Transaction bank of the year 2018
China Merchants Bank
Every year, senior managers at China Merchants Bank oversee a competition that pits top financial technology teams against each other to invent applications that help corporate clients with functions ranging from handling salary payments more efficiently to sorting out payment invoices.
The winners not only get prize money or promotions, but also receive funding to launch the applications into the commercial world.
The bank’s goal is to become a financial technology bank, according to senior managers at the headquarters in Shenzhen’s Futian district, who add that it is investing heavily in a range of financial technologies to lead growth.
The bank is so serious about it that it invests as much as 1% of annual gross revenues in a fund to develop new applications for its 1.4 million corporate clients.
All banks offer basic services, such as cash settlement and financing, China Merchants managers say. The key to having a competitive edge in China today, they add, is to offer technology applications that rivals do not have.
In the bank’s annual fintech competition, funding does not just go to the top teams. All of the top 100 teams get funding, according to the bankers, who note that one of their latest innovations is an application that allows big corporate clients to use China Merchant credit risk systems to lend their own money out to other bank clients.
The bank says it is not afraid to lose clients or that customers will go direct to each other. That is because the platform that clients use offers a risk management system that holds them there. It also offers an online lending platform that allows the bank to do co-financing deals with clients.
With such a constant flow of innovation, China Merchants Bank certainly deserves to be named China’s transaction bank of the year.