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BANKING TECHNOLOGY | Roxanne Uy, Singapore
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How Asian banks can revolutionise the use of social and digital media

Find out what Westpac, BPI, CIMB and Fiserv have to say.

ABF: How can a bank best use social media and digital media to reach out to a particular group of clientele?

Westpac: Harry Wendt, General Manager Digital
Social media provides another medium for us to engage in dialogues with our customers. At a simplistic level customers will have these dialogues about our brand whether we participate in these conversations or not.

People naturally segment themselves in groups based on topics or events they are interested in. Discussing a relevant and/or timely topic, e.g. ‘what is your best tip for savings’ allows you to reach and engage people who are specifically interested in this area, and hence are already engaged.

Bank of the Philippine Islands: Manuel Tagaza, SVP and Group Head for Electronic Channels
The rate of digital consumption has been growing rapidly. The mindset of most consumers today is to look for information on products or services on the Internet, either through search engines like Google, social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, or through a bank's own website.

This is basically a consequence of consumers becoming more social and being dependent on their connected devices. Rather than doing face to face interactions or communicating through traditional media, consumers now prefer to use and access social and digital media.

This actually works in the bank’s favor because using social and digital media for marketing and advertising is definitely faster and more cost-effective. It also gives the bank the opportunity to reach a broader audience and to do more targeted advertising.

Similarly, it makes it easier to gather analytics and do market research, including monitoring customer insight and detecting developing trends. Furthermore, a presence in social and digital media also gives bank customers an alternative customer service channel.

For the past couple of years, our bank has been strategically using social and digital media to interact with our customers. We now have our own Facebook page and Twitter account to increase customer engagement. These outlets allow us to be more accessible because we are where our customers are, online.

It also gives us a chance to have more immediate and personal two-way conversations with the customers. The biggest benefit of this type of real-time engagement is that we get to respond more efficiently and effectively to customer needs and concerns.

Our online efforts have also extended into digital media. We have focused heavily on marketing and advertising through digital media such as website ads, YouTube videos, features in popular blogs and finance-related forums.  

CIMB: Renzo Viegas, Deputy CEO and Head of Consumer Banking
Social media is essentially an online channel for engagement and communication while digital media, in our view, means anything that is communicated online. When asked about how best a bank can use these mediums to reach out to a particular group of clientele, we first need to identify what would add value to that particular group of clientele and how best these mediums can provide that value.

If we look at our credit card customers for example, what these customers are looking for is essentially a bank that can communicate their deals and promotions to them in a relevant and convenient manner.

To do this, social media helps because it allows for sharing of information. It also allows a bank to look at its customer’s demographics or “likes” and propose deals that are most relevant to that customer (as well as their friends) therefore showcasing deals to our customers which they would be interested in.

For instance, CIMB has an application on Facebook (Deals, I Like) that informs our customers of which deals they are most likely to “like” and it allows our customers to discover and search for deals located closest to them via a mobile device . This therefore, makes use of both social and digital mediums to reach out to our credit card customers effectively.

On the other hand, if we assume a customer segment is a particular group of clientele – take the youth segment for example, using this medium to reach out to the younger generation would involve providing them something of value.

Be it in the form of a community to share their views (about banking or otherwise), a place to crowd-source ideas or a convenient platform to perform simple banking transactions – these are all different ways in which a bank can provide value to the youth segment via social and digital mediums. What we would do is identify the most suitable platform to engage with this segment and utilise it to give our customers what they need.

In summary, when we look at social and digital mediums and how best to utilise them, we look at the benefits of these mediums i.e. ability to target profiles, ability to share online, accessibility via mobile devices, ability to build communities; and see how we can use these benefits to add value to our customers.

Fiserv Asia: Nick Wilde, Managing Director
Social and digital media can allow banks to communicate with niche segments and targeted audiences. Social media users share their interests on social sites, directly and indirectly, and that allows you to target and attract audiences based on their interests.

Knowing their interests allows you to create messaging that ties into topics that are important to them and may indirectly lead them to the bank. It’s important to use social media to develop long term relationships through educational and lifestyle content, so when the users do have a banking need your bank is top of mind.
 

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