The Business Times: Driving personalisation while managing technology risks
  • Innovation & Transformation
    • The Future of Banking

The Business Times: Driving personalisation while managing technology risks

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Data and digital technologies have enabled financial institutions (FIs) to drive personalisation for customers, but robust risk management and appropriate regulation is essential for responsible growth.

Roundtable participants
Clockwise from top left: Dennis Tan, CEO, Prudential Singapore Brendan Carney, CEO, Citibank Singapore Shee Tse Koon, group executive and Singapore country head, DBS Lim Khiang Tong, group chief operating officer, OCBC Shayan Hazir, chief digital officer for Asean, HSBC Michele Ferrario, co-founder and CEO, StashAway Kevin Lam, head of TMRW and group digital banking, UOB Dwaipayan Sadhu, CEO, Trust Bank Moderator: Raphael Lim, correspondent, The Business Times

Q: As the digital financial services landscape evolves, what major regulatory challenges will FIs need to navigate and what key business opportunities can they tap?

Lim Khiang Tong (OCBC): We see huge potential and business opportunities in harnessing new technologies such as Web 3.0, Big Data and artificial intelligence (AI) to provide innovative and personalised solutions. Value can be created by creating new revenue streams from new business models and products, broadening channel access, lowering customer acquisition cost and reducing friction points.

That said, the rapid pace at which technology has evolved in recent years, has also spurred challenges for FIs.

Of paramount importance are data privacy and protection. Although the development of Big Data and AI products can lead to positive outcomes, it has also raised concerns over data privacy and security.

For instance, there is a growing focus on the use of responsible AI to ensure that AI models are not biased towards specific groups, as the adoption of AI increases. We have been embedding responsible AI into our Machine Learning workflows to reduce bias and meet regulatory requirements in an automated and effective manner.

One of our initiatives is to support the Monetary Authority of Singapore-led Veritas initiative, which aims to strengthen governance around the use of AI and data. By contributing our open-source codes, which is typically not shared, the industry can learn how to define AI fairness much faster, driving trust in the adoption of AI technology and fostering innovation in Singapore’s fintech ecosystem.

Shee Tse Koon (DBS): Many technology companies have been able to benefit from the arbitrage of not having the same regulatory regime and supervision that banks are subjected to. But over the last few years, regulators have been trying to ensure there is some degree of financial system stability and a level playing field between incumbent banks and new players (new digital banks or fintechs), with respect to capital supervision and most importantly data.

As the digital finance world is growing bigger and organisations continue to invest in emerging technology, it is timely that we come together as an industry and figure out the rules that should apply proportionate regulatory requirements to all participants, whether they are a technology company or a bank. This is to safeguard systemic stability and fortify whole-of-industry governance.

When it comes to new asset classes and blockchain, I don’t think that we can or should regulate it away or even out of the formal banking sector. We should instead harness these innovations in a pragmatic way, and, as an industry, explore how to put in the right safeguards to define acceptable boundaries to protect the industry and our customers. This is even more critical today given the volatility of the digital asset market. We welcome the proposed measures in MAS’ latest consultation paper as it is a formative step towards shaping a safe and conducive digital assets environment for all customers in Singapore.

As FIs increasingly industrialise AI and machine learning (AI/ML) and data analytics within our organisations, we need to ensure we use data in a responsible way that improves the business and safeguard our customers. DBS has been very careful in the way we use data to ensure we do right by our customers. We have embraced a robust responsible data use framework called PURE – in which we ensure that data must be purposeful, unsurprising, respectful and explainable for all our customers.

Kevin Lam (UOB): Technological advancements over the last couple of years have had a big impact on the financial services industry driving higher digital adoption, greater product innovation and better customer experience. According to a recent study by UOB and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, mobile banking adoption in Singapore continues to grow post-pandemic with close to nine in 10 consumers using mobile banking at least a few times a month.

With more consumers online, the user experience, particularly the design and interface of digital channels, becomes ever more critical in serving the changing needs of consumers. The convergence of digital experiences across industries is also changing ways of digital engagement with consumers. Financial services providers, for example, have started to play a part in embedding financial solutions/services into the everyday lives of consumers where payments, getting a loan or insurance is made part of the overall experience across travel, e-commerce, ride hailing and other industry verticals.

While tech-driven innovation and open banking will drive real benefits for aggregation of information and ultimately benefit consumers, it is critical that regulation is able to keep up or even stay ahead of these changes. An important area for regulation is the ethical use of data, digital identity and privacy. Ultimately, financial institutions along with regulators need to ensure a consent driven framework where data shared by customers are used in a responsible way that adds value for the customers.

In a recent study by UOB, one in two Singaporeans indicated that they are comfortable to share their financial data for consolidation on a platform. More than eight in 10 felt that it will be easier to access all the information on one platform and will also help in financial planning. The Singapore Financial Data Exchange (SGFinDex) is a good example of how open banking is benefiting consumers by allowing them a consolidated view of their finances across different bank accounts and government agencies to help make better and more informed financial decisions.

Dennis Tan (Prudential): Digital technologies were instrumental in providing access to essential financial services during the pandemic and continue to shape how we manage our finances such as payments, investments and insurance. In fact, in our annual research on longevity, we found that most Singapore residents are proficient in using digital tools to manage their personal and financial health. As technologies improve, we will be able to carry out even more financial activities digitally, and with greater ease.

Innovations and disruptions in this space will come from closer collaboration between FIs, fintech firms, and other digital service providers. These partnerships will create new areas of opportunities for the industry which may not be fully aligned to existing regulations. This is where regulatory sandboxes play an important role in facilitating the experimentation of new ideas in a safe space and allowing participants to build consensus and to make their financial solutions more robust.

The responsible and ethical use of digital technology, especially AI and data analytics, is key as we innovate. Although there are established guidelines on the use of such technologies, businesses and regulators will need to ask new questions along the way and adapt existing frameworks to ensure that AI and data analytics are used for the benefit of consumers.

Closely related to ethics and digital responsibility is the area of technology risk management and resilience. While digital technologies have accelerated inclusivity and accessibility, they also heighten cyberrisks which can lead to major disruptions and losses. In a world where digitisation of services is evolving at pace, it is essential that businesses and policymakers have an open, ongoing and collaborative dialogue. The Singapore Fintech Festival, now in its seventh year, is an example of such a platform.

Shayan Hazir (HSBC): In the next few years, there’ll be three key areas where the evolution of digital financial services will be most pronounced - Web 3 and the advent of decentralised finance, AI and machine learning and finally banking as a service also known as embedded finance. As with all innovation, each has its own set of regulatory challenges and corresponding opportunities.

Let’s take a look at Web3 where the biggest buzz is around the metaverse, with analysts estimating that the metaverse market could be worth US$800 billion by 2024. With Web3 developments such as smart contracts, any processes and transactions can be turned into a few lines of code, and these repeatable building blocks can be constructed into a range of applications, offering the possibility of highly customised products and services. On the downside, Web3 poses new challenges on familiar issues such as uncertainty about intellectual property protection, application of accounting standards, anti-money laundering, know-your-customer, and data privacy risks.

As we speak, global financial regulators and risk and compliance practitioners from FIs are presently revamping the oversight and regulatory landscape to address the risks and challenges with this new wave of financial innovation. In Singapore, MAS has been proactively enhancing the regulatory oversight and compliance requirements and is working with FIs, like HSBC, to shape future developments.

FIs must explore these technologies with a view of future needs and a duty of care to the sanctity of the financial system. At HSBC, we see this as our responsibility to ensure long-term, sustainable trust in financial innovation and institutions.

Brendan Carney (Citibank): The digital wheels of the banking industry started to turn several years ago and have rapidly gained momentum since the Covid-19 pandemic. A McKinsey report on Generation Z in Asia found that 20 to 30 per cent of this generation spends more than six hours a day on their mobile phones, while more than 90 per cent of seniors in Japan and South Korea are expected to be online by 2030.

Asian consumers are some of the most demanding in terms of personalisation and display relatively high willingness to share their data to achieve it. FIs that find the right approach to personalisation are likely to reap significant rewards, including improved engagement, sales, and profitability.

With multiple channels for data collection, data governance is increasingly a key topic. FIs need to build robust technology resilience to safeguard customers’ banking activities while still being able to leverage insights to deliver better benefits and service to clients.

In Singapore, online scams have been under the spotlight in 2022. Technology is a double-edged sword, which can be used to facilitate fraud while also enabling more robust controls and means to detect fraud. This will remain crucial as FIs adopt innovative approaches (for example, enhanced data analytics and machine learning) in their fight against financial crime. At the same time, customers too must be more vigilant against any potential scam attempts.

With increased consumer awareness and financial literacy, customers’ expectations on banking services and products have become more sophisticated. FIs will need to prioritise and embed fairness across the customer journey from product and service design, marketing, disclosures, servicing and customer interactions, including complaints management. This provides an opportunity for FIs to tap on the underserved client base and fulfil unmet banking needs.

Michele Ferrario (StashAway): Financial markets have become increasingly global, and advancements in technology enable clients to access a broader variety of financial products. For example, regulation is increasingly the only barrier for retail investors to access innovative financial products.

FIs have the opportunity to work with regulators to find the right balance between offering investors more options and opportunities while at the same time protecting them. A clear example of this challenge can be seen in cryptocurrency investments. Regulators have taken a very prudent approach, but many people have found ways to access opportunities outside of regulated markets, de facto exposing themselves even more to risk of mis-representation. Enabling safe access to a broader range of asset classes is a clear business opportunity for FIs.

Dwaipayan Sadhu (Trust Bank): The accelerated adoption of digital technologies has helped to raise customer experience levels significantly and has also improved access to financial services. At the same time, as with every innovation, bad actors or fraudsters are always on the lookout to exploit any vulnerabilities either with the bank or more likely with the customer. This is seen with the recent reported scams or identity compromises where customers may have clicked on fake links leading to losses.

This shows the increased need to educate clients and to strengthen safeguards to build a resilient digital financial services system which provides clients with assurance while protecting banks from losses. FIs and regulators will need to continue to collaborate closely to mitigate any technological and operational risks as well as protect consumers while advancing innovation and digitalisation in the industry.

We are particularly excited by the potential to bring together banking services and an extensive consumer ecosystem. Building around an ecosystem provides customers with an enriched and easy-to-use range of services that complement core banking services. This also brings together data from a wider range of sources to create a more personalised and relevant offering for the customer.

The evolution of the digital financial services landscape is opening new ways to build and integrate with ecosystems that are part of consumers everyday lives. We are hopeful that advent of the new wave of digital banks with modern technology platforms with partnership-focused cultures will help to unlock these benefits for consumers.

Q: How will the trend of embedding financial offerings into non-financial platforms (such as ride-hailing, e-commerce etc.) change the way FIs reach out and interact with a wider pool of retail clients?

Dennis Tan (Prudential): Digitalisation has transformed the way customers interact with companies, and their expectations of how solutions are delivered to them. Partnerships between FIs and non-financial institutions can allow FIs to reach out to more diverse customers segments, and to better meet the demands of today’s consumers.

For example, embedding financial and insurance solutions in non-financial platforms allow insurers to reach out to those who have limited awareness or access to such solutions. This customer segment may not be aware of the different types of financial solutions available to them, and thus remain un-insured or under-insured.

In Ghana, for example, Prudential can provide insurance coverage for hospitalisation and income loss to a million people because of our partnership with telco providers such AirtelTigo, and BIMA which offers mobile-delivered insurance and health services.

With rising longevity, it is necessary to take proactive measures to remain financially prepared for a longer life. However, this may not be on top of the mind for everyone. Integrating financial planning in daily activities can help remind people of this important priority.

Shayan Hazir (HSBC): If there’s one lesson businesses learned from the pandemic, it’s the importance of agility to not just survive, but to thrive.

With today’s customers expecting integrated, accessible solutions at their fingertips, embedded finance enables banks like us to deepen our relationships with our clients and shift from just being exclusively a financial partner to digital consultants that will help make banking easier for them, for their customers, partners and suppliers, and plugging in where they want us to be.

A case in point is the US-launch of our embedded banking services within Oracle NetSuite in September this year. It’s by far the largest, fully embedded Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) deployment into a globally recognised cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

This embedded banking solution with NetSuite - NetSuite Accounts Payable (AP) Automation - simplifies and automates the entire invoice payment process, which to date has been slow, tedious and error-prone. This allows customers to determine precisely when and how to pay suppliers, ensure control over outgoing cash flow, and take advantage of early payment discounts.

Ultimately, it enables customers to better control outgoing cash flows, easily scale end-to-end AP processes, and maintain strong relationships with their partners and suppliers. By embedding banking and enabling services through API-enabled automation, we’re helping boost our customers’ agility, and opening up a world of opportunity for businesses.

Brendan Carney (Citibank):
We see embedded financing becoming more mainstream and playing an increasing role in banking customers’ lives, with promising potential value that it could unlock for consumers. In consumer banking, we see the opportunities in the payments, lending and investments space, and banks will need to adapt to tap into these.

We believe FIs will continue to seek active partnerships to offer their solutions within their partner’s ecosystem in a seamless way that can enhance the end-customer experience. This could result in an increased ease of use for the customer, for instance, being able to seamlessly convert their Citi points or miles on the Grab app for ride or delivery vouchers there.

Fintechs and big techs through their superapps are creating “sticky” platforms that hold customers’ time and attention and have the power to integrate products that benefit its community as well as its core business.

In response to embedded finance, some banks may choose to continue leveraging on fintechs that have reached a ubiquitous status in the lives of consumers to offer more financial products and services.

To meet the rising demand for embedded finance, one increasingly popular trend is banks developing BaaS business lines. This means either white labelling or co-branding financial products that can be bundled for nonbanks to embed and distribute in their apps.

Ensuring this is viable will require new technologies and capabilities, a McKinsey report noted., This is because BaaS is usually distributed to customers via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and requires a robust risk and compliance management of the embedded finance partner.

Shee Tse Koon (DBS): FIs have learnt from this trend that having a massive ecosystem with differentiated product offerings can reach markets or domains where they do not have a huge customer base and quickly scale their businesses. Not only can they access large pools of customers that are served by established ecosystem partners, but they can also collaborate with ecosystem partners to acquire customers digitally, co-create solutions that can meet the needs of customers and increase engagement with them where they live, work and play.

In Singapore, we have been able to deepen engagement with customers who use our PayLah! everyday app to pay for their eCommerce purchases, their cab or ride-hailing rides and food delivery meals. Between 2020 and 2021, eCommerce transactions via PayLah! grew by more than six times with partners such as Lazada and Shopee. In the same period, F&B transactions have more than doubled. Today, we see about one million PayLah! Scan-and-Pay transactions a month for hawker meals. So if you get it right, the handicap of not having a physical distribution network disappears and you can unleash the power of the ecosystem and embedded finance.

Similarly in our overseas markets, such as China, Indonesia, and India, we have been able to entrench our consumer finance business and offer our lending and payments solutions through working with nine ecosystem partners including large fintechs ByteDance and Ctrip (China), Home Credit and Kredivo (India and Indonesia). The number of loans disbursed across these markets grew by more than five times between 2019 and 2021.

Lim Khiang Tong (OCBC): Innovation will enable us to thrive and remain responsive in the face of digital innovation and disruption. This is how we have redefined what a bank means in the digital era – our digital solutions go even ‘beyond banking’. We have launched digital platforms to help customers with their home-buying journeys (OCBC OneAdvisor Home) from buying a home to furnishing a home and we launched our Travel with OCBC portal in October 2021 when travel started to pick up following the Covid-19 pandemic for anyone to book airline tickets, hotels, and car rentals.

This is all part of building a larger ecosystem around digital products that goes beyond the conventional offerings of a banking system that the public is familiar with. Many FIs are looking to build ‘ecosystems’ around relevant customer needs. Banks can then offer multiple, mutually complementary services that involve non-bank players.

For instance, we enabled our customers to make Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions from within a banking app or Internet banking platform in August this year. The direct top-up-to-CPF feature within OCBC Bank’s digital platforms makes contributing to CPF more convenient and is one aspect of holistic and comprehensive financial and retirement planning.

Overall, these ecosystems play a critical role in our digital strategy, to deepen relationships with our customers and enable them to feel that the bank is always in their lives.

Dwaipayan Sadhu (Trust Bank): Embedded financial services will clearly revolutionise banking experience and help bring many innovations. Not only is this expected to build better experiences and ease of access, embedded finance may also lead to better priced products based on personalisation.

From an FI perspective, the benefits are many including lower cost of acquisition and access to rich data which helps with personalisation. This enables more benefits to be passed onto consumers whilst at the same time creating a sustainable business model for the FI. From the perspective of the non-financial platform provider or ecosystem, embedding financial offerings creates a more seamless experience, reducing drop-offs and friction points at key points in the existing customer journey.

Within the Trust platform, you can see both impacts. In terms of passing benefits to its customers, Trust has a proposition with no-hidden fees, no minimum deposit balances and market-leading rewards. From the platform perspective, Trust has digitised many rewards and coupon journeys, bringing them into the Trust App to create an easy and seamless customer experience.

Kevin Lam (UOB): In the last five years, the way in which consumers live, work and play have changed significantly. Coupled with the acceleration of digitalisation due to the global pandemic, customer behaviours and expectations towards banking have also evolved with more using digital channels and banking services on the go. In a recent study by UOB, more than one in two Singaporeans use their e-wallet at least few times a week and over 80 per cent have the intention of using their e-wallet for payments in future.

Whether it is making a payment for their utilities or shopping online, consumers are also increasingly demanding a more seamless financial experience to provide greater convenience and transparency in their day-to-day transactions. To do that, we believe that digital innovation and ecosystem partnerships are essential. By embedding our financial services into other platforms, we will make banking more accessible by expanding our touchpoints to areas that intersect with consumers’ digital lifestyles. To that end, we created an ecosystem of partners in 2020 which includes Fave, Grab, Singapore Power Group and Visa among others, to simplify digital payments and the rewards redemption process for our customers.

Michele Ferrario (StashAway): Embedded financial offerings can be an enabler for the main service offered by a platform (for example, payments for ride-hailing, BNPL for e-commerce) or can be completely separate (for example, investments products offered in a ride-hailing platform). Personally, I do not believe in having every service being available on a single platform: there is no real reason for a client to entrust her retirement savings to the platform she trusts to hail a ride home. So far, we have not seen any success case.

However, there are probably financial services use cases that can be enhanced by their presence in a given platform. In these cases, financial institutions need to work with their platform partner on a completely new dynamic with clients - from product and risk education to service delivery - the broader nature of potential clients require financial institutions to revise their approach. For some product categories, the interactions among players to follow regulatory guidelines (for example, suitability of investment products) will need to be different from what both the financial institution and the platform partner have ever built.

Q: What are some ways for FIs to use data connectivity and analytics to provide a better customer experience?

Brendan Carney (Citibank): FIs can leverage data analytics and connectivity as well as AI technology to gain a deeper understanding of customers. This can be achieved by uncovering customer profiles, interests, needs as well as their friction points and how they transact.

These invaluable insights will aid FIs in improving their product offerings, sales/marketing initiatives in the form of contextualised offers or nudges, client acquisition and retention strategies, customer engagement and overall decision-making processes.

The tangible outcome of all this is that FIs can build highly relevant and personalised engagements and journeys that cater to the respective needs of these clients as individuals rather than part of a group.

For instance, this year, Citibank Singapore rolled out its Data Lab series internally to further strengthen a client-centric mindset. This series includes a Beta Lab to sample and test new features on the mobile app, and a Design Lab which encompasses mystery shopping and data collection to eliminate friction points and design a seamless customer journey.

Furthermore, AI can help FIs meet increasing customer expectations through intelligent servicing and propositions which can also be embedded into their partners’ ecosystems.

Recent advances in data analytics can enable banks to not just retain but also activate their high-value clients, according to a Bain and Company report on how analytics can deepen banks’ customer relationships.

Shee Tse Koon (DBS): Today, digital banking is baseline for all financial services providers. The true litmus test for banks will be how they leverage data and innovative solutions to help customers grow and protect their wealth in good times, and more importantly, make their monies work harder for them so they can ride out the tough times.

In Singapore, the underserved are not so much those who don’t have access to banking but those who don’t get access to financial advice. Managing finances properly is often a complex task, which many consumers do not have the time or knowledge to do well in. Customers want more help from their banks to manage their money. FIs need to focus on personalised communications, tapping on data and design to build intuitive and seamless ways for customers to perform banking and investment transactions. This starts with ensuring the best use of data across the organisation so we give customers control over their data and preferences. We also need to make sure that our communications reach the right people, are non-intrusive, and provide useful insights that will help them achieve better financial decisions.

Some examples where we see good use of data and analytics include FIs using AI/ML algorithms to alert customers on upcoming payments so they can avoid being charged fees for any shortfall. First-time investors can also assess their risk appetite to get a list of relevant investment products tailored to their risk profiles.

A good initiative by the MAS was launching SGFinDex, where FI customers can have a full overview of their financial situation across all participating FIs that they are a customer of.

Over the years, DBS has been able to build some 250 AI/ML algorithms tapping on a database with more than 15,000 customer attributes to generate AI-powered nudges, which are hyper-personalised communications and actionable insights that guide customers in their transactions or investment decisions. Today, more than 3.5 million of our customers engage with the 30 million nudges that we send out a month.

Kevin Lam (UOB): Data is the new oil of the 21st century. Recognising that every one of our customers is unique from the way they bank right down to their financial needs, we believe in adaptive banking where the customer’s banking experience is hyper-personalised to the individual. To do that, we need data.

UOB launched AI-driven personalised insights via our mobile banking app in 2019. The UOB TMRW app leverages AI to help categorise and analyse the customers’ transaction data in real time. The app translates such data into insights and prompts to help customers better manage their finances. For example, our insights will alert customers when there are duplicate transactions, refunds received or when the prices of their subscription plans increase.

We also use data for better credit assessment. For example, we work with our CreditTech partner to establish connectivity with external data partners like telcos, ride-hailing and e-commerce players to share transactional data so that we can get better insights on customers’ spending habits and better assess their credit eligibility.

Lim Khiang Tong (OCBC): Banks are leveraging data and analytics to provide a better customer experience through offering personalised, instant and frictionless banking and it is what the customers today also expect from FIs.

FIs that use data effectively can better segment customers based on profiles; identify spending patterns and formulate customised offerings; assess risk more efficiently; include cross-selling initiatives; and improve service delivery based on feedback, all of which will provide a superior customer experience.

As the usage of data matures, real-time data can proactively identify customers having service issues online. Using this to proactively intervene and offer help to the customers before they contact the bank, will be a differentiator. When customers contact the bank, the availability of advanced voice bots and chatbots to enable immediate and relevant self-service can also lead to better customer journeys.

The introduction of facial biometrics for ATM services by OCBC Bank last year - where OCBC tapped on Singapore’s National Digital Identity infrastructure, the SingPass Face Verification - allows us to verify customers for banking transactions at ATMs without the need for ATM cards. This access to ATM banking services is a secure alternative and is yet another example of offering innovative solutions for our customers.

Finally, by partnering with other corporates and businesses, FIs can also use Big Data to uncover new opportunities by analysing customer transactions and giving businesses insight on their money flows and the types of customers visiting their business, leading to a greater customer experience in more indirect way.

Dennis Tan (Prudential): Customers today want personalised experiences. Data analytics plays a crucial role in helping us better understand the preferences and behaviours of our customers so that we can provide more tailored financial solutions and recommendations.

For example, by looking at aggregate data on Pulse by Prudential, our digital health and wellness app, we can learn about the health and wealth tools that people are interested in using, or topics that they want to know more about. These insights help us plan and create content that users want so that it is useful to them. If Pulse users want to get in-depth advice on financial planning, they can also arrange a call with a financial consultant through the app, allowing us to bring the financial planning process to the next level.

Seamlessness across all touchpoints is another key aspect of a great customer experience. Initiatives such as SGFinDex promote data connectivity by enabling the exchange of information across FIs. This enables customers to get all their banking and financial information in one place, instantly, so they can save time and make more informed decisions.

We must continue to invest in technology to make our lives better and easier. However, we must not forget that people remain at the heart of excellent customer experiences. While technologies can help consolidate and process information more quickly, we need people to make sense of the data and use them constructively to deliver more tailored solutions and experiences. The human touch cannot be lost.

Michele Ferrario (StashAway): Data can be increasingly used by financial institutions to provide personalised digital experience to clients. I believe this will be a multi-decade trend and we are only seeing the beginning of it.

There is a tremendous opportunity for innovative firms to use technology to delight customers with unique user journeys: as companies gather more information about their clients, they should be able to always be relevant. The era where the same email was sent to all clients, or the same product was shown on a mobile app to all clients, will be over soon. Clients will aspire to only see relevant messaging and product proposition - one that enhances their personal financial journey.

Dwaipayan Sadhu (Trust Bank): Data and analytics are expected to play a major role in revolutionising the experiences in retail financial services. As finance becomes embedded in ecosystems, data is much richer which in turn enables mass personalisation.

Underpinning the core is a modern technology platform. This brings more seamless integrations and customer benefits such as real-time data and greater transparency. In Trust’s case, we are partnered with the FairPrice Group which includes the Link Rewards consumer rewards and loyalty programme. This extensive ecosystem has more than one million customer interactions every day in Singapore.

Customers can track Link Reward points in real time, earn and claim a wide range of digital coupons and deals from partners, and instantly receive digital vouchers for referring a friend. These benefits make it easier to make savings on everyday spending, at a time when customers face increasing pressure on everyday costs due to rising global inflation.

Shayan Hazir (HSBC): Like many big businesses, and as one of the world’s largest international banks serving around 40 million clients in more than 60 markets, HSBC has access to vast amounts of data – ranging from credit card spending data and payment networks, to patterns of visits to branches and mobile app usage.

By converting it into thousands of behavioural signals, and then make sense of it using a range of statistical, machine learning and visualisation techniques, we then turn these into opportunities for serving our clients better and protecting them from fraud.

For our retail clients, we recently launched International Credit Decisioning which allows new to country customers to quickly get credit cards with appropriate limits using their international credit history within the online app journey.

For our commercial clients, we’re able to anticipate their needs and as a result automatically offer financing and cash management products. Equally, we’re able to provide fully digital loans for trade clients derived from our rich internal data and public information across our wide international network.

Lastly, we’re able to use data to protect them from fraud. We can use what we know about customers, such as their age and length of time they have been banking online, to set automatic rules for their online banking experience.

An older or more vulnerable customer taking up digital banking for the first time may appreciate support, for instance, so we can increase the frequency of pop-up messages offering help and alerting them to any suspicious activity. Data enables us to target this at only the potentially vulnerable customers.

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