By Nilendu Mukherjee, Region Head ASEAN
Recently, UOB, one of Singapore’s largest banks, announced the launch of their digital bank, TMRW, in Thailand. Aimed at the young, digital-savvy millennials in the ASEAN region, TMRW will spread its reach to Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam over the next five years – with a potential customer base of three to five million customers.
Clearly, the next-gen is a very important demographic for the future of digital banking. Banks are going all out to understand this segment to serve their needs. Without a doubt, this is a generation that values ease, convenience and mobility.
Embracing digital and mobile interaction
Digital and mobile are the primary channels for use by the millennials. They veer towards digital solutions that are fast, simple and instantly responsive. Payments, especially in the entertainment and retail industries have latched on to this opportunity – and players such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple have so successfully created a strong ecosystem in this area.
Banks need to address this reality through digital channels that provide access to all their banking services. The ‘811 digital bank account’ launched by Kotak Mahindra Bank in India allows users to sign up through an app with the national identity number. In China, the e-wallet WeChat Pay, is used to pay taxis, supermarkets and hospitals – by scanning a QR Code on smartphones. It also allows customers to scan products’ QR codes for details before making a purchase, and carry out cross-border payments. And in Brazil, Banco Original has made its services innovative, accessible, simple, secure and transparent – all the attributes that the new-gen consumer values.
A human-centered approach – key to addressing challenges
What are the challenges that banks face in making this transition? An aging collection of customer-facing applications, for one. Another is the lack of a coherent channel architecture and mobile presence.
Banks need to infuse digital agility and capabilities that will make them attractive to the booming numbers of digital-savvy clientele. This calls for a human-centered approach and embedding of design thinking strategies.
Attracting the attention of the millennial base calls for radical changes to embrace digital technology. Proximity payments (using NFC, Beacon, Tone and QR), instant payments (using virtual payment instruments), channel-agnostic banking services (using voice, mobile, social and chat) and smart frictionless authentication (through face, voice and finger biometrics) are innovations that will be differentiating factors of operational excellence.
At FSS, our end-to-end digital banking solution stack (mobile banking, instant payments, social banking, voice commerce, QR code, and Toggle – card control mobile application) offers the simplicity of innovation that banks can leverage to reach out to the new age and omni-digital consumers. As technology partners to growth and revenues, we facilitate seamless and frictionless digital banking services that include instant on-boarding through the mobile channel, push and pull payments, in app conversation engine and e-Mandate payments. Our AI- and ML-powered autonomous payments enhance efficiency and accuracy, while our embedded analytics provide a 360-degree view of customer relationship for personalized experiences.
Banks must move with great nimbleness to the rapid changes in customer demands and market influences of the digital age. An effective digital banking engagement platform is a critical aspect to staying relevant and competitive. Understanding digital banking transformation as a journey, and adapting to market changes and evolving customer needs with innovation, security and scalability – these are the mantras for tomorrow’s digital banking.