BANKING TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Asian banks fall behind Western counterparts in digital transformation

Only DBS had the digital model that can stand with European and American banks.

Asian banks are eating the dust of their European counterparts as they lag behind in adopting digital transformation models to prepare for rising mobile and online adoption of banking services, according to a report from Juniper Research. 

Banks in the region may not be adequately prepared for the onslaught of an estimated 2 billion users worldwide who are expected enjoy access to retail banking services via smartphones, tablets, PCs and smartwatches amidst accelerated adoption in emerging markets like India and China. 

Only Singapore’s DBS bank was noted by the report as a digital trailblazer who was lauded for the extent and maturity of its digital portfolios. 

Tier-1 Western banks, on the other hand, are actively taking the lead in the widespread digital transformation of the financial services sector which includes a mix of US and European banks like Barclays, BNP Paribas, Deutsche, Societe Generale, Citi, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo amongst others. 

“They were found to be in the mature phase of digital transformation, approaching the final stages of objectives as defined in their current roadmap. These players also lead in customer training and employee development programmes, with regards to digital technology,” noted the research author Nitin Bhas.

However, this doesn't mean that Asian banks are not making headway in their respective digital implementation as major banks in Thailand are stepping up their digital strategies and mobile wallets explode in scale in India. With enough time to roll out their digital models, the West's domination may soon be contested by its Asian counterparts.   

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