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China Retail Banking Awards

Best retail bank for online banking 2020

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

Zhou Yang, ICBC.jpg
Zhou Yang, ICBC

As the largest bank in China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is never worried about not having enough retail clients. By June 2019, the bank boasted 627 million retail customers, issued 874 million new debit cards and 154 million new credit cards. ICBC also has the largest number of online banking clients among all Chinese banks.

But the bank did not rest on its laurels. Instead, ICBC has kept up its effort to move the entire retail banking segment online. By June 2019, 98% of ICBC’s internet financial transaction volume was generated online, hitting Rmb311.26 trillion ($44 trillion), up 0.3 percentage points from the end of 2018.

One of the bank’s most impressive accomplishments in 2019 was the development of ICBC e-Wallet, which connected more than 260 online platforms with retail consumers by the end of September last year.

The electronic wallet opens up the bank’s huge selection of application programming interfaces (APIs) to third-party service providers such as Xiaomi, Vanke and JD Finance. To enjoy the ICBC e-Wallet services, users do not need to be clients of ICBC, hold ICBC bank cards or have downloaded other ICBC applications. They can simply apply for electronic ICBC accounts through partner companies’ online platforms.

For example, ICBC e-Wallet users can access digital banking services through the partner app JD Finance. They can get deposit services when buying a house or take out a loan to rent a parking space, by opening ICBC e-Wallet on real estate developer Vanke’s website.

By the end of September, ICBC had provided financial services such as wealth management, payment settlement and small-sum financing to more than 10 million individual users through ICBC e-Wallet. But it has not limited its efforts to this one app: the bank has also improved its existing core online platforms such as ICBC Mall, ICBC e Loan and ICBC e Charity.

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