The Dilemma of bank digitisation: Security or Efficiency?
  network 2022-09-16 14:09:19
Description:In the wave of "digital China" construction, the digital transformation arms race among banks and other financial institutions has entered a white-hot stage early. However, this is an asymmetric competition.

In the wave of "digital China" construction, the digital transformation arms race among banks and other financial institutions has entered a white-hot stage early. However, this is an asymmetric competition.


At the beginning of this year, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission issued the Guiding Opinions on the Digital Transformation of the Banking Industry and the Insurance Industry, which clarified the direction and tasks of the digital transformation of the banking industry. This indicates that digital transformation has risen from the initial spontaneous behavior of banks to the development goal of strong regulatory support and common pursuit of the industry.

Looking back, at this stage, China's commercial banks, especially large state-owned banks and joint-stock banks, have gradually increased their own research and development in recent years, investing billions in research and development, and have made remarkable progress in digital transformation. Through the organizational changes brought about by digitalization, they have gradually broken the network restrictions and sunk penetration.

Most local city commercial banks are limited by small asset scale, insufficient customer volume, weak scientific and technological capabilities and other factors, and their digital transformation is still in the initial stage. But consumers will only choose products that bring them convenience, so it is foreseeable that as the digital transformation of the banking industry deepens, the gap between city and large banks will become wider and wider.

In the face of the pressure brought by multiple factors such as the new coronavirus epidemic, city commercial banks are also forced to accelerate the repair of digital shortcomings and prepare for future competition in advance. But the digital transformation of banking will not happen overnight. For small and medium-sized banks that are not dominant in resources, capital and talents, the transformation is even more difficult.

In this context, the industry generally believes that in order to adapt to the increasingly fierce competition in the industry, urban commercial banks should be good at borrowing external forces, while taking into account development and security, the introduction of advantageous tools, enhance the support capacity of scientific and technological systems, and accelerate the process of digital transformation.

Grasp the three core of digitalization: business operation, office cooperation, organization and management

Some people in the industry pointed out that for city commercial banks, in the increasingly fierce industry competition, accelerating their own digital transformation is not only to "live better", but also to "live".

Digital transformation is not a single concept, but a top-down transformation within the bank. In the transformation process, it may involve the coordination and co-development of multiple systems such as strategic planning, organizational management, business operation and underlying technology. The effect is not only the expansion of business scenarios, but more importantly, the reconstruction of existing businesses.

In the transformation practice of a provincial bank in Northwest China, digitalization is an important force to break the "information island" within the bank and between the bank and the customer in the traditional business model, and the digital base embedded in the reform process is the enterprise wechat.

According to the latest financial report, in the process of digital transformation, the Northwest Bank has promoted the online business of the whole bank, supported by "mobile banking + wechat banking + online banking + mini program + smart outlets", and the omni-channel coverage service has taken shape. At the same time, due to the impact of the novel coronavirus epidemic, the bank is also gradually improving its customer service model and starting to try private domain traffic operation through enterprise wechat.

"Our purpose is simple: where our customers are, our means of service should be. At present, there is no disputing the fact that the current customers are in wechat, so when we do private domain operations, we are relying on this point, thinking about how to embed our marketing in wechat and serve our customers." The general manager of science and technology department of the head office of the bank emphasized.

According to the "2022 Enterprise wechat Ecological Research Report" released by a third-party consulting company, enterprise wechat continuously taps the value of connectivity and efficiency around the core application scenario of "communication", provides perfect IM functions, collaborative functions and light OA functions, and creates a one-stop workbench for enterprises to achieve efficient internal and external collaboration.

These functions are highly suitable for the bank's daily office scenarios, which can effectively improve the bank's office efficiency and save staff time.

"Enterprise micro and wechat have basically the same user experience, it is very easy to use, and the cost of promotion within the bank is low." In the view of the head of the bank's enterprise wechat, through the enterprise wechat unified workbench, bank employees can achieve one-stop office, and the use experience consistent with wechat has greatly reduced the threshold of the bank's digital transformation, "Recently, the pace of our bank's digital transformation is relatively fast, during which we have been using enterprise wechat." At present, enterprise wechat is clearly a tool for our digital transformation."

The transformation help provided by enterprise wechat for the bank is not limited to customer service, the person in charge said, for example, through the online documents of enterprise wechat, they establish a "knowledge base" on the mobile phone for all frontline employees, "some information that needs to be understood by all frontline employees of the bank, For example, detailed descriptions of personal mobile banking, corporate mobile banking, digital RMB and other Internet financial business products, publicity materials, information of colleagues in charge, etc., we will integrate these information documents on the micro-disk, front-line employees can open at any time to view and find the corresponding person in charge, which has application value in various scenarios."

The enterprise wechat online meeting function also injects more efficiency into the internal work discussion of the bank. According to the person in charge, for example, the credit business department plans to train the account manager of the branch, and you can now build a group on wechat and then initiate a meeting. "At first we used the livestreaming function of wechat, but later we found that people can discuss with each other in a 'meeting' mode, which often leads to efficiency and creativity."

The same "transformation story" is happening in Yunnan. Since it began to access enterprise wechat in 2016, Yunnan Fudian Bank has long relied on enterprise wechat to complete the digitalization of internal office processes.

The effects began to be felt at the beginning of the 2020 outbreak. At the beginning of 2020, relying on the functions of wechat, such as collection forms and online documents, employees scattered in different places uploaded epidemic prevention and control information in a timely manner every day, and more than 4,000 employees realized the effect of online synchronous communication for the first time.

At present, within Fudian Bank, more than 20 live trainings are conducted on wechat every month, more than 7,000 people use the micro-disk, and 1,500 collaborative documents within the enterprise.

Zhao Jianqiang, head of corporate wechat of Fudian Bank, pointed out that the deep integration of corporate wechat and the bank is promoting the efficient operation of the bank's office process.

"Under normal circumstances, the approval process of bank printing from the initiation to the leadership of the branch is a paper flow, but when the person in charge of a certain link is on a business trip, no matter how anxious the approval will inevitably be delayed." Since the use of the "approval with printing" function of the enterprise wechat, the person in charge of the relevant links can leave a mark for approval in the enterprise wechat first, and then sign on the paper after coming back, our approval efficiency has been significantly improved." "Zhao Jianqiang said.

Zhao Jianqiang further added that the bank also uses corporate wechat to improve management efficiency, "Before the retail line employees completed their business every day, but also in the outlets to open morning meetings, evening meetings, now employees use corporate wechat to do morning and evening 'report', such as the day's performance, difficulties, the next day's goals, etc., its direct leadership can see online, and share to the outlets to encourage and supervise each other." This kind of online "morning and evening meeting" is flexible and efficient, especially in the severe period of the COVID-19 pandemic, more organized and rigorous than the offline meeting oral report, and automatically archived for backtracking.

Building a "fortress of security" for digital transformation

Obviously, under the influence of multiple factors such as macro environment, regulatory strengthening, and competitive pressure, many city commercial banks have placed digital transformation in an unprecedented important position, and a large number of city commercial banks have already achieved initial results in exploration. However, overall, the digital transformation of urban commercial banks is still in the initial stage.

Digital transformation has brought new development opportunities for banking and financial institutions, but there are also certain security risks in the process of transformation.

The basic work of digital transformation is complicated and the ability of data foundation is weak, which is constantly widely mentioned by all parties in the market, but the most important thing is how to place the many internal and external important data collected after digital transformation.

There is no doubt that data security in the banking industry is at the heart of financial security and also at the heart of financial regulation.

Recently, Gao Feng, chief information officer of the China Banking Association, made it clear when attending the "2022 Digital Transformation Development Summit Forum" that regulators are paying close attention to the risks of digital transformation in the banking industry, especially data security and other risks.

Back to the bank itself, its pursuit is efficient digital transformation, but also safe digital transformation. Security, on the other hand, directly determines the bank's attitude towards external digital providers.

"Security is the most direct consideration for us to choose enterprise wechat," the person in charge of enterprise wechat of a Northwest bank said frankly, "After verification, the security of enterprise wechat is still very trustworthy." For example, such as anti-crawling technology, in the enterprise wechat end to build a group, the same account log on, because the enterprise wechat is reinforced is unable to obtain information."

In fact, as early as 2019, enterprise wechat became the first office product in China to pass the SOC2 Type2 audit report, known as the "international level security pass". In February this year, the China Interbank Market Dealers Association released a list of trading instant messaging tools and operator information registration, and wechat was also included. Obviously, in terms of information security, enterprise wechat has been at the forefront of the industry.

In the view of industry insiders, the security of enterprise wechat is mainly reflected in the office collaboration scenario provided by it, whether it is a group chat or a meeting, the enterprise identity of the participants can be verified. "For example, we often use enterprise wechat to open online meetings, because the participants can show the certified corporate identity (name + department + position), there is no possibility of outsiders getting the meeting number and information leakage, which ensures that our daily office cooperation is safer and more reliable." A bank enterprise wechat official said.

The person in charge further said that the user system control of enterprise wechat is more strict, including user identification, data information encryption, etc., "which is very important to us."

In this regard, Fudian Bank also deeply felt. In promoting digital transformation, in order to facilitate management, the bank set up a wechat work group, and it was difficult to check the membership of the group in the later stage.

Verification and management, even if there are non-staff members into the group is difficult to identify, and the content of the group communication is a lot of sensitive information within the bank, which brings great challenges to the information security of the bank.

"However, this security risk problem has been effectively resolved with the application of enterprise wechat," Zhao Jianqiang said, from the wechat group to the enterprise wechat group, non-members of the organization will use another color, "We found that in the original wechat group, there is indeed nearly 10% of the non-bank irrelevant personnel, which is a big hidden danger, through the enterprise wechat group transfer, These hidden dangers have been completely eliminated."

It is worth mentioning that in the protection of file information transmission, the "watermark encryption function" of enterprise wechat is also favored by many banks and financial institutions. "In the past, some sensitive internal information of some banks was transmitted by screenshots, and it is difficult to trace the responsible person, and the file can add visitor watermark is a very timely and important function, which can effectively prevent the leak of office information." Zhao Jianqiang said.

It should be pointed out that while ensuring the security of information and personnel, enterprise wechat can also help banks crack the problem of "customer asset security".

"It is difficult to know in real time how many customers have been lost without using corporate wechat, let alone recall them in time." Zhao Jianqiang said. After the employee left the bank, the bank did not know how many customers the employee contacted, nor how many customers the employee took away after leaving the bank.

"After using the enterprise wechat, we found that the customers involved in the on-service and turnover succession caused by employee changes every month accounted for 10% of the total number of customers, which made us realize that the fixed customer loss rate in a single month may be as high as 10%." In real time, you can see how many new customers each employee has added, whether they have pushed marketing messages, and whether customers have dropped out of groups or deleted friends. "If we do not use enterprise wechat, it may be difficult for us to know the 10% data." There is no way to expand the customer scale, and now with the help of enterprise wechat, our customer volume is getting bigger and bigger."

It is understood that at present, Fudian Bank transforms and adds more than 10,000 customers through enterprise wechat every month, the number of customers under the single marketing management of pacesetter employees has exceeded 3,000, and the active customer exchange and maintenance group has exceeded 1,500.


With the further intensification of competition in the deposit and loan market, urban commercial banks may accelerate their differentiation in the future under the difficulties of high debt cost, insufficient pricing power, difficulty in retaining customers, difficulty in obtaining customers, etc. Exploring new growth breakthroughs and appropriate development paths has become the most urgent issue for all banks.

Financial institutions represented by the banking industry have gradually stepped out of the initial stage of digital transformation. For urban commercial banks, it is necessary to consider the combination of user experience and front-end business, blindly develop digital tools, and it is not possible to ignore costs in the transformation process and build many platform systems without any output.

Therefore, choosing a safe and efficient digital transformation path is of great importance to urban commercial banks.

As a digital office tool, from the four major banks such as China Merchants Bank and China Construction Bank to the internationally renowned Swiss Bank, the "figure" of enterprise wechat frequently appears in their various business scenarios. This is based on their own operational objectives and security needs to make a choice, but also to actively embrace the digital wave.

Just as the rapid development of the digital economy drives the high-quality development of the economy and society, enterprise wechat will continue to assist the banking industry to improve the digital transformation process.

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