Digital & Technology

ASEAN Banks Emphasize Technology for Client and Advisor Acquisitions

Wealthy customers in the ASEAN region are increasingly seeking banks that exhibit leadership in technological innovations. They desire an enhanced digital banking experience that is efficient, comprehensive, and personalized. Consequently, banks across the region have significantly ramped up their investments in technology, a trend further boosted by the pandemic's impacts.

Private bank relationship managers also have evolving expectations. The demand for straight-through-processing, which ensures smooth client onboarding and facilitates instant trade execution, is on the rise. These technological improvements not only enhance the client experience but also drive business efficiencies, reduce costs, and minimize human errors.

Marion Kohchet-Chua, from Atram Wealth Solutions in the Philippines, pointed out that as customer expectations shift in the wealth management sector, a robust digital proposition has become essential. She emphasized that the newer generation of clients gravitates towards firms they perceive as technological pioneers.

Joey Pang, of OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Berhad, highlighted the role of technology in altering client expectations. Customers now anticipate real-time access to their portfolios and trading capabilities, either online or through mobile apps. The application of artificial intelligence, combined with big data, allows banks to offer clients personalized investment insights, market updates, and thematic content, ensuring they remain informed and can capitalize on potential opportunities.

Apart from enhancing the client experience, technological upgrades are also streamlining bank operations. Albert S. Yeo, of BDO Private Bank, explained that their approach to technology focuses on three main areas: client interactions, relationship manager portals, and back-office systems. Each is designed to offer efficient access tailored to user roles and requirements.

Edwin Leong from RHB Group Asset Management underscored the significance of uninterrupted straight-through processing. Such a system facilitates everything from client onboarding to trade execution. Leong observed that high-net-worth clients now anticipate real-time dashboards that allow them to make informed decisions regarding their portfolios.

However, even as digital interaction becomes more prevalent, the value of human touch in banking remains irreplaceable. For instance, over 16,000 OCBC Bank clients utilize the OCBC RM chat function, a secure communication tool that allows them to interact with their relationship managers, conduct transactions, access services, and more. Yet, personal interactions continue to be essential, especially when navigating complex financial products or solutions.