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Doing the Right Things

T.C. Seow | Dec. 7, 2011
Standard Chartered's CIO, Consumer Banking, Simon McNamara, talks to CIO Asia about the bank's approach to customer service innovation in light of game changing shifts in technology.

Standard Chartered prides itself on its customer-centric culture. Can you tell us how your technology organisation innovates to deliver a differentiated customer experience?

We drive innovation to differentiate our offering and to ensure the bank is building a sustainable advantage. This is a priority! Our focus is on closing the gaps in our basic offering and at the same time, investing in technologies and working with other progressive organisations that allow us to lead the market in terms of capabilities.

Standard Chartered has an Innovation Committee which is chaired by the CEO with membership including senior executives from our Consumer Banking business. The committee is dedicated to scoping innovation and innovative ideas that can potentially be developed and deployed across the bank.

What were the key learnings as you rolled out Standard Chartered's mobile banking app, Breeze Banking?

There we a number of key learnings, but the most important I think was to design a mobile banking experience by keeping the user interfaces simple and intuitive. Approaching mobile banking with this context enabled us to build a solution that is appropriate for smartphones instead of simply moving online banking over to a new form. By making our online and mobile banking services complementary to each other, we were able to provide our customers with the best-in-class capabilities that blended with the best mode of access. Our speed to market was facilitated by an Agile development approach to keep up with the rapid pace at which mobile apps and platforms are evolving.

Another key learning is that there is no "one size fits all" solution in mobile banking largely due to variances in device usage and network sophistication.

In markets like Singapore and Hong Kong we have rolled out Breeze only as an iPhone application as we have seen that iPhone penetration in these markets is very high. However, in markets like India, where device usage is fragmented, we have gone with approach of supporting close to 700 devices across multiple platforms including iPhone, Android and Blackberry.

How will the Breeze mobile banking platform evolve in the next year?

Over the next year, we will focus on introducing Breeze Banking to other markets (we are currently live in Hong Kong, India, Malaysia and Singapore) as well as other mobile platforms. Additionally, we are looking forward to launching more innovative capabilities like targeted product offerings and more financial management tools.

Apart from an outstanding mobile banking platform, what else can your customers expect from other banking channels?

Every technology investment we make today takes into consideration all the ways our customers interact and transact with us. All our customer service channels must work seamlessly with one another.


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