Consumers benefit from accelerated banking digitalisation amid COVID-19

December 16, 2020 | 11:59
While the pandemic has caused unprecedented disruptions to economic activities and societies across the globe, it does bring some positive effects, one of which is the acceleration in online and cashless transactions. Many people are now embracing digital ways, finding a greater ease and convenience in doing so.
consumers benefit from accelerated banking digitalisation amid covid 19
The global pandemic has accelerated banking digitalisation

According to Standard Chartered’s global survey published in September, COVID-19 has accelerated the consumer adoption towards e-commerce transactions The study of 12,000 adults across 12 markets (Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mainland China, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States) is the second in a 3-part series looking at how COVID-19 has transformed consumers’ way of life, and what changes could stay. Almost two-thirds of survey respondents (64 per cent) agreed that COVID-19 has made them more positive about online shopping.

Before the pandemic, two-thirds of survey respondents said they preferred to shop in-person, now this dynamic has shifted significantly with almost half (48 per cent) preferring online payments over in-person payments. This increase in the preference of online payments is true across a range of purchases, from groceries and travel to digital devices. As a result, almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of respondents now expect their country to go fully cashless, with almost half of the respondents (44 per cent) expecting this to happen by 2030.

Respondents in all 12 markets anticipate doing more of their shopping online from now on, with people in Kenya foreseeing a 30 per cent increase in their online spending, those in the UAE an 18 per cent increase, and those in Indonesia rise by 16 per cent. While still anticipating an overall increase, respondents in the UK, Mainland China, the US, and Taiwan believe their online spending will only grow by less than 10 per cent in the future.

At the same time, McKinsey & Company’s survey of retail bank customers in France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Portugal, and the UK in April showed a rise in online bank usage in all these countries, from a 7 per cent increase in Italy to 19 per cent in Portugal, with a similar pattern in mobile access.

In Vietnam, the situation is similar as the pandemic has also contributed to changing online transaction habits of many people and accelerated banking digitalisation. According to the State Bank of Vietnam’s statistics, the number and value of cashless transactions in Vietnam saw a surge of 75.2 and 30 per cent on-year, respectively, in the first nine months of the year.

Meanwhile, the number and value of transactions made through mobile devices rocketed by 125 and 130 per cent on-year, respectively. This provides a huge opportunity for financial institutions to leverage their digital capabilities to delight clients with utilities and new experiences.

Recently, the fully foreign-owned Standard Chartered Vietnam has launched its 24/7 instant interbank transfer service on SCPay, its new cloud-native global payments platform. The new service allows both of its corporate and individual clients to send and receive funds to and from bank accounts of National Payment Services Vietnam (NAPAS) network member banks anytime, anywhere, including on weekends and public holidays.

This bank also launched a VNPAY QR Code payment feature on Straight2Bank Pay, its award-winning digital collections gateway for corporates, to help clients enhance the efficiency of their collection and give consumers the convenience to pay by simply scanning a QR code with their mobile devices.

Harmander Mahal, head of Retail Banking, Standard Chartered Vietnam said, with a footprint in more than 60 of the fastest-growing markets around the world allows the lender to tap into the best innovations around the globe and ensure that every innovation is based on both external and client insights.

The representative of Standard Chartered Vietnam shared that the bank’s online and digital banking platform allows clients to execute most of the banking transactions at their without the need to visit a branch.

In early October, Standard Chartered Vietnam cooperated with national carrier Vietnam Airlines to launch the Standard Chartered EliteFly card, which helps to promote cashless payments by rewarding clients with Lotusmiles as they make purchases with the card.

This cooperation is the first in the market to offer such an incentive. The card is linked to a Standard Chartered EliteFly account, which is also the first in the market to allow clients to earn miles from a wide variety of transactions, such as deposits with term savings, life insurance purchases, and payments of utility bills.

"We’re evolving in sync with our clients’ fast-paced and digitally connected lives and seek to continue innovating and improving our service quality to better serve the evolving demands of our clients,” noted Mahal.

Present in Vietnam since 1904, Standard Chartered is a foreign bank known for providing world-class quality services to a wide range of customer segments, including multinational corporations, financial institutions, and non-financial services to small- and medium-sized enterprises, and individual customers.

The bank has been named the “Best Digital Consumer Bank in Vietnam” by the Global Finance Magazine for the fourth consecutive year. It was also named the “Best Foreign Retail Bank in Vietnam” by International Finance Magazine in 2020, a title which it received for the second year in a row.

By Hong Dung

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