options to customers who seek to avoid, or are simply unable to, pay cash. “Our products have never been more wanted and needed,” said PayPal CEO Dan Schulman in light of the report that PayPal is signing up around 250,000 customers a day with 7.4 million customers activated during April period.

Even as we grapple with the factors that are going to affect our move towards a cash-free society, the pros and cons of living in such an idyllic world must be carefully weighed.

“Our products have never been more wanted and needed,” said PayPal CEO Dan Schulman in light of the report that PayPal is signing up around 250,000 customers a day with 7.4 million customers activated during April period.

BENEFITS:

Convenient Payment Locally and Internationally

Aside from avoiding the hassle of not being able to avail of desired products of services for lack of cash in your pocket, going full cashless also allows you to leave any worries behind when you travel. You don’t need to worry about exchange rates or currency withdrawal as your mobile device could handle everything for you.

Reduced Illegal Activities

Cash is always the preferred medium in many illegal transactions as it provides no money trail and every person involved in the transaction can go completely anonymous. Those days could end in a cashless society. As automatic paper trails are created, illegal gambling, drug operations and money laundering could be a thing of the past as a clear record of transfer of ‘money’ will exist, serving as a deterrent to lawless elements.

Increased Safety and Security

Carrying cash around entails risks and makes you an easy target for criminals. Once cash has been taken away from you, it now becomes a criminal’s possession which can be spent without any trace that they were yours.

Printing Money Costs Money

Going cashless is not only convenient, it also saves money. Printing coins and bills have costs. Storing those bills and moving them around have costs. Even storing them costs money. Businesses that churn a lot of cash have to deposit them, withdraw them and keep moving in order to keep the business going. All of these problems will go away once we get rid of the physical cash.

As automatic paper trails are created, illegal gambling, drug operations and money laundering could be a thing of the past as a clear record of transfer of ‘money’ will exist, serving as a deterrent to lawless elements.

RISKS:

However, depending on how you look at it, going cashless can actually entail more risks than benefits. Some of these are:

Full Access to Funds Might Not Be Guaranteed 

Once you become dependent on technology to get access to your funds, then problems such as glitches, virus, computer error, and even innocent mistakes could prevent you from being able to spend your money. Moreover, merchants that encounter compatibility issues or system malfunction may not be able to accept your payment even if you have enough funds to do so.

Additional Charges by Payment Processors

Moving to a cashless society might entail selecting a few payment processors to handle payment transactions. These payment processors are companies that have invested time and resources to create a product that could handle the task. As such, some form of fees must be implemented in order to recoup their investment. The resultant effect could be higher total cost of transaction instead of savings, purportedly touted due to less cash handling.

Increased Privacy and Security Concerns

Regardless of the amount of encryption, security and safeguards being implemented, electronic payment always entails risks of mishandling data. With the amount of information that will be generated with the continued adoption of electronic payment, malicious elements will be harder at work to get their hands on these data. On the contrary, cash transactions are always anonymous – and to some degree, safe.

Your Funds Can Be Hacked

While there is zero chance that a robber or a pickpocket could steal from you, hackers could actually do you more damage. It’s not unlikely that if someone is targeted by a particular hacker, his funds could be dried up, leaving you with absolutely nothing in your account at all. Even if there are some form of paper trail, restoring your funds after a breach could be complex and time-consuming.

Will cashless ever be possible for all?

If history has anything to teach us, it is that the world is constantly evolving. With the rise of e-commerce and digital payments, it is not impossible to say that physical currencies will soon be obsolete. What’s important to note is that every country in every region are moving towards this ideal at their own pace. The march for progress continues. For now, we have credit or debit cards, mobile payments and crypto/digital currencies that give us hints as to how a cashless society might evolve. Who knows? Something even more revolutionary might come along.

***

>> 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.

3 Factors That Will Accelerate the Cashless Revolution

3 Factors That Will Accelerate the Cashless Revolution

The COVID-19 pandemic has spared practically no one. In all corners of the world, with people from all walks of life, everyone is talking about a new normal, barely less than a year after the crisis starts. One of the most hotly debated topics of late is whether we are now heading towards a fully cashless society. Will 2020 mark the start of a process when we completely banish cash as a medium of value exchange?

Since about 960 AD, when the earliest known paper money began circulating in China, the thought of eliminating cash, in favour of electronic or digital medium, had been inconceivable. Ironically, these days, China is one of the leading countries with the highest volume of cashless transactions. From food to clothing to the latest gadgets and games, people, regardless of age or social status, are using some form of digital medium to pay for goods and services in China.

China is truly a trailblazer in the “cashless” movement. According to figures from eMarketer, “mobile payment users in China will represent 61% of the 947.1 million proximity mobile payment users worldwide.” Furthermore, 577.4 million people in China made a purchase via proximity mobile payment within a six-month period in 2019. “Those users account for 49.6% of the country’s population,” says eMarketer.

This astounding growth is enabled by leading Chinese fintech firms, Alibaba (Alipay) and Tencent (WeChat Pay). Reports from Forbes revealed that “Alibaba’s revenue grew 144% over 2017-2019 to $56 billion.” Meanwhile, Tencent reported a total annual revenue of nearly 377 billion yuan in 2019, an increase by 20 percent compared to the previous year,” according to figures from Statista. Surely, the rate of growth of these companies is reflective of the Chinese population’s fondness for digital medium.

This cashless revolution is no doubt going to be further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, many fintech firms and online payment platforms such as PayPal, Venmo, Stripe and Square have never been busier these days.

This cashless revolution is no doubt going to be further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, many fintech firms and online payment platforms such as PayPal, Venmo, Stripe and Square have never been busier these days. Merchants are now scrambling to provide digital payment options to customers who seek to avoid, or are simply unable to, pay cash. “Our products have never been more wanted and needed,” said PayPal CEO Dan Schulman in light of the report that PayPal is signing up around 250,000 customers a day with 7.4 million customers activated during April period.

PayPal added that it was growing across all markets including those most impacted by the coronavirus pandemic such as Spain and Italy.

Factors that will affect drive towards cashless society

While all signs point to an inevitable shift to a cashless society, there are real and significant issues that must be addressed first before we declare the death of cash. Some of these are:

Technology

Turning the dream of a cash-free society depends largely on technological readiness. It can be argued that China’s success in the widespread use of digital payment medium is underpinned by its success in setting up an infrastructure that allows collection and processing of enormous amounts of data. In addition, China has also invested significant amount of resources to develop e-RMB, the first digital currency operated by a major economy. Through and through, technology has played a central role in mounting these efforts.

Similarly, in Sweden, a group of six large Swedish banks have joined together to develop Swish, a mobile payment system that boasts of more than 6.5 million users as of 2018. Today, Swish is used by almost all merchants in Sweden as the de facto payment option along with payment by card. Payment by cash, in fact, will earn you some frown as almost very merchant prefers card or payment by Swish mobile app.

In the US, the charge is being led by unicorn fintech companies that have found a way to embed their technology into the lives of online customers locally and abroad. Famous global brands such as Under Armor, Target, Lyft, Grab, Deliveroo, Facebook, Google and Uber, for example, are all using Stripe, an online payments processor for internet businesses.

Turning the dream of a cash-free society depends largely on technological readiness. It can be argued that China’s success in the widespread use of digital payment medium is underpinned by its success in setting up an infrastructure that allows collection and processing of enormous amounts of data.

Culture

For a cashless society to truly thrive, there must be a widespread shift in cultural norms. Whereas some societies have generally been more open with new technology and innovation, some communities are averse to digital technology because due to the inherent security risks involved. Moreover, the digital divide between the highly industrialised and developing nations couldn’t be denied. As such, customs and beliefs among the population on what constitutes ‘value transfer’ may be hard to shift.

Government

Governments, and people’s trust in them, play a crucial role in pushing the agenda of a cashless society. A purely digital value exchange requires management and security of enormous amount of data. Hence, the population must be able to see that the ultimate custodian of their financial transactions, are trustworthy and capable. Perhaps it would be good to start building momentum by capitalising on familiar government-led initiatives such as smart-nation. By touting the benefits of smart-nation, an argument for a digital value exchange on a national level can be made.

***

>> 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.

COVID-19 Pandemic and The Era of Responsible Banking

COVID-19 Pandemic and The Era of Responsible Banking

An industry that has been able to weather crises such as SARS, Ebola, 9/11, Asian financial meltdown and of course, the 2008 financial crisis, otherwise known as The Great Recession, is nothing less than resilient. Amidst the ongoing uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the banking industry is once again facing an enormous challenge, the likes of which are totally unprecedented in scale.

Instantly, the impact on the economy started to reverberate across all regions. According to The Center for Global Development, an international think tank that focuses on international development, “travel restrictions and lockdowns imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19 continue to impact the economic outlook for low- and middle-income countries.”

In Asia and the Pacific, economic growth is expected to decline by 2.7 percent in 2020 (down from last year’s 3.6 percent growth) and is seen as the most significant fall since the near-zero growth rate logged in 2009 during the global financial crisis, according to APEC. In addition, Asia-Pacific will also see a 50% decrease in passenger demand this year compared to last year. As a result, airline passenger revenues is estimated to record a revenue decline of $113bn compared to last year.

DBS, Southeast Asia’s largest bank, reports a 29% drop in first-quarter year-over-year net profits, setting aside $772.5 million “to cover potential losses from the coronavirus pandemic.”

Meanwhile, Latin America may experience a contraction of income between 11% and 22% according to a simulation by the Bank of Spain. Moody’s predicts a 6% contraction for Argentina’s economy for 2020, 5.2% for Brazil and 7% for Mexico.

Brazilian government minister Salim Mattar estimates that “the unemployment rate in [Brazil] may even double due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the economy.”

Not spared from economic shocks, Africa’s growth is also estimated to slow to 1.8 percent in the best-case scenario or to contract to -2.6 percent in the worst-case scenario from the 2.9 percent in 2019 and the pre-pandemic 2020 forecast of 3.2 percent, according to The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

Overall, the World Bank warn that “COVID-19 is likely to cause the first increase in global poverty since 1998 when the Asian Financial Crisis hit.”

“Global poverty — the share of the world’s population living on less than $1.90 per day — is projected to increase from 8.2% in 2019 to 8.6% in 2020, or from 632 million people to 665 million people,” World Bank adds.

Overall, the World Bank warns that “COVID-19 is likely to cause the first increase in global poverty since 1998 when the Asian Financial Crisis hit.

The Era of Responsible Banking

Since 2008, in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, banks have made significant steps to take action and create products that are better aligned with the social and environmental values of the clients, not just because regulators have demanded it, but because society expects it. Moreover, it has proved to be beneficial to the bottom line.

Formally, this is now known as Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB). The Principles for Responsible Banking were launched by 130 banks from 49 countries, representing more than USD47 trillion in assets, on 22 and 23 September 2019 in New York City, during the annual United Nations General Assembly.

At the end of March 2020, as the world sees the rapid spread of COVID-19, the PRB group called on its signatories to take action to support society and businesses in this unprecedented crisis. More than 150 banks joined the call and were in fact, doing more than what their governments are asking them to do when it comes to supporting small businesses and unemployed individuals.

The examples of how banks are helping societies during the collapse of an economy is aplenty.

For example, in the US, banks have become the predominant channel for its Paycheck Protection Programme, a $659 billion aid programme for small businesses. US regulators have also eased restriction to allow banks to tap into their capital reserves so they can continue lending.

In Switzerland, regulators and banking institutions worked together to provide loans for businesses who only need to fill out an online form and if approved, the loan could be disbursed to their accounts the next day. Likewise, in South Africa, filling in a form is not even needed as banks were allowed to adopt ‘opt-out’ models making it easier for loans to be extended. And in China, banks worked closely with regulators so loans and extensions could be fast tracked.

In mounting these unprecedented efforts to help societies, as well as prevent further deterioration of economic gains, global central banks are also stepping up to the plate and taking decisive actions.

Elsewhere, in The Netherlands, ABN Amro has extended an automatic six-month deferral on payment of principal and interest for clients with a credit facility of up to 50 million euros. And in Singapore, DBS Bank is allowing credit card holders to roll repayments into a single loan, effectively cutting rates from more than 20% to high single digits.

In mounting these unprecedented efforts to help societies, as well as prevent further deterioration of economic gains, global central banks are also stepping up to the plate and taking decisive actions. Through various measures such as rate cuts, liquidity support and easing of financial policies, the world’s central banks are playing a crucial role in preserving economic stability during this crisis.

Commitment to Move Forward

While the proverbial light the end of the tunnel may not be very clear in sight yet, COVID-19 and its impact already highlight the importance of keeping sustainability and responsibility at the forefront of banking agenda. Banks that have been committed to responsible banking are seeing good progress and are in fact, dealing better with the COVID-19 crisis.

Through the Principles of Responsible Banking, understanding the needs of all stakeholders becomes a paramount concern, and as such, it allows decision makers to understand the potential impact of any decision during a crisis.

However, any principles and proposals around responsible banking may come to naught if these aren’t backed by commitments and tangible targets. The new normal may come sooner than expected, or later than hoped. What’s important is to continue to look out for each other. After all, doing business is all about helping our customers and our people.

GPB Awards

Union Bank of the Philippines’ Private Banking Bags 2 International Awards for NextGen Academy

Union Bank of the Philippines’ (UnionBank) Private Banking recently won two international awards – the Best NextGen Offering from The Digital Banker’s Global Private Banking Innovation Awards 2020, and Best for Wealth Transfer/Succession Planning from Asiamoney Private Banking Awards 2020, for its pioneering program Next Generation (NextGen) Academy.

The Digital Banker awards ceremony, meant to honor the world’s best-in-class private banks that demonstrate unrivalled drive and innovation to meet the sophisticated need of their high net worth clients – lauded the NextGen Academy that seeks to empower and set the entrepreneurial foundation for next-generation family business leaders.

Meanwhile, Asiamoney, in a statement, recognized UnionBank’s “digital-first approach” that is “already likely to appeal to younger clients, who demand instant access to their banking services through mobile apps rather than visits to branches.”

Asiamoney commended the NextGen Academy for being a sensible way to break into the wealth transfer business by putting emphasis on the next generation of clients and ensuring that UnionBank will be among the next generation of private banks of choice.

The Digital Banker awards ceremony, meant to honor the world’s best-in-class private banks that demonstrate unrivalled drive and innovation to meet the sophisticated need of their high net worth clients – lauded the NextGen Academy that seeks to empower and set the entrepreneurial foundation for next-generation family business leaders.

While still relatively new to the wealth and asset management landscape in the Philippines, UnionBank Private Banking understands the importance of pairing global expertise and networks with local experience and relationships, thus establishing an academy for the Next Generation – the first-of-its-kind in the local private banking landscape.

“We want to be a part of our client’s wealth management journey, to grow, to keep and to pass on their wealth to their successors. This award is an affirmation of UnionBank Private Banking’s commitment to unlock possibilities and empower our clients to navigate their wealth towards financial legacy,” said Atty. Arlene Agustin, UnionBank’s Private Banking head.

Starting as a standalone conference in 2016, the Next Generation Academy has evolved into a program of multiple relevant modules, spanning several months of classroom sessions and workshops.

What differentiates the program is that it mirrors the structure of an academy, wherein the so-called NextGen would enroll, attend, and actively participate in all the prescribed modules.

Each classroom session is carefully curated to focus on a certain aspect of wealth management and succession, allowing the participants to be fully immersed in the discussion.

The NextGen Academy is an excellent avenue for participants to gain valuable insights and training from subject matter experts to help prepare them not only for their roles in the family business, but also for the reins of their families’ legacies to be handed over to them.

The academy also allows the NextGen participants to further network and develop invaluable close ties with regional peers from Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, and China, among others, through a premier platform called the Masters Series that is organized by UnionBank Private Banking’s strategic ally, leading global wealth and asset manager Lombard Odier.

 

6 Steps to Secure Privileged Access for Remote Admins

6 Steps to Secure Privileged Access for Remote Admins

While many organisations already have telecommute policies and solutions in place, they are most commonly for either fully-remote workers or for employees who typically work in the office but need flexibility for unusual situations. The current environment most companies now face may put their remote workplace capabilities to the test.

This is most pronounced when considering security controls, cyber-hygiene, and reducing risk exposure that a more remote workforce creates. Are organisations prepared for such a distributed workforce and the potential risks that come with it?

When it comes to IT administration teams, outsourced IT, and third-party vendors who might have privileged access to systems and infrastructure, they need secure, granular access to critical infrastructure resources regardless of location and without the hassles of a virtual private network (VPN). Ideally, how privileged users access these systems shouldn’t be different, regardless of whether they are in an on-premise data center or accessing remotely.

Ditch the VPN

Last year it was reported that Citrix was breached through a password spraying attack that also sought to leverage VPN access. ARS Technica also reported last year that energy companies have specifically become targets of attacks that use password spraying and VPN hacking.

Unlike a VPN that generally gives users visibility to the entire network, organisations should only grant access to resources on a per-resource basis. This gives privileged internal IT admins access to only as much  infrastructure as necessary, while limiting access by an outsourced team to only the servers and network hardware their role requires.

Privileged users should authenticate through Active Directory, LDAP, or whatever the authoritative identity store is, or grant granular, federated privileged access to resources for business partners and third-party vendors.

Guard against cyber-attacks by combining risk-level with role-based access controls, user context and MFA to enable intelligent, automated and real-time decisions for granting privileged access to users who are remotely accessing servers, on password checkout or when using a shared account to log into remote systems.

Unlike a VPN that generally gives users visibility to the entire network, organizations should only grant access to resources on a per-resource basis.

Secure Privileged Access for On-Site and Remote Administration

Here are six ways any organisation can create consistency in their privileged access management (PAM) approaches to secure remote access to data center and cloud-based infrastructures through a cloud-based service or on-premises deployment.

  1. Grant IT administrators secure, context-aware access to a controlled set of servers, network devices and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).
  2. Enable outsourced IT without the need of including administrators in Active Directory.
  3. Control access to specific data center and cloud-based resources without the increased risk of providing full VPN access.
  4. Secure all administrative access with risk-aware, multi-factor authentication (MFA).
  5. Single secure access point for administrators to manage infrastructure using shared accounts or their own Active Directory account.
  6. Enable secure remote access to data center and cloud-based infrastructures for internal users, third party vendors and outsourced IT through a cloud service or on-premises deployment.

Many organisations may think they are ready for a larger remote workforce, including privileged administrators. But relying on VPNs rather than maintaining consistent security processes, policies, and postures will create more exposure and risk. Step up your secure remote access game and enable intelligent, automated, real-time decisions for granting privileged access.

>> 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.

The State of Open Banking in 2020

The State of Open Banking in 2020

Open Banking has quickly leapfrogged from a mere concept some two years ago, to almost an inevitable reality today. In 2020, we expect a further acceleration of its adoption spurred by aggressive moves and consolidation by the dominant players in the banking industry.

What started with PSD2 regulation in Europe in 2018, Open Banking is now being adopted in various regions around the world such as Australia, several parts of Asia, Latin America and many other regions. PSD2 or the second Payment Services Directive, is designed by the countries of the European Union which aims to revolutionise the payments industry. Its goal is to break down the bank’s monopoly of their user’s data and allow third-party merchants to retrieve your account data – with your permission – for the purposes of providing better and more efficient customer experience.

What started with PSD2 regulation in Europe in 2018, Open Banking is now being adopted in various regions around the world.

As security is a key concern and one of the most important issues to be addressed for open banking to be truly successful, PSD2 requires stronger identity checks when paying online and will likely involve even more checks when high value transactions are involved. At this point, the specifics are still being ironed out and various countries are in various stages of implementation but suffice to say that it has now reached a stage when the early movers will reap the most benefits and the laggards will be left behind by their competition.

The State of Open Banking in 2020 2

Who Owns Your Financial Data?

In the age of digital banking, the open banking movement is raising a very important question, an answer to which spurs far-reaching consequences: Who owns banking data?

For the longest time, traditional banks have maintained custody of their customer’s banking data, putting up infrastructure and investing in resources to safeguard that data. Now that consumers have the ability to quickly move their money through so-called fintech apps, access to that data serves as a key enabler to make it happen. In the US, start-ups like Plaid and Teller are leading the charge.

According to reports, Plaid, a “San Francisco-based start-up, founded by two former Bain consultants, connects bank accounts to thousands of apps and helps consumers develop a complete picture of their financial data. The company, valued at $2.7 billion, has attracted investments from the venture arms of Goldman Sachs, Citi, Google and American Express.” Basically, it develops APIs to make it easy to share banking and other financial information.

Plaid powers the majority of fintech apps in the U.S., including the popular app Venmo, and is rapidly expanding overseas. It is so successful that financial giant Visa, announced “a $5.3 billion acquisition of Plaid,” which was announced at the beginning of 2020.

One of Plaid’s competitors, Teller, has also embarked on the same open banking mission. According to report, the fintech start-up has “quietly raised $4 million in seed capital from a slew of U.S. investors.” It comes to a market with a better proposition saying that, “unlike Plaid, Teller’s technology is not built using screenscraping, and therefore is “more reliable and performant,” said Teller co-founder Stevie Graham in an interview with TechCrunch.

“The open banking movement is raising a very important question: Who owns banking data?”

Open Banking Around the World

The US is far more advanced though compared to other countries when it comes to open banking. While the UK and Europe has been the so-called frontrunners, implementation and compliance with set deadlines still remains a challenge. In other parts of the world, a softer, non-disruptive approach is being taken to ensure everything proceeds smoothly. Here’s a snapshot of what’s happening elsewhere in the world (source: Open Banking Report 2019)

Australia

The Australian Government had decided to phase in Open Banking – consumers can direct the major banks to share credit and debit card, deposit and transaction data from July 2020, and mortgage and personal loan data from November 2020.

Singapore

The Singapore Government is committed to an organic transition towards Open Banking, more than a coercive framework of deadlines. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) encourages financial institutions to adopt APIs as a key foundation layer for innovation. Along these lines, together with the Association of Banks in Singapore, MAS launched a Finance-as-a-Service API Playbook. With the Finance-as-a-Service API Playbook, banks have a common guide to identify and develop APIs.

Hong Kong

The monetary authority released a report on open APIs, a first step for the development of the ecosystem, with recommendations on standards and protocols, as well as an implementation schedule.

Japan

The government and industry are collaborating on a commitment set by Prime Minister Abe for at least 80 banks to establish open APIs by 2020. Amendments to Japan’s Banking Act in June 2018 established requirements for partnerships between fintech payment operators and financial institutions, aiming to formalise registration rules, standards, and the development of open API systems by June 2020. This focuses initial open API requirements on the payment industry, as part of a broader push to increase the role of non-cash payments in Japan.

Malaysia

In January 2019, the BNM (Bank Negara Malaysia) released its Policy Document on Publishing Open Data using Open API (the Policy Document), which set out the BNM’s guidance on the development and publication of Open Application Programming Interface (Open API) for open data by financial institutions. The BNM aims to encourage open banking through the use of Open API, which enables third-party developers to access data without needing to establish a business relationship with financial institutions. While not mandatory, financial institutions are encouraged to adopt Open Data API Specifications recommended by the Open API Implementation Groups for credit card, SME loans and motor insurance products.

Mexico

Implementation is not expected until the secondary dispositions of the fintech law are due in March 2020. Implementation will likely take place in phases, with the first phase requiring a regulatory sandbox to test Open APIs. Regardless, Mexico’s embrace of Open Banking pushes its fintech sector further ahead of most other countries in Latin America.

Switzerland, Indonesia, and China have also initiated moves towards Open Banking. However, adoption remains limited.

South Korea, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, and Thailand are chasing closely behind as fast followers.

At the earliest stage of development are the US, Chile, Nigeria, Kenya, and Rwanda.

The State of Open Banking in 2020 1

Open Banking Initiative On A Bank Level

While several strategic initiatives are happening at a macro level, banks are taking their own initiatives to move ahead and win in a world where Open Banking is the norm. One of which is Taiwan’s Taishin Bank, Winner of Best Open Banking Initiative at the recent Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards 2019.

Taishin Bank’s Richart was developed as an open bank, which integrates all the services that customers need in one platform.

From account opening, saving money, investing, to foreign currency exchange, Richart and its partners created a user-centric digital environment to respond to users’ expectations, providing customers with more innovative and complete financial services with partners from different industries, including the telecom company, FinTech start-ups and insurance companies.

Through its strategy, Taishin Bank conquered three major pain points of its customers:

Information isolation

In the past, customers need to fill out replicated application forms when they apply for different financial services. To save time for customers, Richart used open API to transfer customers’ information between different partners and help customers fill out forms automatically. Once customers become Richart members, they will no longer need to fill out forms when they apply for other financial services on Richart App. By simply clicking a few buttons, customers can easily complete their application of various financial services such as insurance purchasing, foreign currency exchange, and investing.

Service isolation

Taishin Bank provided customers with a service that meets all their needs in one versatile platform. Customers in Taiwan usually have 5 or 6 different accounts to manage different services such as insurance, foreign currency, investment etc. – but with Richart, they only needed one account. Customers no longer need to memorise several different accounts and passwords. In addition, they are able to manage and keep track of different financial products in one App and one account.

Channel isolation

Taishin Bank has also extended Richart’s financial services to LINE, the most popular instant messaging APP in Taiwan, allowing more than 6 million customers to enjoy its services more easily and conveniently. With this breakthrough, customers can now enjoy financial service to check their transactions and reach out to Richart customer service through a common channel they use every day without logging in the banking App.

Through the competitive and integrated products Richart provides with its partners, they have attracted more than 1,400,000 applications for Richart’s saving accounts – more than 70% of them are aged 35 or under, and more than 74% of them are first-time customers for Taishin Bank.

Also, via the partnerships with FinTech startups and companies from different industries, they were able to provide their customers a more complete financial services without building up a whole new system. Costs related to system infrastructure, maintainance, and labour have been reduced by 30%.

As such, Richart has become the most popular digital bank in its market. According to a 2018 customer satisfaction survey, over 95 % of its customers showed high satisfaction and strong willingness to continuously use Richart and recommend it to their friends.

Open Banking Will Make You Win

The old rules of banking don’t apply anymore. As digital banking grows and fintechs continue to introduce innovation to the market at a breakneck speed, embracing this brave new world of open banking will prove to be a long-term win, even for traditional banks.

According to a survey by Accenture, 90% of bankers believe open banking will boost organic growth by up to 10%. That does not mean though that it will be a smooth ride. Indicators coming out of European banks reveal that resistance among incumbent banks will be great and that change might come slower than what’s ideal or is required. The onus will be on those banks who can see the future before it happens and are bold enough to take action, now. The future is open. Wide open.

90% of bankers believe open banking will boost organic growth by up to 10%.

>> 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.

The Highs and Lows of AI in Banking 1

The Highs and Lows of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Banking

The Age of AI is finally upon us. Arguably the single biggest technology revolution of the 21st century, artificial intelligence (AI) is now coming to full maturity with many companies and organisations racing fast to harness its full potential. And the financial industry is currently leading the charge.

This technology, which enables machines to provide human-like intelligence on a quantum level in order to augment human intelligence and decision making, is now being used to cut costs, improve compliance, increase revenue and improve customer experience.

Its business value is so huge that anyone who fails to put a solid strategy behind it is expected to be edged out by competition. In fact, the business value that could be gained through the use of artificial intelligence in the banking industry is forecasted to grow significantly in the next 10 years.

According to industry forecasts, by the year 2030, the use of AI in the banking industry will generate around 99 billion U.S. dollars in value in the Asia Pacific region alone.

 

Fig. 1: Business value derived from artificial intelligence (AI) in banking industry worldwide
2018 to 2030, by region

 

 

Business value derived from artificial intelligence (AI) in banking industry worldwide 2018 to 2030, by region

Source: Statista

AI is set to have a truly positive impact to people – but it won’t come without its own set of challenges. As of late, we see many banking organisations launching their respective AI initiatives in order to be more efficient. By implementing intelligent automation, manual repetitive tasks are being reduced, interactions with customers are being improved, and sustainability initiatives are getting further along. The key challenge has always been the know-how, and to a certain degree, people’s biases around AI, mainly due to lack of understanding and wrong impressions propagated through media and other forums.

AI is set to have a truly positive impact to people – but it won’t come without its own set of challenges.

AI in 2020

Whether we like it or not, AI is here and will continue to impact people’s lives. It will bring new opportunities for businesses and the workforce alike. It will create new experiences for customers that are more aligned with their expectations. Some of the notable trends we see in 2020 are:

Open source frameworks will grow

Thanks to open source software, the barrier to entry in AI is lower than ever before. Nowadays, there are a number of open-source tools to choose from, including Keras, Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit, and Apache MXNet. Before these, Google has already warmed the market with it released its TensorFlow machine learning library as an open source back in 2015.

Predictive maintenance algorithms will gain traction

Cost pressures will continue to drive many companies to find ways to save millions of dollars in unexpected failures. As such, predictive maintenance algorithms, which constantly collect data to predict equipment failures before they occur, will gain traction. With continued drop of sensor costs and increasing availability of required skillsets, investments in this area will grow dramatically.

Auto claims processing and settlement will improve

In the past, humans manually analyse accident images and review driver behaviour based on available documentary record. This will change. With many insurers and fintech companies now using AI to compute a car owner’s “risk score”, expect the whole system to be overhauled resulting to faster claims processing and better customer experience.

Language translation will become more responsive to business needs

Natural language processing for the purpose of language translation accurate enough to respond to business needs has always been a challenge. Thanks to companies such as Google and Baidu, this might be a thing of the past. With much resources being poured into improving translation frameworks, expect great improvements in language capabilities, allowing wider adoption across industries.

Proactive cyber threat monitoring

The financial industry has been rocked with multiple cases of breach in cybersecurity. It resulted to an immeasurable amount of loss in revenue, not to mention the trust and confidence of many customers in these institutions. With advancements in computing power, proactive hunting of threats using machine learning is now possible and will continue to grow as more businesses realise its intrinsic value.

Proactive hunting of threats using machine learning is now possible and will continue to grow as more businesses realise its intrinsic value.

The China Factor

By now, China’s ambition to lead the world in the area of artificial intelligence is no longer a secret. It is determined to outpace not only the US but every global economy in AI. According to Kai-Fu Lee, a known AI expert and a Taiwanese-born American computer scientist, businessman, and author, China is now producing more than 10x more data than the US. By all indications, China looks set to catch up to the US by 2025 and lead the world by 2030 in terms of technical capabilities, available talent and most of all, data.

Most of these capabilities are coming together, thanks to China’s big tech companies who are bringing their AI capabilities to the global marketplace – Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent (collectively called BAT).

These three Chinese big tech companies combined are positioning themselves to be the AI platform of the future, giving its American counterpart, GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple) a run for its money.

The Highs and Lows of AI in Banking 2

With its breadth of resources, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent are now able to compete with US tech giants for global AI talent. Reports reveal that “Baidu USA was offering a base salary of $130K to $175K per annum for a machine learning engineer…according to a petition filed with the US labor department for non-immigrant workers. (For comparison, Google was offering around $110K for an ML engineer, although experience levels and job requirements likely vary.)”

In addition, many of the BAT’s AI products are competing directly with what GAFA are working on such as smart speakers, AI in e-commerce, autonomous vehicles and more.

But what’s interesting to note is that Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent has strong support from the Chinese government. According to CBInsights, “China wants to be a world leader in AI in the next decade, and BAT is crucial to helping it get there.”

The Chinese science ministry announced that “the nation’s first wave of open AI platforms will rely heavily on Baidu for autonomous driving, Tencent for AI in healthcare, and Alibaba for smart cities. Government support for and intervention in AI development will likely have an immediate impact on the fast-growing Chinese tech market (where an entire city is being built from scratch around AI-centric solutions),” the report said.

While Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent are operating on a much bigger scale, the number of AI startups  and corporations making headways in various sectors continue to climb. Recent figures reveal that the number of AI corporations in Beijing amounted to 422 while the number for Shenzhen totalled 167 as of May 2019.

In addition, there are a number of well-funded Chinese AI startups 2019. As of June 2019, SenseTime received total funding amounting to around 2.64 billion U.S. dollars, holding the top rank as the most funded artificial intelligence (AI) startup in China. Among the top five most funded AI startups were Megvii, UBTech Robotics, AIWAYS, and Horizon Robotics.

Across many industries, China, and by extension, Chinese AI companies, are emerging as a formidable force in artificial intelligence globally.

By all indications, China looks set to catch up to the US by 2025 and lead the world by 2030 in terms of technical capabilities, available talent and most of all, data.

How Banks Can Win Through AI

Every bank, in some shape or form, has been impacted by AI. Be it back, middle or front office, nothing has been left untouched. It’s probably common for many banking customers to have interacted with a customer service chatbot but what may not be as apparent is that many financial institutions have probably used complex machine learning to detect money launderers or sifted through mountains of data to ward off fraud and other anomalies before they wreak havoc, which is much more difficult to control.

Here are the areas where banks can win big today through AI.

Customer Experience and Front Office Support

Client’s customer support expectations are always evolving. While many Millennials will not visit a brick and mortar bank branch for anything, their expectations of its digital representative is a different story. Artificial intelligence has brought on a lot of these changes. With AI-enabled chatbots and voice assistants, information sought by customers can now be dispensed faster, cheaper and more accurately. We’re also seeing AI helping biometric authorisation as well as ‘physical’ help for those who fancy an occasional bank branch visit through an AI-enabled robotic assistant.

AML and KYC Compliance

AI can help detect fraud, identify patterns and “find the needle in the haystack”, in a manner of speaking. It can help in: transaction monitoring (identify non-obvious connections between individual transaction chains); entity resolution (creates a single unified view of a customer across local and international databases); identifying ultimate ownership (extract information to identify who has ownership or management stake); and media monitoring (categorise news articles and generate a match relevance score).

Risk Management and Lending

AI has the capability to objectively assess information and come up with equitable credit underwriting. By achieving a credible credit scoring and lending efficiently, AI can help banks assess and manage risks and how they build and interpret contracts. This is good news as there is a tremendous upside in this proposition in terms of new business opportunities and promoting people to do higher value work engagements.

Outstanding Machine Learning Initiatives

As they say, it is not a matter of if, but a matter of when and how. Many notable banking institutions are now in the thick of implementing machine learning initiatives as part of their overall artificial intelligence strategies. From stories about automation and how it would augment human capabilities, to fintech collaborations, to how banks are now using machine learning to provide frictionless, 24/7 customer interactions, there are plenty of case studies to learn from.

Taipei Fubon Bank

Taipei Fubon Bank has 4.11 million regular account holders and around 390,000 wealth management customers. Every year, some 1% of regular deposit customers get “promoted” to wealth management status through various methods and gain access to the services afforded to wealth management customers. To come up with a more efficient and scientific method to identify the potential value of customers and boost their activity with the bank (leading to higher status), Taipei Fubon Bank resorted to machine learning technology to predict customer value.

Because the value of customers has been underestimated, many customers were not cultivated by the wealth management team and only had access to the services and experiences made available to regular account holders, focused primarily on online services such as online banking and mobile banking. They did not receive personalised wealth management services or investment recommendations.

After the value of customers was identified more accurately, the customers who were promoted to wealth management status received priority treatment in offline (branches) and online channels. Offline, they were offered exclusive financial planning services supported by dedicated financial consultants, received invitations to VIP events, and receive gifts when visiting a branch. Online, they were sent regular newsletters with the latest investing, product and market information. They also received personalised product recommendations, wealth management perks and special offers. These multitude of online and offline activities and benefits forged a powerful omnichannel VIP experience for customers.

Taishin Bank

When it comes to enhancing customer engagement, relying only on traditional, structured customer data, from demographics to transaction history, has its limits. Unstructured conversation data from call centers reveal opportunistic life transitions, such as starting a family and buying a house are defining moments of the human experience, that would complete the whole personalised customer journey.

Beginning as a cross-business-unit collaboration, Taishin Bank developed and applied speech-to-text and text-mining technologies across business units – from call center to business intelligence development, digital banking, payment services, and information technology. They leveraged speech-to-text and text-mining technologies to create a hybrid data source, composed of static and dynamic, structured and unstructured data. Collectively, the bank increased work efficiency at the customer call center through the automation of call type labeling. They’ve also enhanced customer experience of Taishin’s web and mobile applications by resolving trending issues in customer calls. Furthermore, the monetisation of hybrid data is increasing due to its life storytelling marketing strategies by proactively reaching out to each customer at the point of their life transitions.

Bank of Ayudhya Public Company Limited (Krungsri Bank)

“Analytics-Based Decision Platform” is an initiative of Krungsri Bank that brings in the most efficient approach for providing the best recommendation tailored for each Krungsri customer. Leveraging on machine learning algorithm, the platform produces smart prediction and consistent recommendation for interacting with each individual customer across all touchpoints. With the efficiency of this data-driven platform, Krungsri has developed a positive customer experience that ultimately wins the customers’ long-term engagement.

As behaviours and lifestyles of each customer will change over time, they need a bank that is capable of learning and adapting to their needs. This platform was built to continuously learn from all customers and produce insights required to meet and go beyond customers’ expectations.

Image: Sean Xu / Shutterstock.com

>> 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.

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.

***

Download the magazine print version of this article here.