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12 June 2024 Blog Lasernet Banking Platform Automating Business Processes Customer Communication Management Private Sector

Wealth Banking, Hyper-Personalisation and Financial Inclusion: Lessons Learned from APAC

In April, Ben Saxton attended Money 20/20 in Bangkok, Thailand, and visited our long-standing client, the Bank of Queensland Group, in Sydney, Australia. In this blog post, Ben recounts his experiences and the lessons he learned from his ten days in the APAC region.

BS

In April, I had the pleasure of visiting Thailand for the first time. It was amusing that, as a Northern Englishman, I’d be visiting during the hottest month of the year. After stepping off the plane to a hot and humid 38°, I found comfort in the conference centre, which was chilled to a pleasant 18°. Although only around one-third of the size of the Amsterdam event, the Bangkok Money 20/20 event was full to the brim with attendees and exhibitors discussing everything from payments and cryptocurrency to financial inclusion and hyper-personalisation.

It was a fantastic opportunity to spend time with existing contacts and develop new relationships with potential clients and partners in the banking space. But the fun didn’t stop when working hours wrapped up, as I was fortunate enough to be invited to two networking events in the evenings, held on impressive rooftop bars taking in the city’s ambitious skyline, a perfect environment to meet with many accomplished people in the industry.

From everything I heard and saw at the panels and exhibitions, as well as conversations at networking events, I concluded that three concepts are dominating conversations around banking in Asia at the moment: inter-generational wealth transfer, hyper-personalisation and financial inclusion.

Wealth Banking

Society is getting richer. A 2023 report by Credit Suisse and UBS predicts that wealth will rise by 38% over the next few years, reaching USD 629 trillion by 2027. However, the gap between the rich and poor is also growing. But it’s not all doom and gloom because technology is reducing the barriers to entry in the wealth management space.

While wealth concentration intensifies among the super-rich, the number of high-net-worth individuals is also growing, and they are well disturbed across the globe. Thailand is a prime example of this. In 2016, the country had just over 57,000 high-net-worth individuals. In 2021, this grew to over 125,000. Wherever they are in the world, high-net-worth individuals want to see their investments grow. But they’re also interested in the investment and ESG principles of the bank they choose to use. More than ever, these individuals want to feel heard and understood.

Globally, this trend creates opportunities for both established and emerging banks and fintechs. While private banking used to be the domain of the few, based primarily on name and reputation, we’re now seeing new entrants flood the market. For more established financial institutions, it’s a case of keeping up or missing out.

Wealth banking is a great vertical for Formpipe. Our Lasernet solution allows multiformat communication to be delivered through multiple channels, pulling data from various sources. This data creates highly personalised communication that not only includes all the important details but also looks fantastic, ready for high-net-worth individuals to consume.

If you’re keen to learn more, I discuss the current wealth banking climate in one of my recent LinkedIn videos, filmed inside the Money 20/20 conference. But that’s not all, I also recommend you put some time aside to listen to our Beyond the Document podcast episode exploring the wealth banking landscape. I enjoyed sitting down with CBTW’s Jon May to discuss regional differences in wealth management and the role of rapidly advancing technologies.

Hyper-Personalisation

In 2023, 9 in 10 banking customers said they prioritised good customer service and accessible apps when choosing a banking provider. However, only 23% of consumers rated their bank’s personalised services highly. It’s clear that banks must do more to tailor their platforms to their users’ needs.

That’s why it came as no surprise that one of the key themes at Money 20/20 was customer-centricity, with a specific focus on hyper-personalisation. Hyper-personalising customer experiences involves incorporating AI, machine learning, predictive analytics and real-time data into customer communications that meet each customer’s unique needs. My colleague Tom Hurrion recently penned an article exploring hyper-personalisation. It’s a great read for those interested in learning more about Formpipe’s Lasernet solution supports hyper-personalisation.

Within banking, it could mean monitoring a person’s financial management in real-time. For example, if a customer goes into their overdraft every month, banks could suggest other ways of managing their finances to prevent it from happening again. But that’s not all—it could also involve personalised rewards or discounts for customers’ favourite brands aligned with their bank.

Bringing hyper-personalised services into banks’ core communications must be a priority in 2024 and beyond. Ultimately, it offers a dual opportunity: increasing customer loyalty and cross-selling products to those most likely to want them. Formpipe is well-placed to help banks and fintechs lean into hyper-personalisation. We’ve delivered personalisation projects to banks for over 15 years, collaborating on over 130 projects globally (and counting).

Financial Inclusion

Financial inclusion was another hot topic at the Money 20/20 conference. Several speakers devoted their time on stage to discussing financial inclusion, especially for women in Asia. For example, it was fantastic to hear Chetna Sinha, Founder of the Mann Deshi Foundation, discuss financial inclusion in this context. As Founder and Chairperson of Mann Deshi Bank, Sinha has been instrumental in creating India’s first bank for and by rural women. She said that Money20/20 Asia isn’t just a platform for everything fintech—it’s also a catalyst for lifting and transforming communities.

Another great point was made about how people tend to interact with the world of finance, explaining that people are more likely to trust word-of-mouth recommendations from their friends and family. For banks and fintechs, it’s not only about developing the technology and tools to deliver the financial solutions underrepresented groups need but also recognising the power of word of mouth and social networks on levels of adoption. However, as Hena Mehta, co-founder and CEO of Basis, said during her talk on financial inclusion, it’s not just a marketing problem. Instead, the industry needs to view financial services holistically.

Next Stop, Sydney

Discussions around core banking and hyper-personalisation didn’t stop once I’d left the Money 20/20 conference. After surviving the nine-hour plane journey from Bangkok to Sydney, I was delighted to meet with one of our most established clients, the Bank of Queensland Group. But they weren’t the only people I was meeting, as accompanying me was the latest member of the Formpipe banking team, Mark Gett, who joined the company in March. Once we arrived at our client’s offices in Sydney, we were able to see how Formpipe turned hyper-personalisation theory into practice. I talk more about the experience in one of my recent LinkedIn updates.

Sydney

For over 16 years, we’ve worked closely with the Bank of Queensland Group, helping them reliably deliver personalised communication at volume and scale using the Formpipe banking platform. Spending the day with our long-standing banking client allowed us to discuss at length how Lasernet had enabled them to use data from multiple sources to personalise communication that is distributed to both their retail and corporate clients in multiple file formats.

It was fantastic for Mark and me to learn more about the Group’s current project, where Formpipe has helped them scale to deliver digital banking to a continuously growing number of retail and corporate clients. The company’s ambitious growth strategies are proving successful, as they have agreed an exciting collaboration with Microsoft, focused on maintaining a customer-centric business model. Once we'd discussed the Group's latest and most exciting projects, I was glad to be able to say thank you face-to-face for their loyalty and continued support all these years.

Sydney

Lessons Learned from APAC

It’s amazing how much you can do and learn in just 10 days. As well as attending a conference and spending time with one of our longest-standing clients, I was also able to meet with two of our strategic service partners and discuss the banking climate, not only in Australia and New Zealand but also in the wider APAC region. With such a diverse range of countries making up this fascinating region, I’ve enjoyed learning about where countries are on the journey to digitalisation, particularly their adoption of cloud-based banking technologies. It’s clear to me that Southeast Asia, in particular, is experiencing a very exciting time in their banking journey.

Before I knew it, my 10-day trip came to an end. In a surprising turn of events, I left the rain behind in Sydney and arrived in Manchester to unexpected spring sunshine. The trip may be over, but I’ve come away with an even greater appreciation for the work Formpipe do within the banking sector. Our customer communication software allows banks and fintechs to enhance customer journeys, create deeper engagements and provide greater transparency to their customers. What I saw over those 10 days supported my view that output management and document management aren’t just about efficiency—they’re powerful tools for nurturing customer relationships and delivering greater value.

 

To discover how our innovative solutions can enhance your core banking system, get in touch today for a free demo.

Ben Saxton
Head of Banking