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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.

The way we apply technology ensures that channels are complementary. As I mentioned earlier, our mobile banking and online banking services work together to provide our customers with more convenience and transaction freedom. I think this is different to the way channels have previously been addressed.

One new initiative I am particularly proud of is our new fleet of Talking ATMs. This service really improves access to financial services for visually impaired people, allowing them to make cash withdrawals, change their PIN and check their balance through a voice activated system. The Talking ATM is a natural evolution of our existing banking service and a reflection of the Bank's commitment to "Seeing is Believing" campaign which aims to improve access to eye-care.

As a global technology leader at Standard Chartered Bank, how are you encouraging an innovation culture within the bank?

Standard Chartered has a hugely motivated team of senior executives through the organisation. They all recognise the importance of innovation and creativity in our ongoing success and so are focused on ensuring that is how we operate.

My job is made easier by having a highly talented team of technology leaders who recognise that how we creatively leverage and apply technology is a key differentiator to drive business growth.

My aim is to continue multiplying our talent base within the Bank's technology function by nurturing our existing people and also seeking to take a calculated chance on fresh potentials who demonstrate a customer service innovation mindset.

To accomplish all that you have in consumer banking, how much of your organisation's culture did you need to change?

I am really fortunate that there was not a huge amount that I had to change. One of the major attractions I had to join Standard Chartered was its people. Everything I had read and heard about the organisation suggested it had a wealth of extremely talented people and a hugely progressive culture and positive can-do attitude which was manifesting itself by way of investing in technologies and working with the major players so that the capabilities we are developing put us at the front of the pack when whenever we enter a market.

Did you have the right people with the right skills?

For the most part, yes! Standard Chartered has some really good people right across the bank. Certainly in GTO we have a wealth of talent and that is one of the reasons we are now leading the way with a number of the technology capabilities being developed in financial services and through the partnerships we are developing. I remain committed to the development of both my leadership team as well as outstanding individuals I meet.


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