More than 40 participants from 12 countries taking part in two-day meeting.
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BANGKOK, Thailand, 12 May 2017 – More than 40 experts from leading Asian retail banks convened today to explore the next great tech breakthroughs sweeping the industry in the region at the WSBI Innovation Workshop.
The second in a series of innovation workshops convened this year by WSBI, the event places particular focus on banking in the Asian market as well as explores WSBI members’ latest innovative concepts to remain at the forefront of retail banking. Hosted by WSBI member Government Savings Bank of Thailand (GSB), the two-day event tries to identify current innovation trends in Asia and to seeks to take stock of how WSBI members deal with digitisation and innovation requirements to boost the customer journey and deliver always-on service. It also aims to highlight new financial technology areas WSBI members are tapping into.
Mr. Maryono, President Director P.T. BTN Indonesia, President of WSBI Asia Regional Group and WSBI Managing Director Chris De Noose gave opening remarks, welcoming participants and addressing the importance of the workshop for WSBI member banks in the region.
Explaining the purpose of the workshop, De Noose said: "We hope the workshop will give deep insights into strategies on how to deal with digitisation and innovation requirements to boost the customer journey, enrich banking capacities and deliver always-on service."
To tap into insights from the banking technology landscape, workshop organisers looked within WSBI membership and beyond. he added. "We will hear presentations from member banks and from speakers from the banking and technology world who bring interesting solutions to tackle today's digitisation needs.
"Those experts have a chance to share practical insights into artificial intelligence, big data strategies, e-onboarding and open banking solutions. These financial technology providers are not disruptors per se, but are willing to partner with banks and work on concepts and solutions together."
Asia is digital. Internet users in the Asia-Pacific region now make up 50% of the world's total online population. It is the fastest growing digital economy in the world, with the number of internet users increasing by 27% between March 2015 and September 2016. The trend means a "modular" Asian financial-services industry is rapidly emerging as a response to digital trends and technological possibilities, with innovation on the rise among banks as well as new entrants.
The event is unique because it gives a chance for Asia's locally driven savings and retail banks to meet in a setting to boost their capacities and showcase new concepts. A strong focus is placed on facts about strategy behind an innovation – what worked and how it was received by customers. Interactions and group discussions are foreseen to harvest concrete answers and discuss the latest trends in technology and finance.
WSBI sees innovation as crucial to help its members thrive in the 21st century. As an international banking association that brings together savings and retail banks located on all continents, innovation can help boost other WSBI strategic areas such as financial inclusion and sustainable finance.
Backed by some 6,000 financial institutions with total assets of US$16.7 trillion and serving more than 1.3 billion customers in some 80 countries worldwide, WSBI voices the concerns of savings and retail banks through issue advocacy, representing the interests of its members towards international policy makers and standard setters on the main regulatory and other issues that shape international retail banking policy. It also helps members by fostering best practice exchange through activities like the Bangkok workshop. That exchange includes efforts to facilitate knowledge sharing among the members through exchanges of information and experience at all levels within the organisation as well as in-house knowledge management, also with a view to identifying opportunities for business development and partnerships.
The workshop is not the first initiative in WSBI's digitisation and innovation programme work. The association has been actively participating in committees and events on the future of finance at international level, most notable through G20/B20, OECD, GPFI and European policy bodies. It argues for a level-playing field and a supporting policy environment to help, not hinder, innovation in finance.
WSBI has convened other innovation-themed events this year, including the Innovation Conference and Workshop held in Brussels in January. Under the theme “Gearing up for Digitisation: Adapting Retail Banking to the Digital Age", the institute helped members and industry experts and policymakers drill deeper into how innovation disrupts banking and other economic sectors and the best strategy to bring new retail banking services and products to the market. It also helped assess how well banks have adapted to client needs.
De Noose concluded: "These digital times bring many challenges but also a wide array of opportunities. Workshop like the one held today and tomorrow can help find ways to better harness these opportunities."
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