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CO-WRITTEN / PARTNER | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Fintech is the new frontier for Standard Chartered Bank

Cutting-edge technology, global partnerships and exclusive product offerings are Standard Chartered Bank’s weapons of choice.

With its global presence and unparalleled connections, the bank stays a cut above the rest by building synergies with its international partners. Cutting-edge technology, global partnerships and exclusive product offerings are Standard Chartered Bank’s weapons of choice in order to stay ahead of its competitors. Whilst other banks are fretting over slowing growth and rising risks, Standard Chartered Bank remains committed to driving growth and providing exemplary service for its clients. “We have leading market position in many areas and we keep challenging ourselves to find opportunities to disrupt the market,” says Vicky Kong, managing director, head of Retail Banking at Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited.

Forging new alliances
The opening up of China’s market will particularly fuel the bank’s growth momentum. “Our future growth is driven by both domestic and regional opportunities. In the future, we have more room to grow through the flow of mainland wealth,” Kong says. “We will build our competitive advantage and develop into the ‘superconnector’ for all segments, both corporates and individuals.”

Within Hong Kong, the bank has been leveraging synergies between its business segments as well as the strength of its size. For instance, Standard Chartered has unveiled a series of impressive deals this year, including a much-awaited partnership with Alipay, the world’s leading third-party online payment solution platform. With this partnership, Hong Kong consumers who are also Standard Chartered clients are able to top up their “AlipayHK” accounts anytime, anywhere through online and mobile banking, providing them a trusted and easier way to top up the Alipay accounts. It also enables Standard Chartered clients to shop and pay online in HK dollar with their “AlipayHK” accounts without paying a transaction fee.

“Following the successful corporate alliance with Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Standard Chartered Bank has formed a new corporate alliance agreement with The Walt Disney Company and introduced the first co-branded ATM card between the two companies in Hong Kong – the Standard Chartered MARVEL ATM Card. The card features four unique card designs that combine stylish looks with classic characters from MARVEL, one of The Walt Disney Company’s most popular franchises.” Kong notes.

Fintech, the new frontier
Standard Chartered has opened its innovation lab, the eXellerator, in Singapore in 2016 with the aim to expedite the implementation of digital solutions to deliver more value to its clients with improved service offerings and new business models for the new generation. The bank is going to open a new innovation lab in Hong Kong to explore the use of emerging technologies and data sciences in support of its digital transformation strategy. In 2018, the bank also plans to roll out a chatbot built with a conversational artificial intelligence (AI) platform which can interact with customers on Standard Chartered Hong Kong’s mobile app and website, to further enhance customers’ digital experience.

Kong highlights the main technological developments which will form the building blocks for the new era of retail banking. “One of the developments is the breakthrough in customer authentication and telecom security. Also, there is the Open Application Programming Interface (API) that helps the bank connect with third parties to expand the capability of our banking platform.” she says.

With the rapid growth in mobile usage financial transactions can now take place, be processed and stored in digital form at very high speed and low cost. New authentication technologies such as biometric have significantly increased the robustness and reliability in remote digital banking using smartphones or handheld devices. “Recognising these technological innovations and rising aspirations of customers for more personalised and integrated services, Hong Kong must proactively embrace the trend and seize the opportunity to upgrade our banking system, especially when we also have the regulator’s support who just unveiled a number of initiatives that prepare HK to move into a new era of smart banking,” Kong states.

All of Standard Chartered Bank’s initiatives are geared at improving customer experience and building loyalty. Standard Chartered Bank has launched a brand new credit card, Standard Chartered Simply Cash Visa Card. Targeting young clients who prefer direct and easy rewards, the new card provides a straight-forward CashBack scheme. With no upper limit, card users can enjoy 1.5% CashBack on all categories of local and online transactions made in Hong Kong dollars, and 2% CashBack on spending in foreign currencies for overseas and online transactions. Upon successful application before 31 January 2018, transactions made within the first two months of card issuance will enjoy 100% CashBack of up to HK$1,000. The bank has also relocated its two branches in Central and Tsim Sha Tsui with enhanced presence and catchment to serve more customers at the strategic locations. The branches are renovated with novel design and equipped Digital Tellers that aim to elevate customers’ banking experience. ”Our brand promise, Here for good, underpins everything we do. It guides how we do business and the decisions we make.” says Kong.

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