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Nielsen: Virtual Banks to Become a Real Game Changer to Banking Industry Landscape



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With the rapid development of Financial Technology (FinTech), the idea of virtual banking has been widely discussed and is gaining more traction among the local banking population. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) first issued the Guideline on the Authorization of Virtual Banks under the Banking Ordinance back in 2000. However, the concept remained at an inception stage until 2018 when HKMA started to receive license applications. So far, out of the 30 applications, only eight had been approved and it was not until March 2020 that the first virtual bank was launched, 20 years after the first issuance of the Guideline.

It has been a long journey for virtual banking to be officially in place in town. To explore the dynamics of virtual banking in Hong Kong, Nielsen has conducted a Personal Finance Monitor to study customer perspective towards virtual banking. This yearly syndicated study aims to provide a holistic view on consumers’ personal financial status and identifying the impact virtual banking brings to the financial industry.


According to the Nielsen Personal Finance Monitor 2020, more banking consumers have heard of the term “virtual bank”, with the corresponding awareness level rocketing from 67% in 2018 to 93% in 2020. However, 42% of them have heard of this term but do not have a strong understanding of it and 38% of them are unable to correctly cite any virtual bank’s name.

Around 7% of the banking customers claim that they are currently using virtual banking services, which is an encouraging figure as the first virtual bank has become fully operational just three months before the survey took place. Moreover, the survey shows that there has been a spike of intention to use virtual banking services,  from 20% in 2018 to 37% this year.

“While virtual banks gain popularity among the public, consumers lack a clear understanding of the services and nature. It is imperative for corresponding financial organizations to dedicate more efforts to promote the virtual banking concept and educate the public about this innovative initiative,” recommends Eddie Au, Senior Director, Financial Services, Nielsen.


The study also observed the relationship between virtual bank usage intention and mobile wallet usage. Over half (51%) of active mobile wallet users who use it on a weekly basis express their intention to use virtual banking services in the future, compared with remarkably lower rates of 27% among inactive mobile wallet users and 16% among non-users. The result is not surprising as frequent mobile wallet users are more tech-savvy and have already adopted technology for financial management. In addition, the decision of using virtual banking for customers who are not active peer-to-peer (P2P) service users could be hindered by their unfamiliarity with FinTech, such as making cash deposits or withdrawals through Fast Payment System (FPS).

“Given the positive relationship between virtual bank usage intention and mobile wallet usage, partnering with various Stored Value Facility (SVF) providers could help boost virtual bank usage. Alternatively, the feasibility of facilitating SVF issuance should also be explored,” advised Eddie.


When it comes to popular virtual banking services, the survey reveals that around 75% of potential virtual bank customers prefer to start using virtual banks by opening a deposit account. Meanwhile, credit card services are also on demand, with over half of respondents (54%) showing interests in virtual bank credit card applications. Nonetheless, customers are less excited about virtual personal loan services, which are regarded as one of the popular market entry products for virtual banks. Only 18% of the customers claim they would consider applying for the loans in the future.

“Virtual bank has become a prominent and irreversible trend. Continuous growth is expected in virtual bank usage in the coming years along with the opening of more virtual banks. Still, facing competition from not only their peers but also traditional banks, virtual banks are recommended to fight for market share by putting their focuses on the most demanded services and offering competitive deposit interest rates to trigger trial usage,” said Eddie.

Virtual banks are expected to disrupt the financial industry by offering innovative and extraordinary products and services which are attractive and competitive, likely to force traditional banks to upgrade and improve their offerings and make better use of technology. In the end, banking customers would benefit from the competition.

This News has been Published in Partnership with PR Newswire


Kasisto Launches Cloud Based Intelligent Digital Assistant KAI Express



Kasisto Launches Cloud Based Intelligent Digital Assistant  KAI Express

KAI Express offers a proven, pre-trained, and pre-configured digital assistant experience  designed to be deployed in just 30 days, and delivered with an industry first reassurance program

Kasisto, creators of KAI, the leading digital experience platform for the financial services industry, has launched KAI Express, which includes everything financial institutions need to rapidly deploy an intelligent digital assistant, also referred to as a virtual assistant – to their customers. KAI Express comes pre-trained and fluent in banking on day one, delivered via the cloud, and ready to engage in banking conversations that surprise and delight customers from the moment they experience it.

An industry first within the conversational AI market, KAI Express is also delivered with a results acceleration reassurance program, which means “peace of mind” for financial institutions who deploy it. The program comes with an important “money back” guarantee; if after 90 days the bank or credit union is not satisfied with the rapid deployment experience and business outcomes delivered by KAI Express, they can end their subscription.

“KAI Express breaks new ground by delivering a proven cloud based, economical, and scalable intelligent digital assistant experience that guarantees superior customer satisfaction as well as a high level of call containment and user engagement,” says Zor Gorelov, CEO & Co-Founder of Kasisto. “The reassurance guarantee is essentially a ‘love it or leave’ proposition and a first for our industry. Kasisto is confident that customers will be overjoyed with KAI Express, and we are standing behind our offering in this very meaningful way, thus reassuring the industry that KAI Express is a game changer in terms of the digital assistant experience and how quickly it can deliver results to banking customers across the industry.”

KAI Express leverages thousands of KAI’s pre-built conversational banking experiences, pre-trained on tens of millions of customer utterances, and pre-configured with best practices. Battle tested in production deployments over the past 8 years, they are designed to service banking customers’ needs and instantaneously respond to customer inquiries. Through its turnkey and fully hosted SaaS based model, KAI Express is able to be rapidly deployed and fully available to banking customers in as little as 30 days.

KAI Express is built on KAI, which has a proven track record of being deployed quickly and efficiently. This was recently experienced by TD Bank, who launched their KAI powered digital assistant in just three weeks, during the height of the pandemic. Their digital assistant was able to help customers gain immediate access to answers about relief programs and information about their personal finances and has served more than 3 million U.S. customer interactions since its launch. This achievement was recently recognized by Celent who awarded TD Bank the Celent Model Bank 2021 for “Supporting Customers in the Pandemic”.

“Using KAI Express technology, we were able to accelerate the launch of our Virtual Assistant in our U.S. mobile app. Congratulations to everyone involved in helping to support our customers with new innovations at such a critical time,” said Rizwan Khalfan, Chief Digital and Payments Officer, TD Bank Group.

“Intelligent digital assistants are an increasingly important component of a bank’s customer engagement portfolio,” says Bob Meara, senior analyst at Celent. “Historically, standing up a viable IDA was a heavy lift for many institutions. Kasisto wisely offers an out-of-the-box starting point that leverages the many common customer intents its ML-based models have refined across its broad client base.”

About Kasisto

KAI is the leading digital experience platform for the financial services industry. Kasisto’s customers include J.P. Morgan, Westpac, Standard Chartered, TD, Manulife Bank, and credit unions such as Fairwinds and Excite – and many more. These financial institutions chose KAI for its proven track record to drive business results while improving customer experiences. The platform is engaging with millions of consumers around the world, all the time, across multiple channels, in different languages, and is optimized for performance, scalability, security, and compliance. KAI is built with the deepest Conversational AI portfolio in the industry. Kasisto is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Silicon Valley and Singapore. Kasisto Singapore Pte Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kasisto.

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EasyEuro announced the launch of its digital wallet



EasyEuro announced the launch of its digital wallet

EasyEuro announced today the launch of its digital Wallet, called OuiTrust. OuiTrust aims to serve millions of European SMEs, traders and freelancers bringing them new levels of payment efficiency to global trade.

The EU is one of the world’s largest trading block, and SMEs are the backbone of the trade-driven EU economy, accounting for 99.8% of numbers of enterprises.

However, SMEs are largely underserved by traditional banking services since they are not a priority for them and are saddled with products and services that often vastly fall short of customer expectations. The areas of payment, money transfer and currency exchange still remain time-consuming, leaving the customer demand for digital mobility, cheap and fast banking services unmet.

OuiTrust empowers SMEs with a complete new set of banking services, including collection, payment, low-cost currency exchange, customized card issuing. It provides users with a multi-currency account to send and receive payments in the currency of their choice (support more than 30 currencies and local settlement in 20 currencies).

It also supports SEPA, SEPA INSTANT, Faster Payments and SWIFT. Customers can apply for a MasterCard linked with their OuiTrust wallet that can be used worldwide. The OuiTrust digital wallet supports most major payment acquiring methods such as Visa, MasterCard, WeChat Pay, Alipay and UnionPay and allows customers to benefit from quick and simple remittance and favorable exchange rates which can be locked in during the trading process to avoid any currency fluctuations.

These features aiming at covering every SME merchants’ transaction needs allowing SMEs to spend more time on running their businesses by making transactions easier and cheaper.

Under the COVID-19 pandemic, the global economy has accelerated its pace for digitization, and contactless financial services. OuiTrust has acquired over 50,000 customers during the year and has grown it’s transaction volumes in 2020 by multiple folds compare to that of 2019.

OuiTrust’s team is led by Dr. Ryan Li and comprised of a group of highly experienced industry veterans formerly worked at BNP, HSBC, RBS and Weston Union. The technology team is led by the ex-Chief Architect of Huawei Mobile Money, who was responsible for deployment of M-Pesa, bKash, TCash, etc.

OuiTrust operates under Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license authorized by the UK FCA and is granted a conditional EMI license in 2020 by l’Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution (ACPR), Banque de France.

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Global Payroll Solutions Platform iiPay Opens Asia Pac Hub in Singapore




iiPay, a market-leader in providing global payroll solutions to multi-national corporations, released details of the new office opening earlier this year in Singapore.  Singapore serves as the hub for the Asia Pacific operations and represents an exciting juncture of continued growth and investment in supporting global clients through service excellence and market leading technical innovation. iiPay continues to grow and partner with its existing clients while adding new clients at a rapid pace.  This focus on client service excellence and innovation has resulted in an average revenue growth rate exceeding fifty percent for the last three years. The Singapore office launch follows the previously announced launch of its Budapest Hungary hub earlier this year.

According to Absolute Reports, a research report company, the global Payroll and HR Software market is anticipated to rise at a considerable rate, during the forecast period, between 2020 and 2026. In 2020, the market was growing at a steady rate and with the rising adoption of strategies by key players, the market is expected to rise over the projected horizon. Clients in the fast-growing Asia Pacific region need increased payroll visibility and global reporting combined with compliance and accurate payroll delivery.

“iiPay’s investment in the Asia Pac region represents a commitment to serve clients in an exciting growth market with tremendous opportunities to reduce complexities, ensure compliance, and provide a standardized approach to global payroll,” stated Curtis Holmes, Chief Operating Officer, iiPay. “Our clients expect operational excellence in their currencies, local language, and time zone while respecting cultural norms.  We expect to be our clients trusted payroll partner around the globe as they expand their business.”

iiPay provides a truly global payroll solution, with a single technology platform to underpin day-to-day service delivery and enable effective compliance management, payment disbursements, data analytics and a single, standardized, Employee Self-Service experience across the globe.

This News has been Published in Partnership with PR Newswire

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