Efforts in reimagining retail banking and innovating digital banking experiences won accolades at the recent International Banker 2018 and AsiaMoney 2018 Awards respectively

Hong Leong Bank Berhad (HLB or “the Bank”) gained recognition for its efforts to raise the bar in retail banking through its digital-led transformation by notching wins from two eminent international finance publications recently. The Bank won the ‘Best Innovation for Retail Banking Malaysia’ award at the International Banker Awards 2018 and was also named both ‘Best Domestic Bank’ and ‘Best Digital Bank’ in Malaysia at the AsiaMoney Awards 2018 for its innovation and leadership in its transformation towards a highly digital-led and performance driven bank.

Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of HLB said that these recognitions are validation of the Bank’s journey towards being a customer-centric bank that is highly digital and innovative.

“We are very honoured by the recognition received for our commitment to elevate our customer experience and our immersive adoption of being digital at the core. We remain steadfast and focused on our goal to deliver exceptional customer service and enhanced customer experience. As a bank-wide strategy, we are reimagining banking by embedding digital considerations on a comprehensive basis in everything that we do. This is clearly reflected in how we are transforming our business processes, improving customer experience and providing relevant product solutions. Our success in this approach has seen HLB deliver tangible outcomes to top and bottom line, as well as, customer experience,” said Fuda.

HLB has been able to digitise its banking services and raise customers’ digital adoption across its retail and business banking segments guided by an overarching ethos to be ‘Digital at the Core’ with people at the forefront of everything it does. The Bank’s growth towards being digital is powered by three key initiatives which include leveraging on digital technologies to acquire customers efficiently, empowering customers to transact anytime and anywhere instantly through digital platforms, and improving customer satisfaction and number of products per customer through contextual offers and analytics.

As part of its digital journey, the Bank has developed a next-generation mobile banking experience with features that will appeal to Millennials and Gen-X customers. The mobile banking app called Hong Leong Connect App offers biometric fingerprint  and facial authentication where supported by mobile device and ‘three-word banking’ function, one-click bulk payment, and is three-language enabled to suit the Malaysian market, to name but a few of the innovations embedded in the App.

HLB is also the first bank in Malaysia to partner with Tencent to provide WeChat Pay payment solutions in the country. This has allowed HLB to serve the growing demand from Chinese tourists looking to use their WeChat accounts seamlessly in Malaysia. Recently, HLB also became one of the first banks in Malaysia to be an approved local WeChat Pay Master Merchant Acquirer, enabling users to transact with WeChat Pay in Ringgit Malaysia and binding their debit cards to WeChat Wallet.

In helping to shape the business landscape of the next generation, the Bank introduced a startup accelerator and mentorship programme called the HLB LaunchPad which is developed to nurture tech savvy startups in reinventing the financial services industry.

HLB employees have also benefited immensely from the digital journey such as with HALI, the first artificial intelligence (AI) powered chatbot developed to answer staff queries on Human Resource and Branch Operations policies and procedures, which will help the Bank improve operations efficiency by 60% over the course of the year.

“As the banking landscape continues to change with the rapid adoption and increased use of technology, we will continue to invest and evolve in our digital transformation efforts to deliver seamless and intuitive banking experience to our customers by leveraging on emerging technologies and the power of data to deliver contextual banking products,” added Fuda.

HLB’s quest in reimagining banking goes beyond customers and employees. The Bank has challenged the convention of talent acquisition by hiring fit-for-future talent as well as rewarding great ideas for better banking when it held its inaugural 24 hours hackathon challenge called Can You Hack It 2018 in early October.

The hackathon was the Bank’s novel approach at identifying talents capable of coming up with exciting and creative solutions for banking and business-related challenges. Given the strong response that the challenge attracted, the Bank will be running the ‘Can You Hack It’ hackathon twice a year. Outstanding participants may also receive an invitation to join the Bank for an exciting career while promising projects may receive further funding and support for incubator or accelerator programmes.

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