As societies around the world grow ever more connected through technology, consumers have adapted their daily habits to new conveniences. Innovations and advancements in communications, artificial intelligence, machine learning and the Internet-of-Things have led to radical changes in consumer lifestyle, behaviour and expectations.
At Baiduri Bank, we began our digital transformation journey in 2020, with the aim of leveraging technology to be more customer-centric and future-forward. Since then, we have been making strategic investments in emerging technologies to enhance our capabilities in data analytics, operational efficiency and customer service.
Fintech and the Future of Banking
Financial technology or ‘FinTech’ companies are on the forefront of change, offering a wide berth of disruptive, innovative products that have altered the financial services sector – ranging from revolutionising how payments are made to automating processes and facilitating trade finance within the global blockchain ecosystem.
Baiduri Bank’s dedicated Fintech Unit was established in 2020. The unit is responsible for the digitisation of our systems as well as researching and testing new technologies that can be rolled out to our business units.
One of our main goals is to continuously calibrate and enhance our digital offerings, striking the balance between digital convenience and human connection.
An example is Emmi, the AI chatbot on our website which has seen a significant increase in digital engagements since it was launched. This was especially evident during the pandemic when reliable, contactless service was in great demand.
Our initiatives in automating tasks with the use of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and other microservices have led to improved productivity and thus, better service and customer experience.
To further expand our expertise and build new connections and partnerships, a delegation from Baiduri Bank took part in the Singapore Fintech Festival which was held from 2 to 4 November 2022 at the Singapore Expo. From 11,000 participants from over 50 countries in 2016 to 60,000 participants in 2022, the festival has grown as a platform for the global FinTech community to engage and connect.
Our executives had the opportunity to hear from a range of 750 speakers comprising government leaders, regulators, investors, entrepreneurs and technology leaders discussing topics from how Fintech can aid in the Net Zero emission transition, to digital currencies.
Simon Hansman, Head of Group Information & Technology Division of Baiduri Bank said, “There are immense opportunities for banks in adopting a collaborative approach with Fintech companies both locally and overseas. Events like the Singapore Fintech Festival provide a platform for key industry players to converge and explore new partnership opportunities, on top of gaining insights into the latest trends in Web3, digital assets and ESG. We look forward to seeing how some of these will be incorporated in Brunei as we progress towards building a digital economy.”
Ti Eng Hui, CEO of Baiduri Bank said, “Increasingly, banks are expanding the range of digital offerings to meet the evolving needs of consumers. By establishing connections with an expansive array of expertise and talents in the Fintech ecosystem, we can leverage their know-how and access to specific market segments to create financial innovations and better customer experience.”
Temenos and ‘The Cloud’
On 1 November 2022, we signed an agreement with Temenos, the world’s leading open platform for composable banking, for running our core banking services in the cloud.
Temenos Banking Cloud opens up new opportunities for Baiduri Bank by providing instant access to world-class banking capabilities and the ability to deploy new services faster, more cost-effectively, at scale. It also paves the way for future developments leveraging open-API architecture to offer a broader range of lifestyle services.
Ti Eng Hui said during an interview with The Asian Banker, “At the moment we have a number of systems supporting various businesses. What we hope to do is to consolidate all these systems into one single Temenos platform. This creates simplicity in terms of managing IT operations and cost.”
“A large part of it is reducing the carbon footprint as we have less servers, less systems in our data centres. It all works towards the environment, social, governance (ESG) components supporting initiatives that we have in the bank,” he added.
The Baiduri Bank CEO also attributed this milestone development to the strong support of Brunei Darussalam Central Bank (BDCB). “This will be the first time a bank in Brunei operates its core banking platform in the cloud under SaaS. It would not have been possible without the support of BDCB with their future-forward, progressive vision for the banking industry in Brunei,” said Ti.
It is through this cloud platform and advanced analytics that we aim to offer a significantly more personalised experience to meet ever-changing customer needs. Following in the trail of media services such as Netflix and online retailers like Amazon, we aim to be able to design products and offerings that are fit-for-purpose at all levels, from retail and commercial banking to wealth management and investments.
Undoubtedly, new technologies giving impetus to fintech and financial innovations will continue to reshape the future of banking. By putting digitalisation in the fast lane, we will not only be able to optimise our processes but also better serve our customers, as we seek to co-create a sustainable future.