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“The 45 million monthly average users of our messaging app Kakao Talk is a huge plus for us when advertising our bank,” a spokesman for Kakao Bank said. He added the bank uses Kakao’s artificial intelligence technology for its automated customer support systems. The bank had 8.9 million users as of March letter d cufflinks. Other Asian countries set to approve online-only banks include Taiwan – where a group led by a unit of Japanese messaging app operator Line Corp has applied for a license – and Malaysia, which plans guidelines by the end of the year. Bank of Thailand Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob said the central bank was exploring the issue..
“Large technology companies are seeing this as a land-grab opportunity where they can build out new sets of financial services that can be cross-sold to their existing users,” said Jeff Galvin, a Hong Kong-based partner at McKinsey. Driving the shift in Asia is mobile technology’s deep penetration across all aspects of consumer life. Such trends were forged by Alibaba and Tencent in China where the two upended financial services and drove a revolution in the cashless economy with their digital payment applications letter d cufflinks.
In contrast, U.S. tech giants such as Amazon and Alphabet Inc’s Google have focused their financial industry efforts on providing tech and consulting services to incumbents. Asian consumers are far more willing to bank with tech firms than elsewhere in the world. More than 90 percent of consumers under 35 in China and India would bank with a technology firm, according to Bain research, compared to 75 percent in the United States and just 51 percent in France. The online-only banks in Hong Kong plan to start-off by offering services such as savings accounts, credit cards, personal loans and travel insurance letter d cufflinks.
“What we are seeing in Asia is technology companies moving sideways into finance, inspired by or even threatened by the examples of Alibaba and Tencent,” said James Lloyd, partner and APAC fintech leader at consultancy EY. In Asia, the emergence of tech gains in the banking sector comes at a difficult time for the region’s incumbents who have begun reassessing the vast branch networks that, until recently, were seen as their competitive advantage. The number of bank branches in Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Thailand has declined in the last couple of years, dropping by between 1 percent and 7 percent in 2017 from 2015, according to the International Monetary Fund letter d cufflinks. That compares with growth of as much as 8 percent a decade ago..
To be sure, legacy banks in Asia have their own plans to stay relevant in the changing space with some tying up with new rivals letter d cufflinks. Among the new Hong Kong digital banking licensees is a joint venture between StanChart, Chinese holiday booking giant Ctrip and local telco PCCW. “We think that the ecosystem we can build together will be a great integration of lifestyle into banking,” Mary Huen chief executive of StanChart Hong Kong, and chairman of the new virtual bank, said at a press conference..