Date
29 May 2017
Eight million WeChat users exchanged 40 million cash-attached mobile messages, in the form of virtual red envelopes, during the Lunar New Year season this year. Photo: CNSA
Eight million WeChat users exchanged 40 million cash-attached mobile messages, in the form of virtual red envelopes, during the Lunar New Year season this year. Photo: CNSA

Cyberspace: The next battlefront for banks

Traditional banks in Hong Kong have begun to invest more in development and promotion of digital services.

The moves come amid a shift in consumer behavior as more people go online for all their banking needs.

Recently, Tencent’s WeChat messaging app launched its red-envelope service in Hong Kong, encouraged by the success of the offering in the mainland since the rollout there in 2014.

Eight million WeChat users exchanged 40 million cash-attached mobile messages, in the form of virtual red envelopes, during the Lunar New Year period, making the service an instant hit.

In another case, JETCO, Hong Kong’s leading ATM network, is working to introduce an inter-bank solution for peer-to-peer and peer-to-merchant mobile and online payments.

Hong Kong is said to be trailing behind mainland China and other developed countries in terms of introducing effective mobile payments, something which is becoming increasingly important to consumers.

Consumers now have many choices for managing their finances, meaning that retaining and rewarding customers in a way which reflects their personal preferences and motivations is vital to ensure brand loyalty.

Collinson Group recently conducted research amongst mass affluent consumers in China to better understand how important it is for banks to respond to them in a personalized manner.

The research found that convenient banking is of huge importance to consumers, with 44 percent of respondents naming banking/finance apps as something they cannot live without.

When asked about what brands can do to inspire loyalty, 85 percent of the survey respondents cited the need for the company to “know who I am and treat me differently”, while 80 percent named VIP privileges as a prime motivator.

Collinson Group is the parent company of Priority Pass, provider of independent airport lounge access worldwide, a company which recognizes the value that premium services offer to keep customers engaged and loyal to their financial service providers.

If financial services brands rethink their strategies to engage and retain customers, there is a real opportunity on mass affluent consumers to make them become powerful brand advocates.

Over the last few years, payments, commerce and social media have converged and influenced consumer behavior in a variety of ways.

One example is Maybank, a Malaysian institution, which has recently launched new services on its online banking platform Maybank2u (M2u) in order to boost operational efficiency.

The new banking services include instant decisions for credit cards, bill presentment on mobile, QuickTouch for Android devices as well as a transaction banking site in Bahasa Malaysia, all of which aim to reduce the time required for account opening and card application.

Social media and mobile services encourage an “always-on” attitude as consumers continually expect fresh content in reward and loyalty programs. There is an opportunity for card providers to offer real-time, tailored promotions and redemption at the moment of purchase.

This boosts customer loyalty and offer brands the opportunity to build greater connections with their customers.

In return, financial service providers can track the spending of the customers and get to know about their best clients, and what motivated behavioral change.

The next battlefront for banks is beyond the traditional interaction model.

– Contact us at [email protected]

RC

Director of Market Development, APAC, Collinson Group

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