CARDS & PAYMENTS | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Learn how virtual banks can ease onboarding processes for SMEs

Hear from CH&Co's Guillaume Rico at ABF DOB Conference on how banks can stay ahead.

As Director, Guillaume Rico is leading the APAC Augmented Consulting practice at Chappuis Halder & Co. (CH&Co.)—a global management consulting firm dedicated to financial services.

Establishing deep involvement in the local fintech ecosystem, he is the co-founder of Kace ( and a mentor of several international acceleration programmes, such as ALPHA and PingAn Cloud Accelerator. Rico has also led several large-scale innovation programmes for major financial institutions in Asia and Europe, focusing on creating innovative digital banking concepts.

Asian Banking & Finance sat down with Guillaume ahead of his session at ABF Digital & Open Banking Conference 2019 to discuss his role in CH&Co., as well as his insights on what digitally active banks are doing to keep up with the competition and stay relevant in the industry.

What are your previous experiences and positions held that contributed to who you are as a banker/expert today?

As the head of Augmented Consulting practice for CH&Co in APAC, I have led several large-scale innovation programs for commercial banks and central institutions, covering a broad range of topics: transaction banking & payment digitisation, automation of KYC and customer onboarding, Central Bank Digital Currencies and digital assets, SME digital banking, etc.

What would you say are the best practices and digital strategies deployed by the region's digitally dominant banks? Where does open banking fit in this agenda, and how should banks capture the opportunities from this growing ecosystem?
The ecosystem is currently undergoing major changes with, for instance, increasing competition (new virtual banks), a fast-paced innovation environment and uncertainty on financial markets.

In that context, some of the most digitally active banks in the region have started adapting their models by (1) reaching maturity in the way they collaborate with new actors (i.e., fintechs) and making their integration easier in the current banking infrastructure, (2) leveraging on new data paradigms to increase their outreach to unbanked populations or SMEs and (3) digitising their own processes to control—or reduce—their cost base.

Can you give us a glimpse of what you will share at the ABF Digital & Open Banking Conference 2019?

My intervention will be addressed to virtual banks and focus on identifying best practices related to the onboarding process, especially for SMEs, as this has been the major pain point of traditional banking. What are the key drivers for fast and seamless onboarding of SMEs? How virtual banks could leverage on an open ecosystem to do so? How to open new funding horizons for SMEs whilst mitigating risks? These are the types of questions we will try to answer.

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