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Indonesia: Banking on digital transformation

Sri Narayanan | June 9, 2017
CIOs across the FSI sector share their thoughts and experiences on their digital transformation journeys and the challenges they faced within their organisations at the recent OpenText roundtable.

These efforts were not integrated into a single unifying DT strategy or framework. Noted Tityo Setiawan of FWD Life, "In the insurance market, we are witnessing new marketing approaches, pitching products as 'digital insurance'. Many companies, especially more established companies, are looking at DT to launch products and services entirely on a digital platform, with almost 90 percent of customer engagement digitalised."

He observed that financial institutions had to first start with digitising business processes associated with their products. Then, and only then, would they truly reap the benefits of DT. "In my personal experience, DT has a significant impact on the company culture. You can't throw out time-tested best practices just to turn everything digital. People will not support the change. But if you explain the business context, then there is understanding, and they know the value it brings to the company's bottom line."


New products for new customer expectations

Increasingly, the growth in mobile computing, smartphone and internet access penetration in Indonesia is reshaping customer behaviour and segments in the financial services sector.

Herman Tioe, Operation & IT director, PT MNC Life Assurance, believes many customers, including older, less tech-savvy patrons, eschew traditional brick and mortar  establishments to engage institutions via smartphone interfaces or laptops.

He said, "Right now, Indonesian institutions in the financial service sector are really driven by the potential to sell new products and services and to identify new customer segments. DT is the platform that can make that happen quickly if you have the will and resources to exploit this opportunity."

He cited the example of how insurance companies were digitising business processes from end-to-end, enabling agents to complete quotations, assess underwriting, and facilitate digital signatures for transactions within 15 mins of engaging customers. "Previously this would have taken days. But these are the first steps in DT and the industry expects more innovations in the areas of integrated customer feedback platforms, etc. There's no incentive anymore to go back to the old process."


Changing customer expectations offer opportunities for DT

Have Indonesian customer expectations changed? For some, there is clear, indisputable evidence that it had. Indonesia has one of the highest smartphone penetrations rates in the world at 80 percent, and ranks as a leader in social media usage with the second highest Facebook use globally.

But that doesn't always translate into a market for digitalised products and services. Jenny Mustopha, deputy chief of Information Technology, Commonwealth Life, describes this as an anomaly the sector must embrace. "We find that complex financial products still suffer from low acceptance rates among local customers. So while DT promotes efficiency, convenience and accessibility, the more complex the product, the more likely a traditional approach will work better." She notes that from industry experience, Indonesians prefer face-to-face engagement but will shop for options on the Web.


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