We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

Embracing innovation is key for financial services to stay relevant in the digital economy

Staying resilient and continuing operations is always a priority for organisations but it took on far greater urgency when the pandemic hit. Governments and enterprises were under a lot of pressure to keep citizens safe, businesses running and nations and economies afloat.

As the world recovers from the pandemic, mere continuity and survival are not enough. Organisations must adapt to the changing dynamics, constantly innovate and be hyper-vigilant to remain relevant and thrive in the new normal.

Financial organisations currently struggle to cope with changing client demands, the need to have a far greater online presence and provide more comprehensive digital offerings. Adjusting requires new knowledge and deep dialogue. Keeping this in mind OpenGov Asia organised an OpenGovLive! Virtual Breakfast Insight on 18 November 2020 to discuss the need to embrace disruption and innovation for the financial sector with delegates from Malaysia and Singapore.

Mohit: Partner with people who will accelerate your innovation journey

Essential for financial institutions to adopt technology against the historical convention

Kicking off the session, Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, OpenGov Asia, opened the session after a quick round of introductions in the virtual space.

Mohit opined that the convenience and flexibility of digital banking and commerce are making our currency increasingly digital. This has made it essential for banks to adopt technology and go digital, to a large extent, against historical convention and experiential wisdom.

Digital banking has exposed customers to the convenience of online transaction, making e-commerce a torchbearer in the online space. That being the case, he emphasized the importance of using technology and the need to innovate to stay relevant in the current environment.

In the same vein, he advised delegates to not try and do everything in one big step; rather delegates should partner with champions who will help them accelerate their innovation journey and help them stay relevant.


OneConnect’s Solutions can assist financial institutions to transform digitally

Yao: Our goal is to technologically empower financial institutions and help them innovate

After Mohit’s opening, Yao Jing, Head of Singapore and Malaysia, OneConnect Financial Technology shared his insights.

Yao began by sharing the inception of OneConnect Financial Technology in China and how they are exploring growth opportunities in other parts of South East Asia. OneConnect’s goal is to support small banks and financial institutions in building digital ecosystems and banking platforms to help them stay ahead of the curve in today’s digital world.

He briefly spoke about some of the digital solutions offered by OneConnect:

  • Digital Identity Verification
  • Smart Landing Platform
  • Digital Bank-in-a-Box Solution
  • Insurtech Solutions

Wrapping up his talk, Yao provided an overview of OneConnect’s workings and introduced Vijay Manoharan, Chief Executive Officer, CIMB Bank Philippines Inc – a pioneer and expert in fintech and digital banking – to share his story with the delegates

The need to democratize banking and promote financial inclusion in the Philippines

Vijay: We are a platform bank dedicated to eliminating customers’ pain points

Vijay began by sharing that their primary goal of entering the Philippines was disrupting the banking landscape and promoting financial inclusion.  The Philippines is in a very nascent banking stage with only 35-40% of the bankable population having bank accounts.

CIMB wanted to create value by addressing the real pain points of the customers. Keeping that in focus, they came up with a go-to-market strategy of removing the barriers to banking and incentivising opening bank accounts with higher interest rates.

Vijay gave an overview CIMB and why it perceives itself as platform bank –  not just a digital bank. He explained that they have the capability of allowing outside partners to extend CIMB services on their platform. This allows CIMB to reach a wider audience, integrate better with customers and partners and have effective collaboration.

He spoke of the partnership they have with the biggest telecom and e-wallet in the country, They have become the first bank in the region to tie up with a fintech and enabled the end-to-end opening of a bank account on the partner’s platform.

Further proof of the success of their strategy is in the overwhelming recognition his team has received over the last 22 months.

Vijay concluded his presentation by listing some of the benefits of operating as a platform bank for both their partners and themselves. They include seamless digital experience, system readiness and agility, risk and credit expertise, fast and aggressive culture and partnership model and adding value.

After the informative presentations, it was time to engage delegates in a time of discussion through the polling session.

On the first question on the biggest benefit of using AI/Technology in the financial services industry, a majority of the delegates seemed divided between better risk control (26%) and new ways of credit assessment (26%).

A senior executive from China Construction Bank reflected that processing data is an organisation’s biggest asset in transformation and innovation. Technology, he felt, would support fintech initiatives but data will be the overarching driver for change.

On the second question about the most competitive advantage of FinTech/TechFin, close to half of the audience voted for innovation/willingness to take risks (47%).

A delegate from a banking organisation in Malaysia reflected that in a conventional banking setup, the ability to take risk is subdued. Smaller fintech setups have the liberty to be innovative and use different kinds of technology from opensource and cloud.

On the final question regarding the biggest competitive advantage of traditional financial institutions, a third voted for brand value (36%).

Reflecting on this, a participant felt that new upcoming FinTech companies are catching up with big organisations on a lot of fronts like management, people and culture but they struggle when it comes to regulatory support.

After the completion of the discussions, George Lee, Strategy and Business Development Director, OneConnect Financial Technology addressed the audience with closing remarks.

He shared that Fintech setups today are getting as big as the banks they are competing with. They have a mature workforce and enough resources, along with the ability to take risks and have flexibility.

He encouraged the delegates to use technology to serve their customers better and to stay relevant in this increasingly digital economy.

George urged the delegates to initiate conversations with the OneConnect team who are always ready to support them on their digital transformation journey.


Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.


CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.


Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.


SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

Send this to a friend