EP #19: Acing Personalization in Banking Like Standard Chartered Bank, Malaysia

EP #19: Acing Personalization in Banking Like Standard Chartered Bank, Malaysia

About this Podcast

COVID-19 has acted as a catalyst for digital transformation across several industries. And, banking is no exception. We recently caught up with Aizuddin Danian, the Head of Digital Banking at Standard Chartered Bank, Malaysia who shared valuable insights on how personalization in the banking industry is critical to both business and consumer interests. Aizuddin Danian highlights the following:

  • The impact of COVID-19 on the banking sector
  • How digital transformation is the key to serve the changing needs of consumers
  • The important KPIs that the banking sector has to focus on to ensure user retention during these volatile times
  • The value of personalisation to consumers in the banking sector
  • The need for brands in the banking sector to leverage AI/ML and predictive analytics to develop a competitive edge

Tune in to learn how a banking giant is delivering differentiated customer experiences across both emerging and mature markets in these times and beyond!

Episode Transcripts

Triton Dsouza (Host) : Welcome everyone to this episode of a podcast Series. This is a podcast series focused on martic powered by net core. My name is Triton D’Souza, and I’m the country manager, Malaysia for netcore. Today on this episode. We are pleased to have mr. Isobe Indian Head digital banking at Standard Chartered Bank, Malaysia. Izu then comes with a very rich experience in the banking industry close to four years in Standard Chartered bank, and before that, I believe 12 years in Maybank, it’s a pleasure to have you as of then on this. I am sure our listeners will get a lot of insights from you which will help them. Especially from the martic industry perspective. Welcome. I saw them.

Thank you. Thank you for having me and inviting me to your show.

I didn’t know that these are very not difficult and uncertain times from the covid-19 pandemic situation. So my first question to you will be on this, you know times what are the changes that you have observed generally one from the banking industry perspective and second from the user Behavior perspective. I think I think you’re right that it is a very challenging time for an unprecedented time. Actually. I think we’re living in a part of History right there that will be remembered for a long long time. So obviously, you know, it’s doing such times as in all other times in the history of great change a lot of innovation has happened.

I think in the banking industry. It’s very important that we innovate quickly. All right to ensure that we are able to maintain a high degree of service to our customers and as well, you know, make sure that they know that the business continues as well as Little Engines as possible. Obviously. This is quite difficult. Sometimes not considering that their banking tends to be a very I contacted industry traditionally, you know, a lot of businesses Center gone branches for semi charted certainly, you know, one of our core strengths is our relationship managers and how you know, we take a lot of effort in order to engage our clients on a very regular basis in order to ensure that we are continuously able to meet their needs. So, you know as as you can imagine a lot of this needs to change alright the last

A couple of months given the whole scenario die within covid-19 and subsequently with the Malaysian government and control order, you know for our watches. We had to limit some of our banking hours to ATMs as well. Right? I’ve also been limited I think partially to ensure that they don’t adhere to the guidelines for writing To Us by the government but there are technological leaps as well. Like, you know, we were one of the first few bags to last year to launch what we call video Banking and this allows our relationship managers in particular to engage with clients on the face to face or and then continue to talk to them to discuss at the dentist and their needs and I think you know, even this call is being recorded on the on the

Your call

Glad you can’t see my face given how how Pro by my appearance has given the lack of Iowa to go to a saloon any time recently, but similarly it video calls and these are happening on a daily basis of our customers and I think you know, it’s very interesting to observe how not only our customers but even our own internal staff just into to using this new modes of communication in Waiting, you know, most of communication which allow us to To maintain those lines open UVA with our customers or even a daily basis whenever required it’s quite a interesting to see how human beings that so quickly on a digital banking perspective and the marketing perspective in particular. I think we’ve also seen some some some Trends emerging initially when with the MCO was announced we notice that a lot of

Interest in banking services took a short pause. All right, and this resulted in a little bit for vacuum for a little while but in the weeks since right, we seen a very strong rebound as customers realize that you know, they they require the services that the bag has and they’re turning to the banks which are able to offer them do so is it has effectively via online channels? All right recently, you know actually in response to covid we accelerated the program in order to launch several new service requests. All right, and over online banking and SC mobile and this includes the capability to allow our customers to make nearly any request any banking service request that they can think of can now be done by a see mobile and online banking We Stand we chatted so you know this.

Instead of continuously able to provide that Superior level of service which our customers expect why digital means and yes, we had that in plans for quite a while but we certainly accelerated it, you know from the start of the year as we noticed that this is probably something that will become increasingly important given the challenging times that we have today. And in fact in the days ahead as well. Great eyes then so. What I understand is a lot of Innovations on the banking front. I mean the video banking that you spoke about the trends which has emerged SC mobile and online banking. I think these are some fantastic initiatives and I like the part you said that this entire pandemic has kind of accelerated while they would have been plans to do this from quite some time, but it got accelerated and some we benefited all the consumers.

Yeah, I’m just in the banking industry, wonderful . That brings me to my next question. As Odin is, you know, keeping in mind all these changes and innovations that have been done. What are the most important kpis for you from user engagement or consumer attention perspective. I think you know it’s it’s it’s always important to know what our customers need right and to try and anticipate their their their their banking requirements that’s always been important. But I think you know given covid-19 certainly, you know, there’s some pressure there in order to be even more insightful. All right.

Especially for the needs of our clients which is, you know, one of the things that that right now for example in the areas of online investment, right? We actually made it a very easy for customers to personalize their investment profile by asking mobile mobile banking app and then in a set goals and targets for them to achieve those those those needs And what our restaurant to does is that it then recommend, so either appropriate investment portfolios to take up and I think we’ve seen a good uptake in this this feature in the last couple of months simply because it’s something that can be done. So conveniently right and from the comfort of your own home and from here, we actually get quite a bit of information as well about the profiles of our customers. Then that leads to a bit of additional. Insights that were able to offer them for example, you know a lot of calls that our relationship managers who make those video calls. I was talking about earlier when we reached out to our customers exactly because of some of the insights that we gained via their investment decisions that made our smart goals application. So, you know, that’s just an example of how you know using data during this time in order to meet our customers needs and how You know doing these times again, right people are turning to these Services more and more right? Because it provides them a convenient way in order to meet their needs. Right? So there’s a virtuous cycle happening here. Try to and I think this is quite important for us to be aware of right? How can we create and nurture such virtuous Cycles? Right? Not just you know for for the good of the customers, of course, that is the main priority but also for the back

As well. I mean, you know, it always helps that for the business right to be able to understand right the needs of our clients and how we can contribute to that and then always must stop this data as well as understanding of of of the clients themselves understand because that makes it very very relevant to the consumers and relevancy is is of prime importance nowadays. Well, you know speaking about, you know data and then the various Aspects that you put forth. What are the challenges for you in keeping up with this kpis that you have seven? I think one of the main challenges will be you know, all of this being very attracted to Waters. I think I mentioned earlier that this is an unprecedented time and we are not just living in history. We’re making history. So, you know considering that there’s no Playbook to this right everything being new and everything being tested certainly means that you know, it becomes very important in order to have

Cycles fast fail cyclist in a fast very fast. The feeling it has to succeed right now is what I’m trying to get at but it’s because we just don’t know what works right and I think that’s the major challenge. You don’t know what works which means we have to try as many things as possible within a very short period of time so that gravity and that we go in order to get things out fast and not just fast, but make sure that things are done. And right. All right. It’s certainly something quite unique as far as you know, the nearly fifteen sixteen years of banking are fields of hard work. All right Banks as you rightly pointed out tend to be very well structured and rightly. So for good reason we are places of immense trust. Right people place their trust in us and this requires us to be extra careful. I think, you know being that that

Huge show organism. All right. So totally, you know moving very quickly is it’s very different from us. So again, I go for Sally chartered in particular. I would like to say that you know, it’s quite good that we were able to leverage on some things that we have launched, you know, even before all of this started, you know, most of the most stylish other projects are working on an agile methodology, which means a fast friends

Which does allow? Quickly. All right, and I think you know that’s that’s important. But at the same time it’s a big big challenge for us. You know, I would hesitate to say that everything we’ve done has been successful. All right, there’s been quite a few tumbles here. There’s as we get along with this but I would say that you know, that’s something that is probably common for everyone given how different things are right now. And how uncertain some of the future is right in terms of where we’re headed. All right, sadly mixes makes it quite an interesting time in order to to plan things out and execute having said that all right, I would also like to point out that you know, it’s a huge opportunity right given the difficulties that we have is also a huge opportunity in order to to get things right and I think you know most cases.

Right, we have been able to get many things right, the example of the service with popular electronic service requests, which I mentioned earlier. As I said is something that we were planning for quite a while that we do but being able to launch it now exactly the time where it’s needed the most right is certainly a big win not just for the back but also for all our clients who rely on our services we have recently Launched when I see recently I met last year we launched the ability to handle online credit card applications by straight through processing, right? So a customer can apply for a credit card online and get a digital copy proof. We didn’t take minutes of his application, you know, so I timed it one time before and from start to finish we did seven minutes. You can have a car that has at least a part number expiry date and a TV in your hand within seven minutes.

And that’s more than enough in order to allow you to perform transactions and that’s very important. Now if you think about it, right there was a big win for us. We launched it last year, but given what we have now, it’s a huge win for us and our customers because sometimes people need to do online shopping and they need the capability to use it more quickly. All right. So, as far as a child has our concerns, I would say there are many which I mentioned are not trying to but there are also Very many opportunities, which I think we can leverage on if we see things will be clear. My Clear Sight right who is located from the customer length. And what do they need flies better pad Liu apart? Excuse me. How do we make the Allies better? All right. These are the fundamental questions. I think we should ask ourselves during this time and the answers become even more relevant. Right? And those are opportunities. I think that You know we can bring two to bear and deal with them for clients.

So wonderful. What you say is that definitely there have been challenges of enough Force changes acceleration not having benchmarks not knowing how it will work and definitely time which is very short. You need to get those results. However, the best thing that I like is you saying how these challenges should be looked at as opportunities and whatever success is that you have been able to get I think again, congratulations and and welded to the entire team. Well, I do then do during the conversation. You mentioned a little bit about personalization that you are doing with, you know, the SC Mobile on the investment front and also using data and profile of the customers, you know, very well. My next question to you is to know your course on personalization and how this has benefited the bank in the last few days. I have had a lot of conversations with a lot of brands.

Snazzy especially weather is scale involved like the scale with Standard Chartered Bank personalization. Definitely is important. So your thoughts on that. It’s a good question. And you’re absolutely right. All of the citations are very poor in the research article and I get divided on why it’s important to us because you know, we’ve spoken to a great many of our customers and they all tell us the same thing. All right, they all want us to

Get to know them better. I think this is the new age of banking . Variety in my parents used to be that people could also go to the bank and tell them what they needed. Then the bank will cost something and give it to them but in today’s world, all right things have completely changed around right now. What our customers are telling us is that you know, people would be best if we advise them, right? That’s the value that I’m looking for mercy and I think you know in the areas of digital touch points, right? This is an example. I can give right sometimes you know, it’s so cool. Which matters the most well, of course, yeah, you know, they living that big, you know, investment profile ideas introduced things. I wanted and that requires you to have deep understanding of your clients in order to personalize and so them but in this Miss subtle things which matter just as much and sometimes even more so my choice

Well, I think you know one thing that we recently launched as a capability is you know for us to customize every single message that we send to our customers on the name basis. Not just on the name basis, but also from the service basis as well. So for example, you know, I could be I could send an email to try to write to you Triton Not only would it have your name on it? But you’ll also be able to put Their personalized note about who your relationship manager is and how you can contact the team that is dedicated just for you. All right, obviously, you know, this can be done on simple programs like mail merge and whatnot. But I think you’re right. He pointed out this is not on the scale basis for dealing with tens of thousands of customers. All right, being able to do that efficiently and making sure the right information which is

Right person at the right time we speed and peace and accuracy. These are cool technology challenges which can be solved? All right, and you know using the technology that is available today to S right to do these things. I think, you know, receiving that message from a bang with that level of understanding about who the customer is as well as what we’re able to offer them on a personalized level really makes a big difference in how the customer will respond to this message. So, you know, it’s in the final thing sometimes right never dismiss the small opportunities to to provide personalized experience to your customers are handcrafted experience obviously, you know as digital marketers, we know that all of this is when in the background to the use of artificial intelligence to the use of pretty advanced.

My GM for a very deep understanding to a sophisticated CRM, but we need its way touches the customer where it counts the most and I tell you you know, it really feels it really feels good for the customer in order to receive such a Communications from us it you know for some of them. All right, it might be magical. All right, how well we know them and how Personalized we make the message that we want them to get this feeling of you know, we are here for you. Right? It’s an audience of one being able to provide that emotional connection. All right to a very engaging precise message is that deceptively we strive for and you know, it’s something that we’ve been able to achieve and I think that you know in testing times like this, where as I mentioned earlier, it’s more difficult now to go face-to-face.

Positions. All right, TC electronic cash Market becomes even more important, even more relevant. Absolutely. I think you said a very important point of beginning also that in a banking industry or for a Bank Trust is very important and I think these smaller things I was imagining myself as a consumer and if my bank can understand me better send me something very, you know, personal and relevant to me. I will definitely feel you know more connected to that and definitely, you know, my Loyalties will also increase towards the bank. So I think a very good point you have put forward is within that brings me to my last question of this podcast. So I would like to know your thoughts on artificial intelligence machine learning Predictive Analytics and how this could be leveraged by Brands like Standard Chartered bank and definitely how it could be useful to the consumers.

I mean

VI is all the rage right now. And I must say I must confess that chocolate is not immune to a little bit of hype right so much so that we are already experimenting with many of these things at various levels of sophistication in the many markets that we are present in globally, for example in Hong Kong. We have what we call Stacy which is a pretty sophisticated chatbot which is Able to respond to a great number of inquiries and questions and requests. All right that the typical customer may have all via a very simple simple chat interface which is quite user-friendly to try to solve it over to Senator Chapman Hong Kong and give it a go give it a try. If you want to see how it works. The the the great thing is is that I think you know is that we started we have this ability to

Two experiments for the pilot and in markets and if it works out if it works out and it’s something which we see value in it it’s able to deploy very quickly in other markets such as Malaysia and Singapore in Malaysia, you know, we have mentioned earlier. We have a personalization engine. We have algorithms which understand investment profiles. We do have quite a bit of ability. T and capability there as well in order to tailor things for our customers. Some of it is done by the algorithm Center and AI that we have and of course of Wills done by good all the messy iOS is a human intelligence are eyewitnesses artificial intelligence human intelligence comes home for now at least who knows what will happen in future. So yeah, I think it’s something which is still at the stage of an industry level as well. People looking at experiences tend to be a bit mixed at the moment and I tell you why I am right. It’s right it’s mixed because it’s so new right there tends to be a certain Tipping Point which needs to exist before these cutting-edge technologies become the norm, right if we look at it. No, it’s that the idea is that if there’s if it’s so new and people are not used to it. All right, then it is actually very difficult in order to encourage adoption. All right, people don’t know what it is. They don’t see it widely enough. Only one or two Banks offer it, no one talks about it, right then certainly. It is much more difficult to convince the general public in order to take it up. So I think you know while we will continue to see

Intuition and piloting with regards to Ai and other cutting-edge technology out there. All right. I do also foresee a concurrent. I wouldn’t say shift but emphasis out see a concurrent emphasis as well on consumer awareness and education. I think that needs to happen hand in hand. All right, and then it tends to generate its own momentum if A customer one day comes up to us and says where’s your AI? I don’t know back if you unless you have a I then it becomes a norm. All right, unfortunately, unfortunately, there’s not it’s not in people’s minds about saying that right now so it becomes part of our responsibility as well not just to deliver technology but to educate people about it and how it makes their lives better. Remember why I said we always start with the consumer first and think about what their needs are.

How we can serve them better and then once we figure it out, let’s not be shy, let’s not be shy about telling them about which is one of the reasons why I think of podcasts like this. I reported medium because it does get the message out there and, you know, considering other industry professionals. We listen to this message as well. Let me just touch all of us. All right in order to make things better for our customers. Sometimes we need to spend an equal amount of time educating them about it and equal amounts of effort giving them awareness about what we have in store for them. There’s no point in having all the latest technology, but keeping them as best kept secret. So I mean if we have a capability we need to talk it up. All right, if it fails it fails it is if AI is not something that people want.

You tell us but if we don’t at least engage with that to make them aware about these things then they may never know and they may never feedback and that that doesn’t help anyone right so so yeah, right do the things that we are doing but at the same time right shout about it from the top of the roofs right? Let the whole world know what we can do. Wonderful. So I think I shouldn’t take the very , very important perspective that you have put here while there is technology that can be utilized. I think creating that awareness and educating is also very important. I should tell you that. This was a great podcast episode with some very good Data Insights and your point of creating that awareness and education is definitely done within this. Thank you so much as of than for your time and your insights I am sure are

Our listeners would definitely benefit from your you know, thoughts and your insights here. Thank you. Thank you for having me.

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