OCBC FinTech unit catalyst to bank’s progress in the digital field

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KUALA LUMPUR: The Open Vault, OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Bhd’s (OCBC) new FinTech and Innovation unit, is expected to drive OCBC Bank’s progression into the digital era.

Unveiled by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) vice president of Growth Ecosystem Development Norhizam Kadir, he said: “We are pleased to see OCBC Bank committing itself to an initiative that seeks to engage more deeply with FinTech companies globally.”

The move is expected to act as a catalyst for the burgeoning FinTech segment.

According to OCBC Bank chief executive officer Datuk Ong Eng Bin, partnership with FinTechs is growing to become an invaluable part of the Bank’s problem-solving approach, and the setting up of the physical office will lend impetus to realising its objectives.

“Digitalisation and innovation are not new to us at OCBC Bank. In fact, we have been deepening our digitalisation efforts significantly over the past few years. The Open Vault will be dedicated to activities that engage the expertise of the FinTech community,” he said.

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 is now our very own hub for experimentation. It will serve to validate new ideas and shape the Bank of the future with a focus on offering seamless customer experience, harnessing the power of data and establishing an enriched journey for our customers.”

Earlier this year, The Open Vault partnered 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.

According to OBCB, if all goes well, the results of the collaborative efforts with Ondot Systems and EZMCOM on technology experimentations are expected to serve as a guide for commercialising the technology solution at a later time.

OCBC Bank had before that announced it is embarking on a year-long regulatory sandbox testing of a Secure Chat Banking Mobile Application following approval to do so from BNM 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.

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