Editor’s Note: This article reports on the media briefing that followed the panel discussion – China’s digital revolution: The opportunities and challenges for Malaysia, in conjunction with HSBC’s Asian Outlook & BRI Forum 2018 at the Kuala Lumpur Hilton on 22 January 2018,
By Charles F Moreira, Editor.
Banks usually have to follow customers in their lifestyle and behaviour, and Asian customers are very mobile-oriented, with their smartphone as a bank in their pocket, enabling banking to be conducted at anytime from anywhere.
Whilst customers in Europe and North America have gone from bank counters and ATM machines, through to Internet banking and mobile banking models, most Asian customers have leapfrogged over Internet banking straight to mobile banking.
“Thus banking must become a personal experience, which is more social, simple and easy to use, whilst at the same time being more secure, enabled by biometrics and other measures. Basically, instead of customers going to their banks, banks must now come to their customers”, said Tamara Van Den Ban, Head of Digital Product Management and Digital Customer Experience, Asia-Pacific, HSBC.
Banks such as HSBC also have the financial, technical and professional resources to develop banking solutions, including mobile banking solutions, either in its own in-house innovation labs or outside in partnership or collaboration with start-up or established corporate payment services providers and fintech (financial technology) companies.
“Start-ups are agile, more innovative, entrepreneurial and tend to deeply focus on a single objective, and banks such as HSBC can collaborate with them to produce solutions which enhance customer experience, adoption, meet regulatory requirements, are safe, secure and protect customers’ money”, she added.
However, of the estimated 1.255 billion smartphone users across the Asia-Pacific in 201 -according to Statista – how many of them use their smartphone for banking and e-commerce?
“According to results of HSBC’s Trusted Technology study, which surveyed over 12,000 people across 11 countries, [there is ]100% smartphone adoption in China and 90% want to try out new technology like fingerprint readers and 80% use financial services over social networks”, said Van Den Ban.
However, some do find it overwhelming, so more education is needed to help applications and services providers to better address their targeted users and this is a widespread issue everywhere.
As for Chinese e-banking and financial solutions, most of these are used by China citizens visiting other countries and not by people of those respective countries, so applications and solutions providers in these countries need to develop their own solutions by themselves.
HSBC offers Internet banking and banking via WeChat to customers in China and is always on the lookout for where else and on what other platforms or channels it can offer its banking services on.
“HSBC is committed to develop new banking technologies either by ourselves of with partners and we must always look towards the future of banking and how to leverage technology to play different roles for all customers, not only in financial services”, said Van Den Ban.