Author: Adam Rombel

PIONEERS GO MOBILE


In the first of a two-part series, Global Finance identifies the best online corporate and consumer banks by country and regionally by product or service category.

By Adam Rombel

Features_01 Much of the past year in the global banking industry has been dominated by headlines of toxic assets, bank bailouts, government takeovers, stimulus packages and executive bonus controversies. None of that has stopped the rapid evolution of the Internet, with new applications hitting the mainstream, changing business models and responding to evolving customer demands and needs.

Against this backdrop, Global Finance has once again identified the leading banks that are finding ways to prosper online. Top banks—such as Banamex, Citi, HSBC, ICBC, Samba Financial Group, Standard Chartered, Swedbank and Wells Fargo, among others—are using the web to add new customers in growing markets, forge stronger and more profitable relationships with existing clients, grow deposits, generate payment and trading revenue, cross-sell products and continue to drive processing and customer-service cost savings.

They are accomplishing these goals by providing interactive and self-service capabilities, easy-to-use online products and services, streamlined web navigation, customized and personalized web applications, discounts and reward programs, and integrated banking services with a single sign-on and straight-through-processing, according to Rajesh Menon, partner in the banking and capital markets practice of Infosys Consulting.

The web banking pioneers are leading the way in mobile banking services as well as incorporating social media sites and advanced Web 2.0 applications into the products and services they offer online. “Mobile financial services present opportunities for financial institutions to improve their customer experience, deepen relationships with customers, differentiate from competitors, increase market penetration and reduce costs and generate revenues,” according to Celent, a Boston–based research firm, in its July 2009 research report, entitled “Key Trends in Mobile Financial Services in the European Union.”

The leading online banks are also offering advanced security features—such as multi-layered security, dedicated fraud monitoring and multi-factor authentication—to prevent unauthorized access, detect fraud and thereby engender confidence in their customers. This is a critical factor in the online success of any bank. “Online security is the most important threat banks are facing in today’s world,” says Menon. “A successful Internet bank will have the trust of customers in carrying out a larger percentage of their transactions through the Internet.”

Here is a snapshot of just a few of the winning banks and their web banking services winning acclaim. One model Internet banking service is HSBC Premier, a global service that affluent customers can access in more than 40 countries. It offers Global View, which puts account balances in different countries on one page for customers to see. When viewing their balances, customers can simply click a button to switch to any Internet banking accounts that they have with HSBC in other countries, Menon says. Clients can also transfer funds between their HSBC accounts from anywhere around the globe in multiple currencies in near real-time at no cost.

Citi’s CitiDirect web banking platform draws acclaim from experts for its extensive features. These include an online investment portal that offers time deposit investments across 18 currencies and can be linked to accounts in 22 countries; capabilities for pooling of funds; integrated trade, payments, information reporting, receivables, continuous-link-settlement services and investment capabilities; and an end-to-end trade system on one secure platform that is available anytime from anywhere in the world. Clients can also conduct and manage payments in more than 137 currencies and a range of payment methods. CitiDirect employs a four-tiered security process.

ICBC in China is differentiating itself with its online security offerings. For example, it provides customers with “Online Security Scan,” a free service that allows customers to scan and remove viruses, spyware and other malicious applications that could endanger their online banking safety. ICBC is also an industry leader in authentication, according to Menon, having launched the second generation of USB Shield, a USB key for safe sign-on and client authentication.

The second round of the World’s Best Internet Banks Awards will come later this year with the unveiling of the global winners—by product service or category as well as overall winners.

COUNTRY WINNERS: BEST CORPORATE/INSTITUTIONAL INTERNET BANKS

North America

Canada – Scotiabank/Scotia Capital

United States – Citi

Europe

Austria - Citi

Belgium – Citi

Denmark – Citi

Finland – Citi

France – Citi

Germany – Citi

Greece – EFG Eurobank Ergasias

Ireland – Citi

Italy – Citi

Luxembourg – Citi

Netherlands – Citi

Norway – Citi

Portugal – Banco Espirito Santo

Spain – Citi

Sweden – Citi

Switzerland – Citi

Turkey – Yapi Kredi Bank

United Kingdom – HSBC

Asia

Australia – Citi

Bangladesh – Citi

Brunei – HSBC

China – Citi

Hong Kong – HSBC

India – Citi

Indonesia – HSBC

Japan – Citi

Kazakhstan – Citi

Kyrgyz Republic – AsiaUniversalBank

Malaysia – OCBC

Nepal – Standard Chartered

New Zealand – Citi

Pakistan – Citi

Philippines – Citi

Singapore – HSBC

South Korea – Citi

Sri Lanka – HSBC

Taiwan – Chinatrust Commercial Bank

Thailand – Citi

Vietnam – Citi

Latin America

Argentina – Citi

Brazil – Citi

Colombia – Citi

Costa Rica – Citi

Dominican Republic – Citi

Ecuador – Citi

El Salvador – Citi

Guatemala – Citi

Haiti – Citi

Honduras – Citi

Jamaica – Citi

Mexico – Banamex

Panama – Citi

Paraguay – Citi

Peru – Citi

Puerto Rico – Citi

Trinidad & Tobago – Citi

Uruguay – Citi

Venezuela – Citi

Central & Eastern Europe

Bulgaria – Citi

Czech Republic – Citi

Hungary – Citi

Lithuania – SEB Bankas

Poland – Bank Pekao

Romania – Citi

Russia – Citi

Slovakia – Citi

Ukraine – Citi

Middle East/Africa

Algeria – Citi

Bahrain – Citi

Botswana – Standard Chartered

Cameroon – Citi

Congo – Citi

Cote D’Ivoire – Citi

Egypt – Citi

Gabon – Citi

Ghana – Standard Chartered

Israel – Bank Hapoalim

Jordan – Standard Chartered

Kenya – Citi

Kuwait – Citi

Lebanon – Citi

Morocco - Citi

Nigeria – Citi

Qatar – Standard Chartered

Saudi Arabia – Samba Financial Group

Senegal – Citi

Sierra Leone – Standard Chartered

South Africa - Citi

Tanzania – Citi

Tunisia – Citi

United Arab Emirates – HSBC

Uganda – Citi

Zambia – Citi

Zimbabwe – Standard Chartered

COUNTRY WINNERS: BEST CONSUMER INTERNET BANKS

North America

Bermuda - HSBC

Canada – CIBC

United States – Wells Fargo

Europe

Channel Islands – HSBC

Cyprus – Marfin Popular Bank Public

France – HSBC

Greece – EFG Eurobank Ergasias

Malta – HSBC

Norway – DnB Nor Bank ASA

Portugal – Millennium BCP

Turkey – Garanti Bank

Asia

Australia – HSBC

Brunei – HSBC

China – ICBC

Hong Kong – HSBC

India – Citi

Indonesia – Citi

Japan – Citi

Kyrgyz Republic – AsiaUniversalBank

Malaysia – Citi

Pakistan - Citi

Philippines – Citi

Singapore – HSBC

South Korea – Shinhan Bank

Sri Lanka – HSBC

Taiwan – Taishin International Bank

Thailand – Citi

Vietnam - HSBC

Latin America

Argentina – Santander Rio

Brazil – HSBC

Chile – Banco Santander

Colombia – Bancolombia

Dominican Republic – Scotia Bank

Jamaica – Scotia Bank

Mexico – Banamex

Peru – BBVA Banco Continental

Puerto Rico – Banco Popular de Puerto Rico

Venezuela – Mercantil Banco Universal

Central & Eastern Europe

Czech Republic – HSBC

Estonia – Swedbank

Hungary – Budapest Bank Nyrt

Latvia – SEB bankas

Lithuania – SEB bankas

Poland – Bank Millennium

Romania – Garantibank Romania

Russia – ZAO Raiffeisenbank

Slovakia – Tatra Banka

Middle East/Africa

Egypt – HSBC

Israel – Bank Hapoalim

Jordan – Arab Bank

Oman – Bank Muscat

Qatar – Mashreq Bank

Saudi Arabia – SABB

United Arab Emirates – Citi North America

Best Investment Management Services – Citi

Best Online Cash Management Site – Citi

Best Trade Finance Services – Citi

Best Web Site Design – Citi

Best Integrated Corporate Bank Site – Citi

Best Information Security Initiatives – Standard Chartered

REGIONAL SUB-CATEGORY WINNERS: BEST CORPORATE/INSTITUTIONAL INTERNET BANKS

North America

Best Investment Management Services – Citi

Best Online Cash Management Site – Citi

Best Trade Finance Services – Citi

Best Web Site Design – Citi

Best Integrated Corporate Bank Site – Citi

Best Information Security Initiatives – Standard Chartered

Europe

Best Investment Management Services – HSBC

Best Online Cash Management Site – HSBC

Best Trade Finance Services – Citi

Best Web Site Design – Yapi Kredi Bank

Best Integrated Corporate Bank Site – HSBC

Best Information Security Initiatives – HSBC

Asia

Best Investment Management Services – HSBC

Best Online Cash Management – HSBC

Best Trade Finance Services – HSBC

Best Web Site Design – HSBC

Best Integrated Corporate Bank Site - ICBC

Best Information Security Initiatives – HSBC

Latin America

Best Investment Management Services – Citi

Best Online Cash Management - Citi

Best Trade Finance Services – Citi

Best Web Site Design – Citi

Best Integrated Corporate Bank Site – Banamex

Best Information Security Initiatives – Citi

Central & Eastern Europe

Best Online Cash Management – Citi

Best Trade Finance – Citi

Best Web Site Design – Citi

Best Integrated Corporate Bank Site – BRE Bank

Best Information Security Initiatives – Citi

Middle East/Africa

Best Investment Management Services – Citi

Best Online Cash Management – Citi

Best Trade Finance Services – Standard Chartered

Best Web Site Design – Citi

Best Integrated Corporate Bank Site – Samba Financial Group

Best Information Security Initiatives – HSBC

REGIONAL SUB-CATEGORY WINNERS: BEST CONSUMER INTERNET BANKS

North America

Best Bill Payment & Presentment – Wells Fargo

Best Online Consumer Credit Site – CIBC

Best Web Site Design – Wells Fargo

Best Integrated Consumer Bank Site – HSBC

Best Information Security Initiatives – HSBC

Best Online Deposits Acquisition – Wells Fargo

Europe

Best Investment Management Services – HSBC

Best Bill Payment & Presentment – DnB Nor Bank ASA

Best Online Consumer Credit Site – HSBC

Best Web Site Design – Yapi Kredi Bank

Best Integrated Consumer Bank Site – Hellenic Bank

Best Information Security Initiatives – Akbank

Best Online Deposits Acquisition – Akbank

Asia

Best Investment Management Services – Citi

Best Bill Payment & Presentment – Citi

Best Online Consumer Credit Site - HSBC

Best Web Site Design – Commonwealth Bank

Best Integrated Consumer Bank Site – ICBC

Best Information Security Initiatives - HSBC

Best Online Deposits Acquisition - HSBC

Latin America

Best Investment Management Services – Banamex

Best Bill Payment & Presentment – Santander Rio

Best Online Consumer Credit Site – Santander Rio

Best Web Site Design – HSBC

Best Integrated Consumer Bank Site – Banco Santander

Best Information Security Initiatives – Banamex

Best Online Deposits Acquisition – Banco Popular Puerto Rico

Central & Eastern Europe

Best Bill Payment & Presentment – Swedbank

Best Website Design – Swedbank

Best Integrated Consumer Bank Site – Swedbank

Best Information Security – SEB bankas

Middle East/Africa

Best Investment Management Services – Bank Hapoalim

Best Bill Payment & Presentment – Mashreq Bank

Best Online Consumer Credit Site – SABB

Best Web Site Design – Bank Hapoalim

Best Integrated Consumer Bank Site – Samba Financial Group

Best Information Security Initiatives - HSBC

Best Online Deposits Acquisition - HSBC