Hong Kong's best digital bank 2020: Standard Chartered
The digital offerings of banks in Hong Kong have faced two big tests over the last 12 months.
One came from the middle of 2019, when pro-democracy protestors took to the streets nearly every day for months, often clashing with armed riot police. Workers around the city’s central business district also joined in during lunch hours, bringing the business area to a halt on multiple occasions.
The second came this year, when Covid-19 led to a partial lockdown of the city and strict social distancing measures. Both events forced banks to respond to a dramatic change in customer behaviour, in particular greater online engagement. Standard Chartered showed its agility during both periods.
Vicky Kong heads up retail banking for Hong Kong, while Annie Chen leads Standard Chartered’s digital banking and personal segment business. They worked together to ensure the bank’s digital active client base rose 56%, versus average growth of 47% in Hong Kong.
After Covid-19 struck, the use of Standard Chartered’s faster payment system spiked by about 30%.
The bank had also launched remote account opening services for its wealth management clients. Its use jumped 30% in the first quarter compared to the fourth quarter last year.
One notable service to improve customer engagement was My RM, introduced at the end of February. Through this feature, clients could speak to their relationship managers remotely. That proved extremely popular during the virus-linked lockdown.
An additional win was its move to launch QR Cash in early 2019, which allows customers to make cardless cash withdrawals by simply using a QR code. This has gained plenty of traction, with usage growing 38% since kick-off.