, Indonesia

Indonesian banks all aboard in driving financial innovation

Asian Banking and Finance Forum brings together banking leaders with a shared vision.

IN fostering a culture of innovation in Indonesia, banking executives find common ground in the pivotal role of digital and corporate banks — strongly affirmed at the recent Asian Banking and Finance Forum held at the Shangri-La Jakarta.

Leaders like Mayang Ekaputri, Dandy Pandi, Destya Danang Pradityo, Altona Widjaja, and Anne Suhandojo came together at the panel to discuss strategies on leveraging technology to remain competitive and improve customer experiences.

Culture of innovation

Anne Suhandojo of HSBC Indonesia highlighted the bank’s global integration, which ensures a seamless exchange of market trends and customer needs across its 62-country network. “We have daily and weekly sharing sessions,” she noted, emphasising that this continuous learning culture allows HSBC to adapt swiftly to market changes.

Echoing the sentiment, Dandy Pandi from PT Bank DBS Indonesia underscored the critical role of digital transformation accelerated by the pandemic.

“Post-COVID-19, our digital competition shifted significantly,” he said. Pandi pointed to initiatives like BIFAST, a government-supported digital transaction platform, which saw a remarkable surge in transactions.            

By adopting Application Programming Interfaces (API), PT Bank DBS Indonesia can streamline various banking operations, automate processes, and reduce the time required for transactions. This leads to quicker, more reliable services for customers.

The competitive edge

Altona Widjaja of OCBC NISP stressed the bank’s strategic focus on cutting-edge technologies such as blockchain, AI, and API integrations.

“Providing innovative solutions is our mission,” said Widjaja, citing the implementation of AI-driven tools to improve operational efficiency and deliver personalised customer service.

For instance, OCBC’s AI capabilities allow for quick document processing and personalised recommendations through their CRM system, significantly enhancing the customer experience.

Similarly, Destya Danang Pradityo of Allo Bank pressed on the importance of building a nimble technological infrastructure.

“We started from scratch, building a lean infrastructure to quickly adapt to market needs,” Pradityo recalled. He described how Allo Bank leverages its ecosystem, including partnerships with retail giants, to provide accessible financial services tailored to the younger, tech-savvy demographic.

Real-world innovations
Mayang Ekaputri of PT Bank Aladin Syariah Tbk shared a compelling case of disruptive innovation through the bank’s partnership with Alfamart.

“By integrating with Alfamart’s 19,000 outlets, we effectively extend our banking services to the broader population,” she said.

This collaboration enables Aladin to offer financial services in a more accessible manner, particularly benefiting those in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. The initiative has transformed traditional cash transactions into digital ones, promoting financial inclusion and encouraging sustainable saving habits amongst underserved communities.

Vision and strategic partnerships

Looking ahead, the panellists shared a unified vision of a technologically integrated and customer-centric future for banking.

Suhandojo outlined HSBC’s ambition to be an international partner for corporate customers, facilitating seamless transactions through platforms like Unitransact. This centralised hub simplifies foreign currency exchanges and international payments, addressing efficiency pain points for corporate clients.

Pandi, for his part, said that security and reliability in DBS’s digital transformation journey is of primary importance. “Innovation must go hand-in-hand with security,” he said, noting the bank’s commitment to security as cutting-edge technology takes over its systems to meet evolving customer needs.

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