HSBC Malaysia aims for digital innovations to meet fluid banking needs - ‘like breathing air’
By Tan Jee Yee December 9, 2020
- Major milestones include 24/7 Digital Account Opening, Omni Channel
- Going forward goal is to provide customers a ‘bank in the pocket’ service
Banks have, of course, been embracing digital technology and innovations for a long time now. But as with most industries, the Covid-19 pandemic has necessitated changes to how banking works, which in turn drive the introduction of more digital features.
“Covid-19 has driven established banks to accelerate all of their digital initiatives. HSBC is no different,” says Tara Latini (pic), Country Head of Wealth and Personal Banking, HSBC Malaysia.
Tara was speaking to members of the press during a virtual sharing session about the bank’s digital innovations in 2020. The pandemic has, as Latini says, pushed the bank to re-look the ways in which they reach individual customers, especially since going to a branch physically is not encouraged.
This culminates into features such as the 24/7 Digital Account Opening, which allows individual customers to open an account digitally in three steps. They will first need to complete a five-step application form, after which a confirmation email will be sent to them within 10 minutes.
Customers will still need to utilise a branch service counter or HSBC Malaysia’s Self-Service Machines to confirm their identity which cuts down the need to visit branches at specific hours.
The bank also ran the HSBC Business Resilience Series and HSBC Illuminate Series webinars as means to help their customers embrace digitalisation.
“This year we have witnessed landmark partnerships and co-creation collaborations between HSBC and key Malaysian businesses,” says Andrew Sill (pic), Country Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC Malaysia.
“We continue to invest substantially in the simplification of our processes and the digitisation of our solutions to benefit our customers; and organise regular digital engagement initiatives as part of our continuous effort to keep our customers abreast of the latest digital insights that would help their businesses thrive during this time.”
Innovations for customers
HSBC Malaysia also claims to be the first bank to launch the Unit Trust Browser (UTB) platform, a portal that provides detailed information on open-ended unit trusts offered by the bank. UTB allows customers retrieve information on a wide range of unit trust funds at any given time.
Remote Engagement Services is what it says – an alternate channel for HSBC Malaysia customers to interact with the bank from their homes. The service is supported by Zoom and Live Sign, the latter being an electronic signature solution for signing documents electronically.
Other new innovations focus on security. Firstly is the Mobile Secure Key, which allows customers to generate security codes for them to log onto online and mobile banking services via HSBC’s app.
Then there’s Voice ID, which lets customers authenticate themselves via voice, removing the need for PIN inputs when they call HSBC. It works by checking over 100 behavioural and physical vocal traits, from pronunciation to the tone and pattern of the voice.
Innovation for businesses
HSBC Malaysia has also introduced a slew of features for businesses, including the utilisation of Live Sign as well as mobile authentication and Virtual Card (a convenient cardless payment and financial management solution for businesses).
More significantly, though, HSBC Malaysia also introduced Omni Channel, described as a one-stop collection solution that combines services by its partner, GHL Systems Bhd, and HSBC’s product development. Omni Channel lets HSBC clients provide multiple payment options as well as gain comprehensive view of their payment collections across different channels, including e-wallets.
In June, HSBC Malaysia scored its first Omni Channel partnership with Sports Direct. This is among the various partnerships the bank has with businesses. But there’s also partnerships with government agencies. In July, it inked an MoU with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) to enhance the adoption of technology among SMEs, large local corporations and MNCs.
Tara believes that banking needs have become more fluid and the Covid-19 pandemic has evolved that aspect even more. This, Tara says, is why HSBC Malaysia is focusing on their “bank in the pocket” initiative. In 2021, the bank plans to include the accessibility of unit trust, insurance and individual investment as well as payment and forex access on the mobile app.
The idea, ultimately, is to adapt to fluid banking needs “like second nature, like breathing air,” Tara notes. At the face of accelerated digitalisation due to the pandemic, this mindset is now a necessity for banks to remain relevant.
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