The breakneck pace of innovation in finance shows no signs of slowing.

Author: Gilly Wright

Although innovation is most closely associated with the tech sector, finance institutions have been just as energetic in coming up with creative solutions to client problems and finding new ways to deliver financial services. Granted, most of those innovations involve technology in some way—although not all.

Our Innovators 2018 call for entries drew a range of submissions from both traditional financial institutions and rising fintechs. Because we were seeking to reward not just one-off innovations, but a culture that fosters innovation over time, entrants were invited to describe multiple specific individual innovations.

TOP 10 FINANCIAL INNOVATIONS 2018

 BANK

INNOVATION

 ANZ

Real-Time Payments

 Asseco Poland

Asseco Advisory Banking Platform Smart Queue

 Bancolombia Asset 

 Management 

High Conviction Mutual Fund (Fondo Renta Alta Convicción)

 Bank Millennium

Travel Assistance Widget

 Bank of America Merrill

 Lynch

Intelligent Receivables

 Blackwell Global

BluesChallenge

 CaixaBank

Digital Engagement Process For Credit Card

 Commercial   International Bank   (CIB)

Branch Customer Journey Simulator

 Citibanamex

Big Data Strategy

 Danske Bank

District

 DBS Bank

Customer Service

 Emirates NBD

Paperless Personal Loan

 Finastra

Fusion LenderComm

 Mashreq Bank and

 MEED

Mashreq/MEED Construction Partnership

 Meezan Bank

Masterpass QR Payments Through FonePay App

 Santander

Strategy Helping UK Businesses Expand Internationally

 Saxo Payments

Banking Circle Virtual IBAN

 Sberbank

The Navigator

 Siam Commercial Bank

Digital Business Account Opening

Global Finance editors, our correspondents with deep financial-industry knowledge, and two financial-industry insiders evaluated the submissions, doing due diligence with additional research where necessary. Each innovation was given a score from 1 to 10 to create a short list. The list was winnowed through lively debate, both in the Global Finance conference room in New York and digitally across multiple time zones. In the end, the editorial board identified 19 specific finance-industry innovations that were deemed worthy of recognition.

The variety of submissions was impressive, covering both front- and back-end operations, marketing and ways to provide value-added services above and beyond those expected. Some were payments solutions that expanded banking access or speeded processes or added flexibility to offerings. Branch efficiency was another popular area for innovation, with several entries describing different applications of data analysis for insight into customer behavior. Some of the innovations aimed to enhance security and trust; others added speed and flexibility with mobile apps. Only a few relied on blockchain technology. Such variety proves that innovation is at its best when it is allowed to flourish.

We will continue to refine and adapt our annual Innovators honors as the financial landscape changes, and to avoid falling into a rut of entrenched habit. After all, it is only by disrupting habitual thought processes that people and companies can deliver innovation and differentiate products and services from one another.

ANZ | Real-Time Payments

Australia’s New Payments Platform (NPP) was built by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) in consultation with the big four banks—Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the National Australia Bank, the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) and Westpac.

ANZ refrained from a public launch in February as it rigorously tests this major overhaul of Australia’s payments infrastructure to enable faster payments.

ANZ currently represents a number of other banks in traditional clearing streams with its market-leading offering, but the idea for an agency offering was the next logical step toward real-time payments.

ANZ identified a gap in the offering that excluded smaller or foreign banks from participating in Australian real-time payments. ANZ dedicated funds and resources specifically for the agency-banking offering, in addition to bringing agency-banking design practices into all the NPP discussions. Some banks in the market found direct participation in NPP cost prohibitive for a number of reasons. They can now “lease” capability from a direct participant such as ANZ.

ANZ has the highest rate of customer-adopted agency-banking offerings so far, with 10 out of 11 agency mandates awarded to ANZ. By providing a gateway for small to midsize local and offshore banks to participate in NPP, ANZ has leveled the playing field by lowering the barriers to entry. It has lowered costs, as agency banks don’t have to invest in SWIFT infrastructure and setup and they can leverage ANZ’s managed services, liquidity offering and 24x7 support.

Asseco Poland | Asseco Advisory Banking Platform Smart Queue

Asseco Poland submitted several excellent innovations, but our panel of judges selected Asseco Advisory Banking Platform Smart Queue because of the significant transformation it made at the branch level.

Asseco Advisory Platform (ABP) tackles the problem of inefficient and time-consuming client service in branches. Usually, upon entering a branch, a customer must wait in line and is often redirected from one adviser to another. ABP uses a mobile-banking app to detect the customer in the branch through Beacon (low-energy Bluetooth technology). A push message is then sent, asking for confirmation of the customer’s identity on the mobile-banking app, as well as the reason for the visit. Since the software keeps tabs on all pending tasks, the customer doesn’t need to type in anything; pop-up options can be easily selected from the phone.

The system then checks the availability of advisers who can address the selected topic and sends a push notification with the estimated wait time, or invites the customer to a specific adviser desk. In addition, the adviser is informed by the system about the customer and the purpose of the visit, giving the bank adviser time to prepare.

The platform’s core solution is based on a workflow engine, allowing for configuration and implementation of any business process in a bank. Thanks to its omnichannel architecture, it allows complex business processes to be presented in a single, versatile user interface. So whether a customer transaction or application was initiated via Internet banking, mobile banking, through a contact center or in a bank branch, employees have a clear overview of the customer, the state of his or her finances, the products the customer possesses and a banking-interaction history—all the tools needed to conduct both cash and noncash transactions.

Once business is concluded, the software detects when the customer leaves the branch and asks for a quality assessment.

Bancolombia Asset Management | High-Conviction Mutual Fund

The typical Colombian investment strategy doesn’t yield consistent returns over time, primarily because Colombian investors tend to expect their financial adviser to recommend the company stocks that offer the most outstanding returns. By looking for a strong return from an individual stock, Colombian investors are effectively backing just one horse rather than investing in a well-diversified optimal portfolio constructed by an asset manager.

Grupo Bancolombia Asset Management saw an opportunity to exploit this investment behavior with an investment product, allowing the company to offer Colombian clients the option of recurrent exposure—not to the best stock of the moment, but to the countries with the biggest potential return based on a mathematical model supported by a proven track record.

Bancolombia forged a joint venture with American investment-management firm BlackRock, which undertook deep research to determine the top quantitative signals for identifying the countries with the biggest upside potential. An algorithm was developed to identify the equity markets with the greatest upside potential in the world on a monthly basis. Investments could then be concentrated in those markets, with the goal of obtaining a higher return than the general market. The model is constantly being revised, to ensure that the signals are still relevant and to add new signals that could improve the performance of the strategy.

This allows Colombian investors to gain exposure to additional asset classes, to diversify and to achieve a better risk-return profile and higher alpha in their portfolios.

The Renta Alta Convicción (high income conviction) fund is the first fund in Colombia that bases its investment strategy on a quantitative model. It covers the exchange-traded funds (ETFs) of 38 countries, for which the estimated alpha is calculated monthly based on three signals: valuation (which countries are over- or undervalued), economic surprise (which countries have a better economic performance) and moment (which countries have the support of investors).

Bank Millennium | Travel-Assistance Widget

This is a good example of a nonbanking service available for customers via their mobile phones. Following the successful launch of an auto-insurance product that allowed customers to purchase insurance via their mobile app and online-banking system, Poland’s Bank Millennium turned its attention to creating a similar solution for travel insurance. Since August 2017, Bank Millennium customers have been able to buy travel insurance online, through both the mobile app and the Millenet online-banking system.

After entering details and selecting the period of coverage, users can choose the coverage that best suits them before choosing the payment option. The whole process is easy, with insurance purchases made by just filling in a few details; and no new login or password is required.

Upon buying travel insurance via Bank Millennium’s digital channels, the user is able to gain access to the “travel assistance” function in the Bank Millennium mobile app without having to log in or access the Internet. Because it’s connected to integrated systems, the app allows customers to quickly contact the insurer, even without an Internet connection—which is particularity beneficial for customers who want to avoid the costs of data transfer when abroad.

When the user activates the feature, the device sends a text message to the insurance company with a request for contact. The message also contains information about location and policy number, so the insurer’s representative is able to arrange necessary help very quickly.

A button on the main app screen appears during the period of coverage, so insurance-policy details are instantly available.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch | Intelligent Receivables

It was a tough call selecting the best Bank of America Merrill Lynch submission, as the bank has become adept at combining in-house and white-label solutions to fill gaps in the market. Intelligent Receivables is a strategic deployment of a white-label emerging-technology solution, integrated with Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s core transaction-banking services. It combines artificial intelligence, machine learning and optical character recognition with the software and the power of Bank of America Merrill Lynch treasury solutions—creating a breakthrough treasury offering.

This cutting-edge solution solves the time-consuming, complex problem of matching incoming payments with invoices. Companies can waste valuable time trying to determine who is paying for what—with incomplete or missing information, or with remittance information sent separately from the payment—typically leading to an arduous and costly reconciliation process.

Intelligent Receivables helps clients reconcile multiple payment channels and vastly improve straight-through reconciliation of incoming payments—and helps them post their receivables. By bringing payment and remittance data together, it can match these payments to an organization’s open accounts receivable. In cases where an invoice cannot be automatically matched, an exception portal allows the receivables staff to add supporting data or make other adjustments to enable matching.

Running Intelligent Receivables alongside Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s CashPro integrates foreign-exchange capabilities to enable local currency invoicing, and couples the rate-guarantee feature of CashPro Flow with the invoice-reconciliation capabilities of Intelligent Receivables. Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Virtual Account Management identifies who paid, while Intelligent Receivables identifies which invoices were paid.

Pairing Intelligent Receivables with Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s core treasury offerings delivers smarter remittance information, allowing clients the direct ability to tap into deeper, fine-tuned account-reconciliation data. Clients can easily find out which accounts are most valuable, which pay on time and which have the highest volumes.

Blackwell Global | BluesChallenge

When Blackwell Global wanted to reach out directly to new, qualified leads within the market segment of experienced traders, the UK brokerage firm decided against engaging with partners and vendors, where the leads routinely participate in demo competitions purely for the prize money.

Instead, it launched an innovative marketing campaign in October 2017, in collaboration with Everton Football Club. The multichannel campaign includes television ads airing on Bloomberg’s TV channel and website, as well as on YouTube and Facebook.

Blackwell Global saw a rapid rise in collected leads, which resulted from the active participation of a more sophisticated, qualified audience who genuinely wanted to try out the BluesChallenge Demo Trading Competition—not just for the prizes, but also for the highly beneficial VIP trading pack, which includes a basket of Blackwell trading tools: Trading Diary, Custom MT4 Programming, Premium MT4 Indicators and Advanced Trading Webinars.

While there have been other demo competition partnerships between brokerages and football clubs, the BluesChallenge collaboration is unique in offering Blackwell’s coveted VIP trading pack to all participants. Every participant stood to benefit—but the biggest benefactor was Blackwell Global, which attained leads with strong retention value since extended use of the VIP trading pack required converting to a live account.

The competition lasted two months and attracted traders from all walks of life, with a wide range of trading styles and experience. There were over 1,200 competitors from 75 countries, and the combined multiple marketing rights encouraged competition sign-ups, drove customer acquisition and retention and increased the reach and awareness of Blackwell Global across the world.

CaixaBank | Digital Engagement Process For Credit Card

Credit-card applications can be complex and bogged down by red tape, which is why CaixaBank developed a real-time online credit-scoring tool that uses the customer’s profile, history of transactions with cards issued by other financial institutions and other sources.

CaixaBank customers simply upload their identification card for their personal data to be automatically populated. New customers need to also upload some basic financial information.

A credit score is immediately assigned, and acceptance can be given in seconds. Customers gain access to online credit-card statements that resemble personal-finance apps, thanks to CaixaBank’s use of colorful charts.

For those not accepted, CaixaBank will immediately offer alternative credit products, such as credit cards with lower limits, debit cards or prepaid cards.

Generally, however, more people have access to credit cards through better scoring of risk profiles. Delivering risk modeling via data analytics furthermore reduces human intervention and the costs of issuing credit cards.

Commercial International Bank (CIB) | Branch Customer Journey Simulator

Egyptian bank CIB turned to its data-science team when it needed a practical solution for managing and tracking performance at its branches in terms of tellers’ average waiting time (AWT). Since the usual benchmark for AWT didn’t take customer traffic into account, the data-science team built a full-fledged solution composed of a branch performance-management and monitoring tool, a process-optimization engine and a simulator. The aim was to imitate the branch process and evaluate different scenarios of proposed improvement solutions.

With no extra investment, the CIB branch network was able to decrease its AWT for tellers by 30%, from 19 minutes down to almost 13 minutes, over a period of 18 months. The initial research phase started in early 2017, followed by a complete development of a proof of concept in June 2017, finally reaching the pilot-testing phase in September.

The branch simulator transformed the branches’ decision-making process from a trial-and-error approach to a data-driven method.

Citibanamex | Big Data Strategy

Existing tools and data processes for analysis provided only a narrow scope of information, due to insufficient storage space, software incapable of enhanced analytics, and duplicate and unstandardized data. This led Citibanamex to create a new Big Data strategy to stop losing information, create more-accurate insights and gain a better understanding of customers’ behaviors and preferences.

Setting data at the heart of the bank in one single system, instead of several data systems scattered in silos, resolves business-use cases quickly with better insight development. Data scoring using alternate sources of data helps make better-informed credit decisions, which greatly assists customers with no prior credit history. The bank also uses Big Data and machine learning to enhance its understanding of customer behavior so it can tailor products for them more accurately.

Danske Bank | District

Danske Bank is developing a new, one-stop interface for corporations. Co-created with customers and named District, it’s a customizable aggregating platform that will integrate all of Danske Bank’s own solutions with those of other financial-services providers.

District will be able to link with outside accounting and enterprise resource-planning software. By leveraging collaboration with third parties, it aims to create a superior customer experience based on interconnected services and workflows across banks and third-party providers. Danske Bank sees it as a “library” of its own and third-party modules. When fully developed, customers will have a single, customizable dashboard to access the various banks and services they use in their daily business, saving the taxing task of multiple logins and streamlining their workflow. Future plans include tailored and proactive advisory services to enable customers to make informed financial decisions based on customer, market and competitor data.

With the advent of open banking, Danske Bank is adapting to changing market dynamics, where open platforms and easy data access are a reality, making digitization and efficiencies a prerequisite to supporting customers’ needs. District is a great way for Danske Bank to meet this challenge head-on and exploit the opportunities.

District had its beta launch in 2017. This year, onboarding will scale rapidly to include the vast majority of Danske Bank’s corporate customers.

DBS | Customer Science

DBS launched a real-time monitoring platform for its mobile-only bank in India (digibank India) based on behavioral data—rather than merely on service monitoring, as has been traditionally done in the past.

The innovation’s aim is to kick-start service monitoring and move toward proactive and pre-emptive service. To do this, Customer Science covers nine high-impact features across login, fund transfer and recharge of the digibank e-wallet to better understand the customer experience. By combining and connecting customer-behavior data and system data, DBS is looking to build real-time analytical models.

Customer Science will tap Cloud infrastructure for scalability, and by using a real-time platform, enable DBS to address customer pain points more quickly. Hit-level data (page, event and ecommerce tracking information) are collected with 10 milliseconds latency; data are aggregated and transformed within 10 seconds and the dashboard is refreshed every five minutes.

Rather than simply aggregating customer intelligence, Customer Science will give DBS the ability to spot potential customer struggles and identify patterns or isolated issues. The company will be able to drill down to actual affected customers, error types, issue localization and trends, and map out customers’ digital-channel footpath. Interaction with existing DBS internal systems will automate marketing and service notifications to customers and internal users. Customer Science will build out key capabilities from 2018 to 2019, and aims to scale up sustainably by 2020.

Emirates NBD | Paperless Personal Loan

Emirates NBD first launched a state-of-the-art customer relationship management (CRM) system, CRM Cockpit, in August 2016, with the objective of instant, smart and paperless banking, while integrating multiple systems on a single platform.

In 2017, Emirates NBD expanded its capability of using digital signature and document image capture for personal loans, for use by retail banking-services agents via tablets. The process generates an end-to-end paperless personal-loan application using customers’ biometric signatures. Also in 2017, personal-loan turnaround time was reduced by over 75%. In addition, Emirates witnessed an increase in the percentage of automated, instant straight-through processes from 47% to 64% in 2017.

CRM digital-transformation initiatives from 2012 to 2017 have been significant, and Emirates NBD predicts future realized savings for completed projects in 2020 to be 20 million Emirati dirhams ($5.4 million). In addition, savings from the completed projects is expected to be 65 million dirhams by 2020.

Finastra | Fusion LenderComm

First proposed in a Fusion Reactor workshop—Finastra’s internal innovation-incubation lab, where employees get a chance to suggest new solution ideas—LenderComm is an innovative new solution built using R3’s Corda distributed-ledger technology. It streamlines information exchange in the syndicated lending market, which is still highly reliant on manual processes, with multiple hard-to-audit, point-to-point communications.

This makes syndicated lending inefficient, costly and risky, particularly for lenders; but for banks that get it right, margins are high. LenderComm provides lenders with accurate information on demand so they can optimize syndicated-loan portfolios, and banks can structure complex credit agreements while accurately managing portfolios of highly nuanced multilender, multifaceted deals.

LenderComm enables collaboration between agents and lenders in syndicated lending, improving efficiencies, reducing operational risk and costs and improving transparency through immediate access to transactional data.

A pilot program with seven leading global banks, including BNP Paribas, BNY Mellon, HSBC, ING and State Street began in December 2016—although not officially announced for another year. Finastra developers continued building the solution, adding new functionality and more pilot participants during 2017, with the solution available as an app on R3’s Corda platform from April 2018.

Mashreq Bank and MEED | Mashreq/MEED Construction Partnership

This is a bundled product and client-engagement alliance aimed at nurturing community and providing a hub for construction-industry specialists to gather and talk about industry issues, and look at new ways to work together to improve construction and project delivery in the Middle East.

Dubai-based Mashreq realizes that being a trusted adviser is about adding value. And this means moving from solely a financing role, dealing with corporate clients based on their turnover, to a
more sector-centric role based on knowledge and a greater understanding of clients’ businesses, needs and aspirations.

To help achieve this, Mashreq and MEED created a think tank that brings together industry experts, domain know-how, banking expertise and construction clientele. Reports include infographics, quarterly industry newsletters and Mashreq Market Talk to help present expertise in print and digitally via a content hub and MEED’s Industry Voice. The content and community hub has the potential to create new audiences and communities where there’s a need for quality and credible content.

On the one hand, Mashreq and MEED want to improve the way projects are delivered in this region—with an eye to helping shape the industry, define policies and pave the way for regional economic growth. On the other hand, Mashreq recognizes the benefits of deepening its capabilities internally. The partnership should provide Mashreq’s relationship managers with the industry depth and breadth required for them to provide expert advice to clients.

The partnership was launched in August 2017. By offering a series of events, publications and studies over a 12-month period, Mashreq plans to become the go-to digital space for the construction industry, where collaboration and knowledge are key to adding value.

Meezan Bank | Masterpass QR Payments With FonePay

Pakistan is a cash-heavy economy, and the growth of conventional point-of-sale merchants is challenging due to the high costs of equipment, installation and maintenance efforts.

To help promote digital payments and financial inclusion, Meezan Bank is collaborating with Mastercard and Inov8—a Pakistani fintech focused on enabling access to mobile financial services for the unbanked and making mobile payments more convenient for the banked—to develop the supporting infrastructure in Pakistan for Masterpass QR-enabled retail payments using the FonePay app.

Merchants don’t have to open an account with Meezan Bank to be able to accept QR payments, despite the fact that Meezan Bank is empowering the payment processing as sole acquirer. For merchants with accounts at other banks, the payment is transferred via a 1Link switch that connects all banks to enable real-time transfers. This is greatly speeding up the onboarding of merchants; Meezan Bank together with FonePay was able to enlist over 50,000 merchants in just three months.

Deployment required integration with both Mastercard and FonePay, which use different platforms, supported by comprehensive settlement and reconciliation routines, in order to ensure real-time payments to merchants. This ecosystem also allows banks outside the Mastercard network to become QR Masterpass issuers through their alliances with Meezan Bank.

QR-based payments will help achieve the State Bank of Pakistan’s financial inclusion and digitization objectives. This offers an efficient, cost-effective and robust solution for merchants across Pakistan to accept digital payments.

The app was introduced in September 2017. Various adjustments were made along the way to improve the overall experience for customers and to improve the security and performance aspects, to provide a comprehensive payments solution to consumers in Pakistan.

Santander | Strategy To Help UK Businesses Expand Internationally

Helping companies expand internationally is a core function of Santander Corporate and Commercial Banking in the UK, so the bank devised an all-encompassing strategy to ensure that it is the best bank in the UK supporting UK businesses’ international trade.

Initiatives include Santander Trade Barometer, which was launched in September 2017 and surveys the international trade ambitions and considerations of UK businesses, to provide Santander with greater insight and understanding as to how it might best support customers in overcoming challenges and achieving their global ambitions. Trade Portal—an online resource of market intelligence—gives UK businesses insights into where to trade, which markets have the highest demand for their products, whom to trade with, how to connect and how to set up in a new market. Trade Club uses an advanced algorithm to generate matchmaking suggestions.

These initiatives are backed by a strong focus on overseas trade missions, virtual trade missions and meet-the-buyer events; alliances; an overseas trade network and sectorial and service-provider partnerships to provide a deeper understanding of the markets.

Santander is also a member of the DTC Blockchain Consortium, now rebranded we.trade, which is working to develop distributed-ledger technology specifically for trade. And Santander is at the forefront of developing the new online portal and delegation scheme with UK Export Finance, the UK’s export credit agency.

Saxo Payments | Banking Circle Virtual IBAN

Saxo Payments Banking Circle was first launched in 2016 to addresses the problems of business payments made through traditional correspondent banking relationships. Members of the Danish investment bank’s Banking Circle can enjoy cost and time savings when making or receiving international payments. It gives fintechs and Tier 2 and 3 banks the ability to offer their merchants the facility to pay suppliers and partners directly from a Web interface delivered by the businesses, in their name, without the need for investment in in-house infrastructure.

Taking that a step further, Banking Circle Virtual IBAN (international bank account number) gives foreign-exchange and payments businesses the ability to issue multicurrency IBANs in their customer’s name and in multiple jurisdictions. As such, merchants have the ability to make and accept cross-border payments, in different currencies, in a way that traditional banks simply wouldn’t.

Giving merchant clients their own virtual IBANs negates the need for multiple banking relationships. With full transaction transparency, it offers quicker settlements and reduces the likelihood of errors in processing cross-border payments.

Since its launch, 100,000 payments by more than 1,000 businesses have been made using Banking Circle Virtual IBAN. With 20,000 payments being made per month at a volume of £300 million ($404 million), it is estimated that Banking Circle Virtual IBAN will be handling 200,000 business-to-business payments per month by the end of 2018, equating to £2 billion in value.

Built with Oracle Flexcube on Oracle Managed Cloud Services, Banking Circle Virtual IBAN offers flexibility, scalability, high performance and security.

Sberbank | The Navigator

The Navigator is an internal mobile management-support decision system that provides management of Russia’s Sberbank with a single version of the truth on key financial and operational performance indicators, business-health indicators and other information, such as management reporting, volume indicators, various ratios, human-resource indicators, analysis of deviations, pipelines, deals, etc., using various sets of dashboards and charts.

The Navigator provides the ability to remotely monitor business performance and make management decisions faster and with higher accuracy. Covering almost all lines of business, with access from anywhere (such as corporate and public Wi-Fi networks or mobile Internet) and the ability to operate with data from different systems (such as Teradata, SQL, OLAP, Qlik Sense/QlikView, SAP, MS-XLS and others), it provides a birds-eye view and detailed information on dynamics, analytics, factor analysis, predictive analytics and ad-hoc reporting.

With its modern interface, including a unique set of dashboards and charts, the Navigator includes notifications, multilanguage support and machine learning for forecasts and expense analysis.

The Navigator was first intended to give top management remote access to financial and business information on mobile devices at management meetings. Sberbank soon realized that the app should be used not only in headquarters, but also in subsidiary banks. Now it anticipates 2,000 manager-users will eventually sign on. Launched in November 2017, the Navigator is planned to go live in 2018.

Siam Commercial Bank | Digital Business Account Opening

Siam Commercial Bank has developed a business-account onboarding service that takes an average of nine minutes on a tablet. Furthermore, the document and data are reusable; so once completed, Siam can prepopulate data on the back end, thanks to external data integration. This means the bank has as little need as possible to request data from customers, due to the use of third-party data integration and reuse of information already to hand.

This solves many customer pain points, as it removes the need to find and gather all the necessary documents. The only requirement is to take a picture of the customer’s ID card. With the copy of the ID card, all required documents and information are fetched through multiple channels to meet know-your-customer (KYC) requirements and determine eligibility to open an account instantly, rather than over a period of weeks. A further pain-point reduction is the possibility of opening an account outside banking premises.

The project first began as an automated KYC check; but as testing of capabilities progressed, Siam explored further options and developed a flexible account opening better suited to customer needs. Full rollout occurred in March 2018.