The digital domain: Future of banking in the UAE

Shehzad Hameed, Head of Retail Banking, Standard Chartered UAE.

Could you elaborate in detail about the features of your banking App and all what it offers including mobile bill pay & deposits?

Standard Chartered Bank’s goal is to be digital by design. We are passionate about customer experience and have developed one of the most user-friendly and feature-rich online and mobile banking platforms in the market.

Being an international bank operating in 70 markets globally, we identified the need for our clients who have relationships with us in different markets to be able to have a single and holistic view of their relationships.

This is exactly what ‘Global Link’ achieves. It is a service that we provide through online banking which allows clients to ‘pull’ information on their relationship with Standard Chartered in different markets through a unified online banking access. It also allows clients to easily transfer funds from one market to another.

Our award winning digital platforms have also been recognised by the industry via multiple awards from Global Finance magazine and other reputable entities. To sustain the momentum, we are currently working on some exciting digital projects which will be rolled out in 2017. These include introduction of disruptive technology in enhancing client experience and platform enrichment.

Is your app store rating monitored and do you track /compare it with those of your competitors?

Yes we monitor our app ratings and stand amongst the best digital banking services, not just in the market but globally. We have been named “The World’s Best Consumer Digital Bank” by Global Finance for the sixth consecutive year, beating out competition from 261 banks from around the world and dominating the Global Sub-category Awards.

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The Bank has also won “The Best Regional Consumer Digital Bank for Middle East & Africa” by the same magazine for the fifth consecutive year, sweeping up awards for “The Best Global Consumer Mobile Banking App and “The Best Global Information Security Initiatives.”

This industry recognition is a testament to our continued focus in developing market-leading online and mobile channels that deliver easy, convenient banking to all our clients.

Client’s insights are at the heart of our conception and construct. We focus heavily on data mining and client analytics which drives our strategic initiatives.

We continuously monitor and analyse our clients’ behaviours and work on delivering tailored solutions based on trends and patterns we observe in their interactions; at the same time we study global market best practices and trends to ensure delivery of a world class solution.

How do you plan to transition the bulk of your budget from operating and staffing branches to invest in Internet, Social Networking and Mobile?

The Bank of the future is a digital bank with a human touch. How we are going to do this is by being digital, agile and lean.

• Being digital — It’s about looking at the processes from the client’s perspective. So at the touch of a button, the transaction goes straight through into our system, with as little human intervention as possible.

• Agile is a way of working where we work in project teams with product owners, coders, testers, compliance all sitting around the table. So we will develop solutions much more quickly.

• Lean is all about making our processes simpler — It’s about streamlining and taking away the unnecessary waste during production.

We have been investing in developing our digital banking solutions not only to transform client experience but also to provide them with the highest levels of security. In 2015, the Group announced that it will invest about USD3 billion in technology and systems over the coming three years that includes investments in its global shared service centres in a concerted effort to transform its digital capabilities.

We are now executing that strategy where our focus is on shifting clients from branch and physical channels to digital interactions. We strongly believe that clients who are active on digital carry low operational costs. We have also noticed that these clients are more loyal to the Bank, have higher balances and use a wider range of products compared to clients who are not active on digital.  These analogies are supported by exhaustive data analysis performed by the Bank.

We rolled out a number of initiatives in the UAE:

• Retail work bench: the Bank launched Retail Workbench, a digital ‘bank in an iPad’ sales-and-service tool in 9 markets (including the UAE) allowing sales staff to open an account for a client in any location and making banking services like loan approvals and credit card issuance fast, simple and completely paperless.

• Video Banking: By next month, the Bank will launch Video Banking in UAE, allowing the existing and new clients to speak with banking consultants over a secure video connection from a location of their choice, via a laptop.

• Touch Login: a state-of-the-art fingerprint recognition technology introduced. Users can log-in into Standard Chartered mobile banking with the ease of a fingerprint, instead of having to recall and type in a username and password.

• Voice biometrics: The Bank will introduce voice biometric technology for phone banking services for clients in the UAE by end of this month.

When clients call the bank’s contact centres, their identities will be authenticated through their unique voice prints for a safer and more secure phone banking experience.

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