FINANCIAL TECHNOLOGY | Contributed Content, Singapore
Rocky Scopelliti

How cross-industry learning keeps Asian banks growing


The continuing digital sophistication of consumers in the financial services market has driven many of the developments in products, infrastructure and processes.

The financial services market has changed markedly over the past decade. This change has been informed by two main trends: the increasing sophistication of consumers and the rise of social media and its profound impact on brand and consumer recommendation. Increased costs of capital and tightening availability, combined with the rise of digital services and increased operating costs have forced financial services organizations to adopt proactive approaches to stem the reduction in profit margins.

The rapid adoption of mobile-based services that are now widely reported explain, firstly, the appetite of consumers for new service experiences and, secondly, the dilemma associated with the pace of change outstripping the enterprise’s ability to respond. For example, the use of social media by banks such as Citibank, OCBC and DBS1 in Singapore demonstrates the ability of organizations to harness a powerful tool to drive marketing and customer loyalty.

Agility therefore has now become a distinguishing attribute of innovation leaders in the financial services industry. In Singapore, we see the InfoComm Development Authority’s creation of a Near Field Communication (NFC) ecosystem enabling companies like Citibank and DBS to quickly ramp up to meet consumer needs.

Insights gained from the retail sector are informing innovative new branch design. In the 2012 Telstra report ‘The Digital Media Bank – how video better engages your customers and workers’, video is featured as a new form for creating new experiences that can drive improved customer satisfaction, loyalty and consideration. This draws upon strategic developments that occurred in the media and broadcasting industries to inform how new media can be effectively deployed for banking interactions and engagements.

These developments are a result of a drive to improve the quality of customer data, and reduce the multiple sources where customer data is stored. Furthermore, the incorporation of Business Intelligence tools in bespoke application developments has enabled better planning and decision making, and also a better approach to customer targeting and marketing. The solutions developed around data also support the self-service models used by banks and insurance companies for transactional products such as online and mobile banking and insurance quotes.

Underpinning all these developments is security. The ability to self-serve on a transactional basis, but also view multiple products that may not be housed on the same systems, requires substantial security to prevent security lapses and detect any potential areas for fraud or misuse.

The banks that have succeeded in this new landscape are the organizations which have gained strategic insights from many industries and have maintained multi-billion dollar investments in core IT system and IP network transformations to broaden their product base to cover a multitude of financial services products.

Key Benefits of Technology Deployment

  • Productivity – reduced operating costs through improved processes design and automating end-to-end processes and workplace/workforce initiatives
  • Risk Management – using technology and business analytics to assess and better mitigate risk
  • Regulatory Compliance – new processes and systems to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and technological improvements to data quality and reporting
  • Customer Experience – designing experiences that enable the customer to engage, through the devices of their choice, the medium of their choice and at their time of choice.



1 Banks use social networking to boost credit card revenues, Channel News, 8 March 2012,

The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Asian Banking & Finance. The author was not remunerated for this article.

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Rocky Scopelliti

Rocky Scopelliti

Rocky Scopelliti is the National General Manager Industry Development at Telstra Enterprise & Government. He is responsible for leading the thought leadership team accelerating the awareness of Telstra’s emerging technology solutions across industries including Financial Services, Media & Entertainment, Retail, Mining, Construction, Utilities, Resources, Manufacturing, Transport and Logistics.

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