PVcomBank builds success on AWS cloud

June 04, 2024 | 14:12
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PVcomBank, one of the fastest growing banks in Vietnam, is building a platform on AWS to deploy advanced technologies to promote innovation, enhance customer satisfaction, and increase operational efficiency. Trinh Vinh Hien, deputy IT director at PVcomBank, and Eric Yeo, country manager at AWS Vietnam, spoke with VIR’s Bich Thuy about the partnership and moving forward.

Why did PVcomBank choose AWS? How effective has building a platform on AWS been for PVcomBank's operations recently?

Hien: PVcomBank is one of the first banks to deploy AWS cloud-based applications in Vietnam. As part of our long-term strategy to become a leading digital bank in terms of experience and performance of digital products and services, the migration to AWS cloud aims to meet the goals of cost optimisation and modernisation of the business model in a continuous and flexible manner, grasp innovation opportunities and quick adaptation, help improve customer services, and meet the bank's development needs.

PVcomBank builds success on AWS cloud

In addition, a solid infrastructure foundation on AWS cloud will ensure the necessary capacity for PVcomBank to continuously innovate new products and services, completing important components in the bank’s comprehensive digital transformation strategy.

Using data on customers’ behaviour and habits of using financial services, PVcomBank will introduce/suggest other suitable products and services, thereby increasing cross-selling opportunities.

The partnership with AWS also brings technology benefits, such as flexible and rapidly expanding infrastructure; stable and reliable operation; total cost-savings of 20-40 per cent; and optimisation of operating costs through labelling, cost allocation, and automation of operational activities. Moreover, time to market is reduced by 50 per cent. It also allows for more innovation, speeds up testing processes, and optimises product completion time. For service quality, the number of calls with questions/complaints about products and services has fallen by half.

Regarding social benefits, deploying Open Banking on AWS cloud allows PVcomBank to reach target customers in an ecosystem that was previously difficult to access for bank products and services such as health and education, with a medium growth rate of 5,000 customers/day.

How has cooperation with AWS helped PVcomBank achieve its digital transformation goals specifically?

Hien: PVcombank has comprehensively migrated nine core banking applications to the AWS cloud, including our Enterprise Service Bus, API management, digital banking, retail mobile banking, business internet banking, our customer data platform, and a big data platform.

PVcomBank builds success on AWS cloud
Trinh Vinh Hien, deputy IT director at PVcomBank

We have also deployed open banking services to allow third parties to develop services such as opening accounts, payments and transfers, savings accounts, overdrafts, and virtual credit cards, based on PVcomBank's core banking platform.

With AWS, we better understand customers through our multichannel feedback centre, where customers can share their experiences and expectations of products/services. This helps us to classify customer segments more effectively using machine learning.

The bank can personalise customer services using generative AI. By using machine learning to cross-check transactions against anti-money laundering checklists, and identify and remove suspicious transactions, detection rates have increased by half and the investigation time for each fraud case has reduced by up to 70 per cent.

We have reduced IT operating costs by up to 40 per cent thanks to technology restructuring with about 50 related AWS cloud services, reduced time-to-market for direct-to-customer services to just one week, and improved our click-to-sale conversion rate from 0.5 to 3.5 per cent.

We have also built a data lake on Amazon S3 & Redshift to transform data into predictive insights that can optimise sales, increase customer engagement, and improve operational efficiency.

To secure the data lake, the bank uses AWS Landing Zones to drive productivity for approximately 100 data engineers, data analysts, and seven teams.

We use Amazon SageMaker to detect/prevent fraud/phishing, while using Amazon Bedrock to provide a summary of what customers are looking for based on search, chat, feedback, etc. These results include a 30 per cent increase in customer satisfaction.

PVcombank has cut 18 tonnes of C02 emissions with AWS since 2012 using AWS's renewable energy system. We will also retrain and upskill more than 1,000 employees on cloud tools by 2025.

What are the next steps for PVcomBank? Does the bank have plans to increase its cooperation with AWS or other technology partners?

Hien: PVcomBank is collaborating with AWS to develop a roadmap to deploy a comprehensive training programme for personnel until 2025, thereby re-equipping and improving professional digital skills for more than 1,000 employees in various business units and IT departments, aiming to build a human foundation to operate cloud computing applications proficiently and effectively at the bank.

The bank and AWS's training and certification team are jointly evaluating the existing skills of employees, thereby determining training strategies as well as career advancement and development roadmaps suitable for the team. In addition, other professional units at the bank such as IT, the data council, business divisions, and others are also proactively updating knowledge and skills for their employees in the many new service and technology areas that AWS provides, building a culture of innovation through seminars to share practical experiences.

By 2023, PVcomBank was operating at least half of its business processes in the cloud. PVcomBank expects to operate up to 75 per cent of its workload on the cloud in the next six to 12 months.

PVcomBank builds success on AWS cloud
Eric Yeo, country manager at AWS Vietnam

As digital transformation is being accelerated in the financial services industry, what important generative AI is a driver for business transformation in the industry?

Yeo: We are seeing generative AI as a driver of business transformation in financial services. Our 2024 “Accelerating AI Skills: Preparing the Asia-Pacific Workforce for Jobs of the Future”research shows that across ASEAN, financial services is leading the charge on AI adoption, with 97 per cent of related organisations using AI solutions and tools today, followed closely by the telecommunications industry (96 per cent), and the public sector (92 per cent).

Over 97 per cent of surveyed employers and workers expect to use generative AI tools on the job within the next five years, with 76 per cent of employers highlighting “increasing innovation and creativity” as the top benefit, followed by automating repetitive tasks (66 per cent), and improving outcomes (64 per cent).

In tandem with this, our digital skills 2023 research found that workers with advanced digital skills – such as cloud architecture and software development — boost Asia-Pacific’s annual GDP by $934 billion. When combining all workers that use any level of digital skills, the net economic benefit to the region is almost $4.7 trillion a year. The research also found that both public (77 per cent) and private sector (48 per cent) workers who received digital training reported benefitting from increased efficiency.

In Vietnam, our investment in local technical capabilities, infrastructure, and building skills and talent has been a key reason why Vietnamese banks choose AWS. This is why in November 2023, Amazon launched the “AI Ready” initiative that complements AWS’s commitment to provide free cloud computing skills training to 29 million individuals globally by 2025. Through AI Ready, we now offer a suite of free AI and generative AI training courses, including seven courses in Vietnamese, aligned to both technical and non-technical roles, so that anyone can build AI skills.

With these investments, we hope to contribute to the acceleration of the digital transformation journey of financial services in Vietnam.

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By Bich Thuy

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