International Finance

OCB wins International Finance Award for digital banking

OCB digital banking award
The award honours banks for their accomplishments in innovation, infrastructure development, and customer centricity

Orient Commercial Joint Stock Bank (OCB) has won the 2019 International Finance Banking Awards for innovative digital banking solution. The bank has won the award in the same category for the second consecutive year, in addition to winning the Best new omni channel platform award. 

The International Finance Banking Awards are presented by International Finance, a premium UK business and finance magazine. The award honours banks for their accomplishments in innovation, infrastructure development, and customer centricity.

OCB is one of the only three Vietnamese lenders to receive the award this year.  The second award it received is a milestone in OCB’s roadmap to achieve the goal of becoming the best digital and modern retail bank for small and medium-sized enterprises in the country by 2020

Established in 1996, OCB offers financial solutions and services to all customer segments. It is focused on expanding its network, improving competitiveness, and strengthening risk management. The bank has been investing in technology and digitising operations for many  years. 

Du Xuan Vu, the bank’s IT director, said, “OCB sees that the adoption of modern technology is an indispensable trend. As part of the development roadmap, the bank will continue to invest in digital technology to design more products and services.” 

OCB OMNI: Innovative digital banking solution

In 2017, OCB began to develop omni-channel which is a cross-channel content strategy that organisations use to improve user experience. One year later, it became the first omni-channel bank in Vietnam. 

The bank launched OCB OMNI platform, digital bank and OMNI PAY in April 2019 — and they have been developed on the most advanced omni-channel foundations in the world.  

OCB OMNI and OMNI PAY offer individuals and enterprises free, rapid, convenient and safe services. Using these platforms, customers can open a new account, get a loan, purchase insurance or invest without visiting the bank branch. 

The two omni-channel platforms also offer customers QR code services, free 24/7 money transfer service within eight seconds and swift payment of electricity, telephone, and internet bills. Customer can access or download the app from the Apple Store or GooglePlay Store to use the service. 

Sanjay Chakrabarty, deputy CEO and head of retail banking at OCB, said, “OCB was one of the first banks in Viet Nam to embark on the digital journey. We were very clear that our digital strategy had to be embedded in our core business. So we didn’t simply go around copying ideas from developed markets and implementing them. We put in a lot of effort to understand where we could harmonise our digital strategy with our ongoing business model, which includes a physical network.”

The launch of OCB OMNI and OMNI PAY is a remarkable achievement for OCB amid the boom in cashless payment in Vietnam. They are a testament to the relentless efforts invested by OCB to introduce better products and services to customers. 

Since the launch, the number of OCB customers using the service has been  increasing sharply. “Our customer service has got the highest ratings from end-users after we automated various process steps and reduced turnaround time for key services,” Chakrabarty said. “Some 90 percent of all new customers we acquire now have at least one online transaction in the first six months. 45 percent of our credit cards are being sold exclusively through digital channels. We have unsecured pre-approved loans that are delivered and fulfilled through digital channels. 

“We are now selling insurance as well as investments through our mobile app OCB OMNI. This has resulted in significant enhancement of customer experience.”

OCB has also tied up with many technology partners to build a robust and safe technology system. In June, OCB announced the successful deployment of the IBM Integrated Analytics System (IIAS). It is the first bank in Vietnam to have deployed IIAS. 

IIAS is a unified hybrid data-management analytics solution providing massive parallel processing. It comprises a high-performance hardware platform and optimised database query engine software that work together to support various data analysis and business-reporting capabilities.

In May, OCB reported that it is collaborating with Dell to run a solution called Software Defined Everything (SDN), which creates a modern, safe and flexible operating system.

Speaking of technology investment, Chakrabarty said: “We understand this is an ongoing journey. We have a company culture where we seek speed and simplicity in everything we do. 

“The key components that sustain this drive are, of course, embracing new technology, the orientation to automate as many manual processes as possible, using the data to understand customer needs at all times and presenting solutions rather than merely selling products, and, finally, empowering customers to make their own choices.”

OCB sees steady development in Vietnam banking

Besides technology, OCB has also focused on steady growth that is evident from its recent accomplishments.

Last year, it was one of the first banks in Vietnam to achieve Basel II norms. Basel II is the second edition of the Basel Accords, which are recommendations on banking laws and regulations issued by the Basel Committee on banking supervision. Basel II stipulates minimum capital requirements, supervisory review, and market discipline. It seeks to enhance competition and transparency in the banking system and make banks more resistant to market changes.

Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded OCB’s ratings to B1, a significant landmark in the bank’s efforts to improve its financial capacity and risk management. OCB is one of the six banks to buy back all of its bad debts from the Vietnam Asset Management Company.

The bank’s return on assets (ROA) has grown consistently and has always been among the top 10 banks in the country. It has nearly 120 transaction points in all major cities and economic hubs in the country.

OCB has underlined its leading position with more than 10,000 professional staff, a foundation based on modern technology and well-loved brands. For years, the bank has been growing at double the average rate of the industry.

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