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Best Bank Awards

Mongolia's best digital bank 2018: Khan Bank

Khan Bank

Digital banking has been a big hit in this big country that has barebones infrastructure and a high level of smartphone penetration. A decade ago, most bank transactions were done in the branch; now, that share is below 10% and falling. Disruptive fintech firms are pushing into the sector, forcing traditional banks to up their game.

No institution has done a better job of this than Khan Bank. Mongolia’s largest lender by assets and customers began its push into the digital world in 2013, rolling out internet and mobile banking services. Each year, it innovates a little more; over the last year it has introduced Qpay, a QR code payment service that incorporates facial recognition and fingerprint-based log-in and e-billing. More than 80% of all domestic digital transactions are processed by Khan Bank.

Chief executive John Bell certainly talks the talk on digital, pointing to a recent upgrade of Khan’s mobile banking app and plans to move to an omni-channel platform in 2019 with Infosys. A digital campaign, branded ‘Live more, go digital’, echoes the ‘Live more, bank less’ tagline championed by Singapore’s DBS, probably the world’s best digital lender.

But Bell, a Chicago native who joined Khan in 2016 after stints at Citi and ABN Amro, recognizes the value of hiring digital talent from beyond Mongolia’s borders. In March 2018, Pankaj Patel, a former head of technology at ANZ in Singapore, joined as chief information officer, overseeing the full gamut of digital launches, tweaks and upgrades.

In the long term, Bell’s aim is to push Khan further out of its comfort zone, transforming it into “the most customer-centric organization in Mongolia”, capable of delivering everything from banking services to takeaway pizza to home furnishings.

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