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Experts: Technology should play bigger role in banking

Technology should do more to help banks transform themselves to halt the trend of being increasingly “invisible” in an average person’s life, according to participants at a forum on finance sector’s transformation and innovation held by research company IDC China in Beijing on Friday.

“Where is the bank?” asked Cyrus Daruwala, managing director of financial insight department at IDC Asia Pacific, when addressing the audience, pointing out that for him, shared economy, e-commerce and social media are necessities in his life.

He said as the Chinese consume the largest amount of video content, video has become the most important channel but no bank has a video-on-demand service for their clients.

Sun Zhongdong, vice-president of Shanghai Hua Rui Bank, said banks are not where they are needed and their apps are only in their clients’ smartphones, isolated from other apps.

He said there are 17 million apps in China, which indicates there are 17 million companies behind these apps, many of which are small firms, and 17 million consumption scenarios related to them.

Hua Rui Bank launched “an app plus SDK” product in April to help banks “enter” these apps to better serve companies which developed and operate these apps.

Zhang Jingbing, IDC’s chief robotics researcher, said that in addition to “hard” robots which can be seen and touched, “soft” robots, or software which works like employees, can also be used by banks to carry out some functions such as granting loans, credit cards and maintaining client information.

Ruan Yahua, vice-president of Pactera, which provides digital solutions to banks to lower costs and boost efficiency, said that banks are still not smart enough to be more friendly to their clients although most banks have bought lots of smart devices or smart services.

For an individual who needs to go to a bank branch, there are still tons of problems such as long lines, hard-to-fill forms, hard-to-understand instructions, lots of leg work and difficulties to know one’s own credit or to get a loan.

Technology can also play a key role in improving banks’ capabilities in identification, cognition, prediction and serving.

Kitty Fok, president of IDC China, said the research company will do more in finance sector to help its clients catch up with technological changes.

Source: China Daily

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