Taiwan's first Digital Bank
O-Bank, formerly named Industrial Bank of Taiwan, was founded in 1999 and focused on furthering the economic interests of Taiwan through participating in economic development projects financing strategic enterprises. Essentially a corporate development bank.
In 2016, the bank began to assess its future business strategy and decided to diversify its business by restructuring itself. In January 2017 the Bank became O-Bank, which would establish a new digital retail business, delivering a significant superior customer service at a much lower cost than the traditional incumbent banks in the market. While the bank has six service centres to continue to support its corporate business, the retail business would be branchless focusing on delivering mobile and internet self-service, with a video call centre when customers need assistance.
The bank is the first Digital Bank in Taiwan and since its opening at the end of 2017 has acquired over 150,000 customers.
O-Bank having acquired its Digital Retail Banking license at the end of 2015 needed to be ready to launch the bank within 12 months as mandated by the Regulator. To achieve this would require a business focus in identifying who would be the bank's target customers, what digital products and services would these customers require and how would the Bank design a superior totally self-service experience. This is difficult enough for experienced retail banks but a challenge for bankers coming from a corporate banking background.
From an implementation perspective, there were two major areas that would risk the 12 month implementation timeline; first, how to minimise the need for any customisation and second, how to manage the integration and co-existence required with the bank's existing applications of which there were approximately 40 application to application touchpoints.
O-Bank's Executive Management, business and IT Teams successfully collaborated with Temenos and IISI as one team with one objective which was to successfully launch the bank on 1 January 2017, which was successfully accomplished.
How the bank addressed their challenges
The bank selected T24 as its core processing system, a customer and product processing capability managing transaction accounts, deposits and consumer lending both unsecured and secured as in the case of home loans. The bank implemented the T24 branch, or in this case service centre, front-end.
The bank assigned and recruited experienced individuals into the retail digital bank who would be responsible for its launch and eventual success. This business team ensured a successful launch within the timeframe by maximising the use of the delivered functionality and by using the flexibility of the Temenos Product Builder to create new innovative products.
Innovative products and services, and speed to market is a key part of the bank's digital value proposition. All products and services were configured with the T24 Arrangement Architecture, a rules-based highly flexible product catalogue, defining the bank's and 3rd party product offerings which the bank believes reduces the time for product creation by up to 66% when compared to incumbent traditional banks in Taiwan. The bank's product strategy has been quality over quantity focussing on simple easy to use and understand financial services.
Temenos together with its local partner IISI proposed a Model bank process-led approach to reduce the project timeline risk which provided the bank with pre-configured processes and functionality such that the bank could follow a process and modify as required. This ensured that the need for customising the software was kept to a minimum. In addition to the Model Bank and given the Temenos Client community in Taiwan we were also able to provide a significant level of pre-developed Taiwanese specific products services, local business practice and regulatory requirements. Regulatory Reporting was available on day one.
While T24 is the central foundation for O-Bank's digital retail business, there are over 40 other major applications, including the self-service channels, the GL, and many others that T24 needed to integrate with in order to deliver an efficient and low cost operation while delivering a superior customer experience to the digital target market identified by the bank.
The bank chose TIBCO as its middleware integration architecture and the Temenos Integration Framework connected to the middleware seamlessly taking much of the integration risk out of the project.
The bank chose to further reduce the project risk by adopting a progressive phased implementation approach, going live with transaction accounts and deposits first and followed with Consumer and Home Loans two months after that. Foreign currency accounts and exchange were introduced 6 months later and a full foreign currency business including Term Deposits and Remittances began in May 2018.
O-Bank's Success to-date
With the Bank's ability to enable customers to on-board themselves and originate products in less than 10 minutes using a mobile phone or connecting over the Internet, the bank has seen a rapid take-up from customers. In the first six months they on-boarded over 150,000 customers. From a competitive perspective, the customer acquisition cost is believed to be just 5% of the customer acquisition cost that a traditional incumbent bank spends.
The bank was awarded the 2017 "Gartner Eye on Innovation for Asia Pacific" and the "Most Innovative Digital Business Model" acknowledging the work that O-Bank are doing in changing the face of financial services in Taiwan.
The bank continues to outgun the competition through its technology recently introducing a family account connecting children to their parents.
The bank chose Temenos for the following reasons:-
- Integrated Front to Back Core Banking System
- Flexible rules-based Product and Services Catalogue for the bank's and 3rd Party Products
- The Temenos presence in the Taiwanese market and strong local partnership with IISI
- The Temenos annual R & D investment in continually enhancing the product
- The ability to easily upgrade the product in the bank's own time
- The ability to manage and control the software independently of the vendor if the bank so chooses
- The local Taiwanese and global Temenos client community bringing global and local best practice
- Global and local compliance standards such as FATCA, CRS, IFRS9, SWIFT e.tc.
- The ability to implement within a 12-month timeframe meeting the Regulators mandatory requirement
- Choice of technologies as opposed to being locked in to a specific technology
- Scalability to easily achieve the bank's 1M customer target in 5 years.
So What About the Future?
The bank will now be looking to consolidate their corporate business onto the platform by 2020. It will also look to bring the same level of digital innovation to small and medium enterprises (SME's) and large corporates alike.
The goal for the digital retail line of business is to have 1M customers by end 2022.