[Sponsored Article] In recent years, significant technological advancements in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), big data, chatbot and cloud computing have led to the proliferation of financial technology or fintech. These new technologies may bring significant disruption to the industry and change the way how we access financial services permanently. Among all, mobile banking is one of the areas that sees significant growth in demand from customers. With mobile technology becoming more mature in terms of speed, functionality and security, mobile banking has been gaining popularity swiftly. As one of the largest banking groups in town, Bank of China (Hong Kong) (“BOCHK”) is committed to driving the application of innovative technologies to deliver efficient and smart banking services, says Dick Ho, Deputy General Manager, Personal Digital Banking Products Department at BOCHK. Most recently, BOCHK has introduced a new personalised Mobile Banking design with new and upgraded features. Staying Ahead of the Market with BoC Live "BoC Live is one of the new and unique features added to BOCHK’s Mobile Banking,” shares Ho. “Many customers now turn to video content for information. In particular, live broadcasts have become more and more popular as they allow real-time information and interaction with the customers, which may help facilitate their investment decision-making. Our team noticed this rising trend, and therefore quickly develop the BoC Live function on our app in response to customer needs.” BOCHK is the first bank in Hong Kong that has a live broadcast function in mobile banking. “We strive to make it the first live channel in local banking arena, delivering content on a variety of topics such as FX and investments that consumers care about and need. This new channel enables us to share market news and expert advice with our customers in a timely and efficient manner. In addition, it allows us to interact with our customers directly, providing an opportunity to listen to their thoughts,” adds he. Customer-centric Design Thinking Ho continues, “traditional commercial banks typically offer a wide array of services. Although customers appreciate the comprehensive functions available on one single platform, they care more about the easiness to use regardless of their levels of technical skills and using behaviours.” To ensure the new design can bring the best user experience, he advises that the bank had invited real customers to participate in, and to give opinions, during the prototype testing phase. “There were five steps in our design thinking process – empathise, define, ideate, prototype and test. All the feedback received from our customers at the testing stage were channeled back to the development team for perfecting the design. We value our customer feedback as we really want to provide them with a solution that they will not use only once, but will come back constantly. I am confident to say that our new app interface is truly a customer-centric design,” says he. Unlike traditional banking apps which put all available services in the menu that customers have to search for themselves, BOCHK Mobile Banking is designed to bring the services to the customers’ fingertips by anticipating what they need to do next. Customers will find it very easy to access the required services even though there are more than 100 services available in there. Ho notices that customers typically stick with a few services that they frequently use. In view of this, the team designed the “Conversational Prompt” function, powered by AI to suggest suitable next steps to the customers. For example, when a FPS transaction is completed, the function "Add Frequent Payee" will pop up on the homepage. This humanised function can help shorten the time that a customer needs to find a particular service. Empowering Customers with Technology According to Ho, wealth management is another area that sees the use of technology on the rise. “BOCHK recently launched a one-stop wealth management solution – PlanAhead – which leverages digital tools to provide suitable financial product solutions, helping customers make smarter investment decisions based on individual financial status, investment objectives and risk appetites.” In addition, Banking-as-a-Platform (BaaP) is a key strategy that the bank is focusing on. BOCHK Mobile Banking is seamlessly integrated with major financial and lifestyle platforms, such as AASTOCKS, etnet and Trip.com. “Application Programming Interface (API) opens up a new world of opportunity for partnerships. For instance, we had previously partnered with a stock quote service provider linking up their service with our security trading service,” says he. The Future Plan Banking is the mother of all industries and is closely related to people’s lives – including but not limited to daily consumption, investment, home buying and retirement planning. “That is why we want to build our mobile banking app as a solution for everyday life. For instance, our ‘Home Expert’ app can help guide our customers through the complex processes of buying an apartment, from planning, property valuation to mortgage application, etc. Trust from our customers also drives us to expand our digital banking solution offerings, empowering and simplifying their lives by technologies.” “Going forward, we will keep on innovating and focus on meeting customers’ needs in different aspects of lives, including education, home purchasing, wealth management, cross-border transactions and government affairs. We will continue to provide a one-stop service that is safe and reliable to our customers,” concludes he. Investment involves risk. Products and services are subject to the terms and conditions.