Southeast Asia, with a high percentage of its population still underbanked but with growing economies and widespread smartphone adoption, is prime territory for fintech upstarts as well as pioneering incumbent banks. The race is on, and many players have jumped in, with ASEAN governments promoting the contest, which is pushing the limits of financial services to new boundaries. The ultimate winners, of course, will be the commercial and retail customers.
Interview with Mr. Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director & CEO and Mr. Charles Sik, Managing Director, Personal Financial Services, Hong Leong Bank
Malaysia is amongst Southeast Asia’s most prosperous nations, with consistently high economic growth. It is also amongst the region’s most progressive; one of its top five banks, Hong Leong Bank, is leading the widespread adoption of digital solutions in finance. We were pleased to be joined by two of HLB’s senior executives, Domenic Fuda and Charles Sik, to discuss HLB’s newest strategies toward being “digital at the core”.
Thailand, the second largest ASEAN economy, is increasingly at the forefront of the digital-finance push in the region as part of the Government’s Digitization 4.0 strategy. With its citizens readily embracing technology and especially mobile solutions, Thailand’s financial-services providers have been heavily challenged to put aside traditional approaches and transform radically to compete with the tech giants, the new titans of e-commerce. One Thai bank, Siam Commercial Bank, has made great strides advancing in the digital age.
Malaysia’s Hong Leong Bank is setting an example for how digital technology can transform a bank into a customer-service dynamo—not only in its home country of Malaysia but throughout Southeast Asia. From m-servicing to AI, HLB is unleashing digital innovation along with that all-important human touch better than just about anyone else, meeting its customers’ needs and wants at every point of contact.