The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) regulates banks operating in the country to ensure a safe and efficient domestic financial system, but a high percentage of bank assets that fall under its domain are foreign owned, leading to the challenge of compliance with the bank’s home regulations and New Zealand’s, as its host. However, foreign-owned banks can and do thrive in New Zealand’s soundly maintained financial sector.
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.
The Southeast African nation of Mozambique, rich in natural resources with a predominantly agricultural economy, is a land of opportunity but with a seriously underbanked population. One of its most pioneering commercial banks, Moza Banco, is determined to make the most of the nation’s economic rebound with a full range of innovative products and services molded around its customer-centric relational model offered to clients in a variety of markets.
Using technological innovations to make the process of completing financial transactions seamless and convenient for customers seems like a worthy objective for banks. It’s a good goal, but it doesn’t go far enough. Celent’s recent survey indicates that today’s digitally oriented consumers expect more; they expect to be positively engaged through relationship building, which will result in their banks knowing them well enough to offer invaluable, tailored financial advice.
Digitalization has become second nature to many banks around the world, but not all. In the Central European country of Hungary, many banks—and their customers, who are relatively uninformed of the ways going digital can enhance their personal financial management—are in the early stages of the digital banking voyage. The time has arrived for Hungarian banks to jump into the present, or remain behind in the past.
Competition is intensifying in the banking sector, with fintech start-ups, technology giants and social-media leaders targeting various parts of the financial-services profit pool.
Weighing the possibility of adopting AI and automated decision-making is no longer a choice for banks; this technology has proved its worth in everything from combating fraud to meeting compliance requirements to providing excellent customer service via chatbots. As banks struggle to be profitable in the post-financial crisis era, AI has been an invaluable friend to those that have learned how to make it work for them.
In recent weeks, the eyes of the financial world have been firmly fixed on Turkey, since its lira plunged in reaction to a doubling of trade tariffs by the United States.
Credit cards have become an essential staple of the financial world within the past century, so a world without them seems inconceivable today. But the marriage of Open Banking with Instant Payments is making that reality look more plausible, and in the not-too-distant future. How can banks not simply survive but excel in the new post-card world, in which the payments process moves in-house, providing a wealth of data?
Banks were created to work for and on behalf of their customers, and by staying true to that purpose, they earned their customers’ trust that they placed the financial interests of consumers at the centre of their operations. Over time, and partly due to financial crises, that trust has been eroded, and only a root-and-branch reform will recreate the societal purpose on which ethical banking was founded.