At a Glance

Launched the first Taiwanese digital-native bank in 1 year

About half million customers onboarded in seven years

Reduced new products’ launch time to 3-4 days

Reduced customer onboarding time to 2-3 hours

O-Bank is Taiwan’s first digital-native bank. It was initially established in 1999 as Taiwan Industrial Bank, a corporate bank. In 2017, it acquired a commercial banking license so that it could enter the retail space and restructured into O-Bank, or ‘Wangdao’ in Chinese. O-Bank’s Chinese name is drawn from a spirit of inclusiveness, walking the right path, and fulfilling oneself by benefiting others. The English letter ‘O’ represents fulfillment and the unending cycle of life. The bank is committed to sustainability and is focused on delivering innovative financial services products that create win-win outcomes and mutual prosperity for consumers.

Venturing into new markets

Successfully entering the retail banking space is a challenging feat, particularly in Taiwan which is often described as overbanked.

“We only had a year to prepare, build, and launch our retail business,” says Lichen Hung, O-Bank’s Chief Information Officer. “This was a challenge. Since we are a mid-sized operation, we don’t have significant IT resources like enterprise-sized banks, so we are not equipped to build our own infrastructure.”

That’s why O-Bank sought a comprehensive core banking platform, one that could not only enable it to launch quickly, but also support its need to develop and launch personalized, customer-relevant products rapidly.

“Customers are no longer prepared to wait for new products, so we need to act fast,” explains Lichen. “We needed a flexible system to facilitate this and help us deliver personalized offers to our customer base.”

Speed and scalability

Lichen and her team began searching for a solution. Unfortunately, the first two options they found would take more than a year to implement. But then they discovered Temenos.

“The Temenos core banking platform stood out,” Lichen says. “Following discussions with the Temenos professional services team, who shared their previous implementation experience, we were convinced we could make our launch deadline.”

O-Bank was also impressed by the Temenos core banking architecture.

Temenos is much more agile and flexible than other products on the market. We discovered we could launch new products very quickly and without the need for any special coding or extensive technical knowledge. That was very appealing to us.”

Lichen Hung, Chief Information Officer at O-Bank

In 2016, O-Bank began the implementation. Everything went smoothly and, although there were some challenges along the way, O-Bank was supported by the Temenos professional services team, which was on hand to provide coaching and offer advice.

“The Temenos team solved all our difficulties. As a result, we met our deadline and, within 12 months, we were able to open our doors as Taiwan’s first digital-native bank.

Lichen and her team have never looked back. Today, O-Bank has over half million customers, $21 billion USD in assets, and over $100 million USD in profits.

Much of this success is owed to O-Bank’s new-found ability to operate at speed. For example, with Temenos core, the time to onboard a new customer was reduced from seven days to just two or three hours.

Faster time to market

Temenos core banking is also helping O-Bank to launch new products in a matter of days.

In the past, it has taken us at least three months to launch a new product. But after using Temenos core, we’ve reduced that to three or four days. It takes us a day to set up the parameters, then we spend a couple of days testing, and then we can go live. And as the processes are automated now, we can easily integrate with the surrounding system, so there’s no manual intervention, which is also driving down operational costs.

Lichen Hung, Chief Information Officer at O-Bank

Using Temenos core banking’s in-built automation tools, O-Bank can personalize new products to specific customer segments without manual intervention. For example, O-Bank has recently launched a multitier deposit account that pays different interest rates depending on the account holder’s financial circumstances. This approach is already proving a hit with customers. In the quarter following O-Bank’s launch of its multi-tiered deposit account, it witnessed a 12% uptick in account openings and a 75% increase in deposit balances.

A growing success

Since its establishment, O-Bank has grown its customer base each year. These customers are sticking around: “Our success comes from attracting new customers and then keeping hold of them,” Lichen says. “Loyalty is a priority”. We partner with a customer, and then take care of all their financial service needs over their whole life.

O-Bank isn’t resting on its laurels. Thanks to its use of Temenos, it is preparing to take advantage of the opportunities arising from open banking by leveraging APIs to connect with external ecosystems. 

This will help it to continue to innovate.

Innovation is so important to us. We are already using robotic process automation and generative AI solutions. Building our bank on an open platform like Temenos core banking allows us to take advantage of new digital technologies as they arise.”

Lichen Hung, Chief Information Officer at O-Bank

Powerful partnerships

In the longer term, O-Bank plans to migrate its corporate business to Temenos core, too. “Having one core platform is our ultimate goal,” Lichen says. “We will achieve it through our long-term, strategic partnership with Temenos.” 

When asked if she would recommend Temenos to other banks like hers, Lichen replied with an emphatic ‘yes’.

“If you want to launch a digital bank from scratch, then Temenos is your best solution,” she says.

Temenos core banking is ready to use, it has removed many of our problems. We don’t need to employ a team of software developers, and we don’t need to pay people to maintain the system or keep track of its security. Everything is managed by Temenos, which means we can focus on what we do best: delivering a best-in-class service to our customers.” 

Lichen Hung, Chief Information Officer at O-Bank