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OCBC Bank partners US fintechs to enhance customer experience amid challenges


From left: EZMCOM Inc Director of Deployment and Support Ashish Pati, OCBC Head of The Open Vault Fabian Lim, OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Bhd CEO Datuk Ong Eng Bin, and Ondot System Inc. Executive Vice President Rachna Ahlawat, marking the partnership.

From left: EZMCOM Inc Director of Deployment and Support Ashish Pati, OCBC Head of The Open Vault Fabian Lim, OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Bhd CEO Datuk Ong Eng Bin, and Ondot System Inc. Executive Vice President Rachna Ahlawat, marking the partnership.

KUALA LUMPUR: OCBC Bank (M) Bhd is partnering with two US-based fintech companies, Ondot Systems Inc and EZMCOM Inc, to explore innovative approaches to tackling two long-standing banking challenges.

The challenges put forward to the two fintech companies have to do, respectively, with embedding the bank into the lifestyle spending journey of urban customers in Malaysia, and adoption of non-traditional methods to identify and authenticate a customer’s identity and business operations without any face-to-face interaction.

The effort is spearheaded by The Open Vault, a finTech and innovation unit of the Singapore-based OCBC Group, which extended the platform to Malaysia as well in July. 

According to OCBC Bank chief executive officer Datuk Ong Eng Bin  partnerships with finTechs are growing to become an invaluable part of the bank’s problem-solving approach. 

“Innovation is key in the banking industry and fintechs are no stranger to us anymore now, especially with The Open Vault firmly in place in Malaysia as well. 

“The two current arrangements with Ondot Systems and EZMCOM are spearheaded by our The Open Vault team and we expect more such initiatives to come through in the future,” he said in a statement.

Ong added that The Open Vault, as OCBC Bank’s fintech and innovation unit, is tasked with redefining banking through co-innovation with  fintech firms around the globe. 

“The Open Vault serves as a catalyst to inculcate the innovation culture in our bank. Through active collaboration with external fintech firms, we will be able to run quick experiments to validate new ideas and solutions. At the end of the day, The Open Vault aims to shape the Bank of the future, which focuses on offering seamless customer experience, harnessing the power of data and establishing an enriched journey,” he said.

If all goes well, the results of the collaborative efforts with Ondot Systems and EZMCOM on technology experimentations will serve as a guide for commercialising the technology solution at a later time.

Earlier this year, OCBC Bank announced that it is embarking on a year-long regulatory sandbox testing of a Secure Chat Banking Mobile Application following approval to do so from Bank Negara under the Financial Technology Regulatory Sandbox Framework. 

If successful, the OCBC Secure Chat Banking Mobile App will become the country’s first banking solution to enable premier banking customers to communicate with, and give financial transaction instructions to, their relationship managers securely via a mobile app.

And on the business banking front, the bank had also earlier announced a tie-up with Peoplender Sdn Bhd to enhance access to financing for micro, small and new businesses. 

The effort is operationalised through Peoplender’s wholly-owned peer-to-peer financing platform Fundaztic.com, which is licensed by the Securities Commission. 

The collaboration sees OCBC Bank referring to Peoplender viable SMEs seeking wider financing options to enhance and support their business growth. 
 

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