In order to manage risks and provide ongoing stability, financial institutions usually take more time than other companies to adapt to change. However, there are some bold financial institutions that are driving innovation and accelerating digital transformation.
Two such companies are Singapore-based insurer Singlife and Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank). You can hear their inspiring stories of digital innovation at the upcoming episode of Salesforce Live: Asia for Financial Services Trailblazers.
The financial services landscape is more competitive than ever. Traditional financial institutions face rising competition from FinTechs and InsurTechs, who are shifting further into their territory. A race is forming in Southeast Asia to digitise financial services and efficiently gain new customers.
While FinTechs may not have been a direct threat in the past, they often provide services to underbanked or unbanked individuals and small businesses. There is a significant number of these types of customers throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The International Monetary Fund found that half of adults from low and middle-income Asia-Pacific economies do not have a bank account. Less than 10% have borrowed from financial institutions. If FinTechs were to convert these individuals to become higher value customers, then traditional banks could face a real challenge.
There are also the “SuperApps” to keep an eye on. At the end of last year, Grab in Singapore received its full digital banking licence and has a priority to expand into the financial space. In Indonesia, there is GoTo, which was formed from the merger of GoJek and Tokopedia. The company offers digital payments and financial services, such as insurance and loan management, all through the GoJek SuperApp. Customers can even open a traditional bank account with a partner bank directly through the app.
Just as the pressure is on to acquire new customers, there is equal pressure to keep them. Creating an optimal customer experience and delivering great customer service are high on the priority list for digital transformation. Companies are exploring solutions like Salesforce Financial Services Cloud to build deeper relationships with customers.
UnionBank may not be the largest bank in the Philippines, but they are a digital pioneer. Rather than competing on size alone, they began their digital transformation in 2015 to offer stronger services for their customers. Every aspect of their digital transformation was designed around the customer perspective.
UnionBank empowered their team of Relationship Managers with tools based on the Salesforce platform to help them access the information they need from anywhere. The team can now easily help customers open bank accounts from home.
Thanks to this digital innovation, UnionBank can deliver banking services from anywhere, without being limited by the number of branches or usual banking hours. The bank delivers exceptional customer service and a true omnichannel experience to more than 6 million customers around the Philippines.
When life insurer Singlife was launched in Singapore, the company began with a mission to serve customers through digital platforms. Customers could sign up for products on their mobile devices without ever meeting an agent.
That innovative approach to focus on digital has paid off for the company. Singlife has now become a significant player in insurance in Singapore. They recently launched in the Philippines and are exploring further expansion in Southeast Asia.
Singlife strives to create personal experiences for customers and to understand customers better through scalable and efficient technology. They introduced a range of self-service options for customers and even launched a debit card that is linked to a life insurance policy. Spending over a certain amount in set periods qualifies the card holder to earn bonus returns on their policy and have these credited to their Singlife account.
Singlife recently merged with Aviva Singapore, a major provider of life and health insurance, retirement, and investment solutions. Adopting a Singlife approach across Aviva’s scale and infrastructure, and digitising more of its products and services, will bring significant opportunities for the combined company.
Singlife and UnionBank have grown their businesses during challenging times, thanks to being digitally prepared for the future. Other financial institutions can stay ahead of changing customer expectations by embracing digital transformation to achieve similar success.
To learn more about the innovative digital strategies of UnionBank and Singlife, register and tune in on 1 July for Episode 7 of Salesforce Live: Asia.