AT THE TOP OF THEIR GAME

Author: Adam Rombel, Gilly Wright, Valentina Pasquali

In this first installment of a two-part series, Global Finance identifies the top online corporate and consumer banks by country and then by region, according to product or service category.

What makes a champion? A good start is an intense desire to do whatever it takes to be the best and the ability to work well as a team to produce results surpassing all rivals. For the 15th year, Global Finance celebrates the champions of the digital banking world.

In round one of the World’s Best Internet Banks Awards, country and regional subcategory winners in the Best Corporate/ Institutional Online Banks and Best Consumer Internet Banks were selected from entries evaluated by a world-class panel of judges at Infosys, a global consulting, technology and outsourcing firm. Global Finance editors were responsible for the final selection of first-round winners. This year’s awards saw a 17% increase in participation by entrants.

We received 293 entries, up from 251 in 2013, notes Chris Giarraputo, managing director of operations at Global Finance. Interest was widespread, with entries received from 116 countries. Turkey had the most entries of any nation, with Garanti Bank winning the Turkey country award in both the consumer and the corporate/institutional categories.

Internet banking leaders who won awards in multiple categories and/or countries include: Commercial International Bank, Citi, Danske Bank, FinecoBank, HSBC, Mashreq Bank, mBank, Piraeus Bank (Winbank), Scotiabank, Sberbank, Standard Chartered and Wells Fargo.

These banks and other winners are leading the way in electronic payments, mobile banking, SMS/text banking, mobile banking apps, social media, website design and integration, information security initiatives, cash management and trade finance services, and investment products and services.

The competitive pressure to stay on top of evolving technology trends and customer demands is urgent, especially in mobile banking.

“Customers’ expectations when it comes to mobile banking are growing every day,” Heather Cox, chief client experience, digital and marketing officer for global consumer banking at Citi, said in a late-May news release introducing a new mobile-banking-app feature called Citi Mobile Snapshot. The feature allows US banking and credit-card customers to view deposit and credit-card balances and recent transactions without having to log on to their accounts. Over time, Citi will introduce its mobile app to customers around the world. In the Best Consumer Internet Banks regional subcategories, Citi won the Best in Mobile Banking and Best Mobile Banking App in North America.

Once again this year Citi, which has some 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions, won the most awards of any bank—taking numerous regional subcategory honors and country awards across all regions of the globe.

Rapid change is rampant across the realm of digital banking. “Transaction banking channels are going through huge transformations,” stated Shashidhar Ramakrishnaiah, head of the consumer and commercial banking practice at Infosys, in an interview at the 2013 Best Internet Bank Awards ceremony last November. “We see a lot of banks taking steps toward transforming their portals from the erstwhile static portals to more-dynamic portals. Mobile-centric architectures and social media platforms are taking center stage. So we are seeing a lot of innovative transformation.”

One way top digital banks are differentiating themselves is by using analytics to get a complete view of the client, to determine what products and services customers want, and the best time to offer them.

“It’s about personalization and contextual delivery of customer information. Customers really want us to provide them with the things that they want and those things they don’t know they really want,” Lynda Tucker, director, online channel, Scotiabank, stated at last year’s awards ceremony. In this year’s competition, Scotiabank won 22 country awards for consumer Internet banks and 16 for corporate/institutional Internet banks in Latin America. Check out the second round of the World’s Best Internet Banks Awards in December when we unveil the global winners by product service or category, as well as overall winners.

~ Adam Rombel


BEST INTERNET BANK AWARD TYPES:


Country Winners: Best Corporate/Institutional Internet Banks

NORTH AMERICA | WESTERN EUROPE | CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE | LATIN AMERICA | ASIA PACIFIC | MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA

NORTH AMERICA

Canada

Citi

United States

Wells Fargo

 

WESTERN EUROPE

Austria

Citi

Belgium

Citi

Cyprus 

Hellenic Bank

Denmark

Danske Bank

Finland

Citi

France

Citi

Germany

Citi

Greece

Eurobank EFG

Ireland

Citi

Italy

Citi

Luxembourg

Citi

Netherlands

Citi

Norway

Citi

Portugal

Millennium BCP

Spain

Citi

Sweden

Citi

Switzerland

Citi

Turkey

Garanti Bank

United Kingdom

Citi

 

  CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE

Bulgaria

Citi

Croatia

Privredna banka Zagreb

Czech Republic

Citi

Georgia

TBC Bank

Hungary

Citi

Poland

mBank

Romania

Citi

Russia

Citi

Slovakia

Citi

Ukraine

Citi

 

LATIN AMERICA

Anguilla

Scotiabank

Antigua & Barbuda

Scotiabank

Argentina

Citi

Bahamas

Citi

Barbados

Scotiabank

Belize

Scotiabank

Bolivia

Banco de Crédito BCP

Brazil

Citi

British Virgin Islands

Scotiabank

Cayman Islands

Scotiabank

Chile

CorpBanca Chile

Colombia

Citi

Costa Rica

Citi

Dominica

Scotiabank

Dominican Republic

Citi

Ecuador

Citi

El Salvador

Citi

Grenada

Scotiabank

Guatemala

Citi

Guyana

Scotiabank

Haiti

Scotiabank

Honduras

Citi

Jamaica

Citi

Mexico

Banamex

Panama

Citi

Paraguay

Citi

Puerto Rico

Citi

St Kitts & Nevis

Scotiabank

St Lucia

Scotiabank

St. Maarten

Scotiabank

St Vincent & the Grenadines

Scotiabank

Trinidad & Tobago

Citi

Turks & Caicos

Scotiabank

Uruguay

Citi

US Virgin Islands

Scotiabank

Venezuela

Citi

 

ASIA-PACIFIC

Australia

Citi

Bangladesh

Citi

China

ICBC

Hong Kong

Citi

India

Citi

Indonesia

Citi

Kazakhstan

Citi

Malaysia

Maybank

New Zealand

Citi

Pakistan

Citi

Philippines

Citi

Singapore

DBS Bank

South Korea

Citi

Sri Lanka

Citi

Taiwan

Citi

Thailand

Citi

Uzbekistan

OJSC Turonbank

Vietnam

Citi

 

MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA

Algeria

Citi

Bahrain

Citi

Cameroon

Citi

Cote D’Ivoire

Citi

Democratic Republic of Congo

Citi

Egypt

Commercial International Bank

Gabon

Citi

Israel 

Citi

Jordan

Arab Bank

Kenya

Citi

Kuwait

Citi

Lebanon

Arab Bank

Morocco

Citi

Mozambique

Banco Unico

Nigeria

Citi

Qatar

Citi

Saudi Arabia

Samba

Senegal

Citi

South Africa

Citi

Tanzania

Citi

Tunisia

Citi

United Arab Emirates

Citi

Uganda

Citi

Zambia

Citi



THE TREND TOWARD DIGITIZATION IN ASIA

Tony McLaughlin, regional cash product head, Asia-Pacific, Treasury and Trade Solutions, Citi, says online, mobile and Cloud technologies have transformed peoples’ lives.

Global Finance: Asia is a diverse continent. What are some of the common demands by companies and institutions for Internet banking solutions?

Tony McLaughlin: With an uncertain global economic outlook, a continuing challenge for companies is to operate and grow their business efficiently with minimal risk. Particularly for large and multinational companies and institutions, there is growing appetite for efficient e-solutions that drive greater automation and autonomy in their treasury operations. Simplicity, convenience and consistency in client experience are the common requirements. At Citi, we continuously invest in the next generation of Internet banking infrastructure, intuitive user interface and advanced online analytics that allow companies to have visibility over their treasury flows.

GF: Retail mobile banking services are spreading across developing countries. How does the company and institutional market segment in Asia view them?

TM: Consumer trends in mobile technology are something that we embrace in our corporate/institutional offerings, to make it easier for the treasurer to access their work on the move. Just over two years ago, we launched the award-winning CitiDirect BE Mobile solution, and we were amazed with the sheer volume of transactions flowing through it. In 2013 alone, over two million mobile transactions valued at more than $140 billion flowed through our mobile platform, of which approximately $36 billion was from Asia.

GF: The company and institutional Internet banking sector in the region is considered very advanced. What has made this possible?

TM: The trend towards digitization is pervasive in Asia. The Internet, mobile technology and Cloud computing have transformed the way people live and work. In the company and institutional space, the global rise of Asian corporates and the expansion of Western multinationals into the region have also accelerated the development of sophisticated and innovative digital solutions, reflecting the transnational nature of their treasury and finance demands.

GF: Where will the next push come from in terms of online banking offerings?

TM: Enhanced client experience, advanced data analytics and digital identity solutions, coupled with rapid convergence of mobile and online platforms. This is already happening. An example is the CitiDirect BE Tablet, launched in Asia last year, which provides treasurers with advanced data visualization features, including geographically-driven graphical results of account balances, and drill-down options to global, regional, country or individual account level.                                 

Valentina Pasquali

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Country Winners: Best Consumer Internet Banks

NORTH AMERICA | WESTERN EUROPE | CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE | LATIN AMERICA | ASIA PACIFIC | MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA

NORTH AMERICA

Canada

CIBC

United States

Citi

 

WESTERN EUROPE

Cyprus 

Hellenic Bank

Greece

Piraeus Bank (Winbank)

Italy

FinecoBank

Jersey 

Standard Chartered

Portugal

ActivoBank

Spain

CaixaBank

Turkey

Garanti Bank

United Kingdom

Citi

 

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

Albania

Tirana Bank

Croatia

Privredna banka Zagreb

Czech Republic

Citi

Estonia

SEB Pank

Georgia

TBC Bank

Hungary

Citi

Latvia

SEB banka

Poland

mBank

Romania

Garanti Bank

Russia

Sberbank

Slovakia

Tatra banka

 

LATIN AMERICA

Anguilla

Scotiabank

Antigua & Barbuda

Scotiabank

Argentina

Santander Rio

Bahamas

Scotiabank

Barbados

Scotiabank

Belize

Scotiabank

Bolivia

Banco de Crédito BCP

Brazil

HSBC

British Virgin Islands

Scotiabank

Cayman Islands

Scotiabank

Chile

Banco Santander

Colombia

Citi

Costa Rica

Scotiabank

Dominica

Scotiabank

Dominican Republic

Scotiabank

El Salvador

Citi

Grenada

Scotiabank

Guatemala

Banco Industrial

Guyana

Scotiabank

Haiti

Scotiabank

Honduras

Citi

Jamaica

Scotiabank

Mexico

Banamex

Panama

Scotiabank

Paraguay

Itaú Unibanco

Peru

Citi

Puerto Rico

Banco Popular

Puerto Rico

St Kitts & Nevia

Scotiabank

St Lucia

Scotiabank

St. Maarten

Scotiabank

St Vincent & the Grenadines

Scotiabank

Trinidad & Tobago

Scotiabank

Turks & Caicos

Scotiabank

US Virgin Islands

Scotiabank

Venezuela

Mercantil Banco Universal

 

ASIA-PACIFIC

Australia

Citi

Bangladesh

The City Bank Limited

Brunei 

Standard Chartered

China

Citi

Hong Kong

HSBC

India

Citi

Indonesia

Standard Chartered

Japan 

Rakuten Bank

Malaysia

Standard Chartered

Mongolia 

Golomt Bank

Nepal

Standard Chartered

Pakistan

United Bank Limited

Philippines

Standard Chartered

Singapore

Standard Chartered

South Korea

Standard Chartered

Sri Lanka

Standard Chartered

Taiwan

ANZ Banking Group

Thailand

Citi

Vietnam

Standard Chartered

 

MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA

Bahrain 

Citi

Botswana

Standard Chartered

Egypt 

Citi

Ghana 

Standard Chartered

Israel 

Bank Hapoalim

Jordan 

Arab Bank

Kenya 

Standard Chartered

Lebanon 

BLOM Bank

Mozambique 

Millennium BIM

Nigeria

Standard Chartered

Oman

Standard Chartered

Qatar 

Mashreq Bank

Saudi Arabia 

SABB

Tanzania

Standard Chartered

United Arab Emirates 

Emirates NBD

Uganda

Standard Chartered

Zambia 

Standard Chartered

Zimbabwe

Standard Chartered



SMS BANKING: SMART AND SIMPLE

Global Finance spoke with Alexey Khranilov, Sberbank’s e-business project manager, about the market for mobile payments in Russia.

Mobile payments are widely used in Russia—more so than in Western markets such as the United States. Credit cards, by contrast, account for much less of the market in Russia than they do in the US.

Sberbank is a key innovator in the SMS (text message) banking space. SMS banking enables users to securely and quickly pay merchants and buy goods or services (real or virtual), make deposits or send remittances without having to enter in credit card or bank details or remember any passwords. Sberbank increased its enrolled customers for SMS banking services threefold in 2013, with 25% active customer penetration.

In addition to supporting most payment channels and features, the bank’s SMS service boasts unique features such as the Unified P2P (peer to peer) messaging service, which provides SMS notification on transactions along with beneficiary details. It also has SMS invoicing services for card-free and cashless online services.

Global Finance: How are Eastern European and Russian banks, such as Sberbank, innovating?

Alexey Khranilov: Last year Sberbank launched an SMS service to pay for Aeroexpress train tickets, which has worked so well that we are now considering it for toll roads. Paid parking has just been introduced in Moscow, so we are also developing a system, which will be rolled out in a couple of months, whereby customers can pay for parking in Moscow via SMS. The first time customers use the service they put in the number of hours [they wish] to park and their license number, but the second time round it remembers this information.

We are also currently running a project with one of the major e-commerce players where customers can put in their mobile number while looking on any e-commerce portal, purchase any goods, and then receive an electronic invoice to confirm it with the client-concerned code (using their mobile phone as a unique identifier). We will roll this out to physical retailers as well. And we already have one café and one taxi service where customers can put down their mobile number and get invoiced on their phone. It’s faster than mobile Internet (which requires a good Internet connection). It’s cheaper and provides extra rewards for customers.

GF: How does the Russian mobile-banking experience compare with that afforded by competitors in the West?

AK: Our competitors in the United States do it in the Cloud, but in our case, even if customers have smartphones, they need to have good Internet connections. SMS is different from the Cloud. It is just one step; but it is both simple and smart.          

Gilly Wright

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Regional Subcategory Winners: Best Corporate/Institutional Internet Banks

NORTH AMERICA | WESTERN EUROPE | CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE | LATIN AMERICA | ASIA PACIFIC | MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA

 

NORTH AMERICA

Best Investment Management Services

Wells Fargo

Best Online Cash Management

Citi

Best Trade Finance Services

Citi

Best Website Design

Wells Fargo

Best Integrated Corporate Bank Site

Citi

Best Information Security Initiatives

Citi

Best Online Treasury Services

Wells Fargo

Best in Mobile Banking

Wells Fargo

Best in Social Media

Wells Fargo

Best Mobile Banking App

Wells Fargo

Best SMS/Text Banking

Wells Fargo

 

WESTERN EUROPE

Best Investment Management Services

Citi

Best Online Cash Management

Citi

Best Trade Finance Services

Danske Bank

Best Website Design

Citi

Best Integrated Corporate Bank Site

Citi

Best Information Security Initiatives

Citi

Best in Mobile Banking

Danske Bank

Best in Social Media

Citi

Best Mobile Banking App

Danske Bank

Best SMS/Text Banking

ING

 

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

Best Online Cash Management

Citi

Best Trade Finance Services

Bank Millennium

Best Website Design

Citi

Best Integrated Corporate Bank Site

TBC Bank

Best Information Security Initiatives

Citi

Best Online Treasury Services

mBank

Best in Mobile Banking

Citi

Best in Social

Media

Bank of Georgia

Best Mobile Banking App

mBank

 

LATIN AMERICA

Best Investment Management Services

Citi

Best Online Cash Management

Citi/Banamex

Best Trade Finance Services

Citi

Best Website Design

Citi

Best Integrated Corporate Bank Site

Bancolombia

Best Information Security Initiatives

BBVA

Best Online Treasury Services

Banamex

Best in Mobile Banking

Citi

Best in Social Media

Citi

Best Mobile Banking App

Banamex

Best SMS/Text Banking

Citi

 

ASIA-PACIFIC

Best Investment Management Services

Citi

Best Online Cash Management

DBS Bank

Best Trade Finance Services

DBS Bank

Best in Mobile Banking

Citi

Best Mobile Banking App

Maybank

Best SMS/Text Banking

OJSC Turonbank

 

MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA

Best Investment Management

Services

Citi

Best Online Cash Management

Commercial International Bank

Best Trade Finance Services

Samba

Best Website Design

Citi

Best Integrated Corporate

Bank Site

Commercial International Bank

Best Information Security Initiatives

Commercial International Bank

Best in Mobile

Banking

Citi

Best in Social

Media

Citi

Best Mobile

Banking App

Citi



DEMAND FOR DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES IS GROWING

Dariusz Nalepa, director of transactional banking, mBank, says by 2016, mobile devices will fundamentally change business and corporate banking.

Global Finance: What are some of the demands by your corporate clients for integrated online banking and treasury services?

Dariusz Nalepa: Our clients expect us to deliver all services in an Internet-banking-enabled format that is easy to integrate with their enterprise resource planning platforms—not just payments or account information but also solutions for physical cash management, card management, liquidity analysis, trade finance, leasing, factoring and foreign exchange. 

GF: There is a lot of discussion about retail mobile banking. How does the corporate segment view this offering?

DN: The demand for mobile technologies by corporates is growing as a result of their success in retail banking and of managers’ increased mobility. They need to be able to control the account turnover, cash flows and currency sales, regardless of where they are. We are confident that in one-to-two years mobile banking will be a tool required by CFOs and CEOs.

GF: What are some of the more innovative features of mBank’s foreign currency exchange platform?

DN: Our customers can trade via the website mFX, via mBank CompanyMobile and via Web services, which supports end-to-end integration of mFX functionalities with their accounting system.

The mFX platform provides streaming currency quotes. Users do not have to be always logged in. Once the market reaches a set rate, mFX sends a phone or email message to the user, who can then proceed with the transaction. The platform also allows a user to predetermine a desired rate and volume. When the market hits the target, the transaction goes through automatically. A confirmation is sent via SMS or email or, for users with mobile functionality, via “push message” on a smartphone or tablet.

Finally, mBank allows FX transactions without balance on the account. A customer can close with delivery of up to two working days without a credit limit. A customer with a credit limit can do forward transactions with the possibility to roll over and to roll back the transaction without changing the spot rate, which is adjusted only by swap points.

GF: How do you see the future of the corporate online banking sector?

DN: By 2016, mobile devices will fundamentally change business and corporate banking. Mobile and Web services must transform into an integrated ecosystem for corporate clients. Effective usability means a seamless user experience across channels and devices, offering rapid, easy-to-use information and new, client-specific functionalities, while also providing cybersecurity.

VP

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Regional Subcategory Winners: Best Consumer Internet Banks

NORTH AMERICA | WESTERN EUROPE | CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE | LATIN AMERICA | ASIA PACIFIC | MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA

NORTH AMERICA

Best Online Deposit, Credit and Investment Product Offerings 

Scotiabank

Best Bill Payment & Presentment 

Citi

Best Website

Design

Citi

Best Integrated Consumer Bank Site 

CIBC

Best Information Security Initiatives

Citi

Best in Mobile Banking

Citi

Best in Social Media

Citi

Best Mobile Banking App

Citi

 

WESTERN EUROPE

Best Online Deposit, Credit and Investment Product Offerings 

FinecoBank

Best Bill Payment & Presentment 

FinecoBank

Best Website

Design

FinecoBank

Best Integrated Consumer Bank Site 

Piraeus Bank (Winbank)

Best Information Security Initiatives

Millennium BCP

Best in Mobile

Banking

Yapi Kredi Bank

Best in Social

Media

CaixaBank

Best Mobile Banking App

Piraeus Bank (Winbank)

Best SMS/Text Banking

Piraeus Bank (Winbank)

 

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

Best Online Deposit, Credit and Investment Product Offerings 

Bank Millennium

Best Bill Payment & Presentment 

UBRD

Best Website Design

Tatra Bank

Best Integrated Consumer Bank Site 

TBC Bank

Best Information Security Initiatives

Citi

Best in Mobile Banking

Sberbank

Best in Social Media

OTP Bank

Best Mobile Banking App

Sberbank

Best SMS/Text Banking

Sberbank

 

LATIN AMERICA

Best Online Deposit, Credit and Investment Product Offerings 

Banco Santander Chile

Best Bill Payment & Presentment 

Banco Santander Chile

Best Website Design

HSBC

Best Integrated Consumer Bank Site 

HSBC

Best Information Security Initiatives

Mercantil Banco Universal

Best in Mobile Banking

Bancolombia

Best in Social Media

Banco Popular Puerto Rico

Best Mobile Banking App

HSBC

Best SMS/Text Banking

HSBC

 

ASIA-PACIFIC

Best Online Deposit, Credit and Investment Product Offerings 

HSBC

Best Bill Payment & Presentment 

Standard Chartered

Best Website Design

Citi

Best Integrated Consumer Bank Site 

Standard Chartered

Best Information Security Initiatives

Standard Chartered

Best in Mobile Banking

Standard Chartered

Best in Social Media

Standard Chartered

Best Mobile Banking App

ICBC

Best SMS/Text Banking

Citi

 

MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA

Best Online Deposit, Credit and Investment Product Offerings 

Standard Chartered

Best Bill Payment & Presentment 

Standard Chartered

Best Website Design

Mashreq Bank

Best Integrated Consumer Bank Site 

Mashreq Bank

Best Information Security Initiatives

Standard Chartered

Best in Mobile Banking

Bank Leumi

Best in Social Media

National Commercial Bank

Best Mobile Banking App

Emirates NBD

Best SMS/Text Banking

Bank Hapoalim



BRINGING CUSTOMERS INTO THE DIGITAL CONVERSATION

Raheel Ahmed, regional head of consumer banking, MENAP, and global head, consumer Islamic banking, Standard Chartered, says customers want a consistent experience.

Global Finance: What is happening in the cross-border digital banking space across MENA?

Raheel Ahmed: To make customers sticky on digital banking channels, we need to engage them in ways like never before through tools, analysis, extraordinarily simple user interfaces and other killer features, as we are competing with the digital experience they have on iTunes, Facebook, etc. It will be important for banks to leverage on this idea to bring customers into the conversation while building digital capabilities.

GF: What are some of the main variations in regional market conditions for digital banking?

RA: Market infrastructure, regulatory framework and demographics primarily define the digital landscape. The speed of networks on Internet and mobile, the penetration of smartphones, regulations around digital banking and the mix of population are all key factors.

GF: How are consumer mobile-banking behaviors likely to impact future services?

RA: Consumer behavior is typically driven by the needs and the infrastructure available in the market, and mobile banking is no different. It is important for mobile banking solutions to be customized, but it is important that banks do not end up building different and disparate market-specific solutions, which in the long run become extremely expensive to maintain. Giving customers a consistent and carefully thought-out experience goes a long way in helping drive digital banking behavior.

Finally, it is important to understand and realize that in today’s multidevice and yet connected world, banks should move away from looking at mobile banking as a separate platform and instead try and offer a consistent digital banking experience to their customers irrespective of the form factor of their device.

—GW

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