Future Of Banking

Imagine a future of banking where walk-ins to physical branches are almost non-existent. Where you hear, touch, feel and perform banking activities through wearable mobile devices.

That future isn’t far away according to CIMB Group Holdings Bhd Group CEO and Executive Director Tengku Dato’ Sri Zafrul Aziz.

Tengku Zafrul, who was speaking at the Wild Digital Conference 2016 recently, said customer preferences are changing so rapidly with every evolving minute that instant gratification is the order of the day.


*CIMB Group Holdings Bhd Group CEO and Executive Director Tengku Dato’ Sri Zafrul Aziz. – Image from CIMB

Apart from having the process of banking reduced to the size of their palm, customers don’t want their products and services to be bundled but instead they want to be given the liberty to compare prices, services and be well-informed to make their own decisions.

“The new generation doesn’t want banks to dictate how they will be served instead customers dictate, how, when and where they want to engage with their banks,” says Tengku Zafrul adding that customer engagement platforms have changed so rapidly that lesser people are walking into physical branches to do their banking.

He adds that there over 700 million digital banking customers across Asia representing 16% of the population and their engagement platforms have evolved to include tech applications like Facetime, Facebook, Skype and much more.




*CIMB’s Internet Banking With 1,000 flagship branches across the region, CIMB is not only facing competitions from other banking institutions but also from the rising number of FinTech companies that are not bound by regulations that apply to normal banks.

CIMB, however, views FinTech companies as an advantage as these institutions are literally forcing banks to reevaluate their business propositions to regain and retain their competitive edge.

They also employ several digital strategies to stay up-to-date in the industry and these strategies include:

Online banking tools: Referring to CIMB Clicks, the bank is constantly improving on their system’s stability and increasing speed to market new products

Mobile Application: Customers can perform all sorts of banking transactions via any NFC-compatible devices.

CIMB Messenger: Customers can use instant messaging to deal with the bank, make peer to peer payment and pay their top ups and receive promotional details among other things.

Analytics & CRM: Customer-bank relationships are enhanced using advanced data. CIMB is also open to the idea of using these data for risk management where customer behavior and lifestyle are analysed in order for banks to evaluate the offering of a particular loan or product.



Believing that there will be further and more integrated development on the use of human senses, Tengku Zafrul says banking transactions, in the future, will be enhanced by wearable devices that will keep people online at all times instead of the current practice where we log in to be online.

“The future will be beyond mobile devices and we need to embrace technology as this will help us reduce operating cost,” he says adding that banks need to innovative, double up partnerships for data collaborations and improve acquisitions to remain competitive

“Partnership with telcos, for example, can give us access to critical customer data where we can analyse their consumer’s lifestyle choices so that we can target our offerings to the right people,” says Tengku Zafrul

He is confident that the 4,000-year-old banking industry are up for greater challenges and that it will have to shed the current technology practices and adopt more agile solutions, moving forward.


*Text by R.S Kamini