Local bank OCBC has established a financial technology (FinTech) unit called The Open Vault at OCBC. The new unit is seen as the nerve center for the bank’s innovations, driving collaborations with the FinTech ecosystem, “sandboxing” new ideas with real customer data, and commercializing winning prototypes.
“Our key focus is to deliver tangible outcomes and value; without this, we would not want to play in the FinTech arena,” said Mr. Samuel Tsien, OCBC Bank’s CEO to TODAY. “While digital innovation is very much part of our entrenched culture, we know the world of FinTech is wide and deep. More good ideas can be developed by working with external partners such as FinTech accelerators, technology scouts, universities and other key stakeholders in the FinTech ecosystem.”
With the mushrooming of FinTech startups around the world, OCBC Bank aims to leverage the creativity and nimbleness of FinTech startup companies—which are unconstrained by banking regulatory frameworks and bureaucracy—to drive open innovation and help the bank develop relevant ideas to fuel breakthroughs in banking and insurance, said the bank.
There will be five key areas of innovation: wealth management, credit and financing, insurance, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.
“We are investing heavily in the areas of mobile, data and analytics, biometrics and security to provide superior customer-centric solutions,” said Mr. Pranav Seth, OCBC Bank’s Head of E-Business and Business Transformation.
“We actively scan for technologies and innovations globally that can help us achieve our vision of providing innovative, useful and efficient financial services to our customers. At The Open Vault at OCBC, we seek to experiment with a larger set of new technologies, business models and applications in a controlled environment to find tangible, value-added services our customers can benefit from.”
At The Open Vault's 2,400-square-foot unit at New Bridge Road, FinTech startups will be able to work with in-house experts from OCBC—including programmers, data analytics experts and wealth management advisers—to bring innovative solutions to the market, the bank said.
About OCBC Bank:
OCBC Bank is the longest established Singapore bank which was formed in 1932 from the merger of three local banks, the oldest of which was founded in 1912. It is now the second largest financial services group in Southeast Asia by assets and one of the world’s most highly-rated banks, with an Aa1 rating from Moody’s. Recognized for its financial strength and stability, OCBC Bank has been ranked ASEAN’s strongest bank and among the world’s five strongest banks by Bloomberg Markets for five consecutive years since the ranking’s inception in 2011.
OCBC Bank and its subsidiaries offer a broad array of commercial banking, specialist financial and wealth management services, ranging from consumer, corporate, investment, private and transaction banking to treasury, insurance, asset management and stockbroking services.