2022.12 The Taiwan Banker NO.156 / By Su Weihua (蘇偉華)
Hua Nan Bank's digital platform helped SMEs through the pandemicBanker's Digest
At TABF’s 11th Outstanding Taiwan Finance Award in 2022, Hua Nan Commercial Bank once again won the Best Digital Finance Award – making it the only bank to win the award four years in a row, and also challenging the outside world’s impression of publicly-owned banks. The AI+API dual core simplifies corporate finance Hua Nan was the first bank to be approved for remote insurance business. It created the Hua Nan Bank+ app, the first mobile chatbot AI bank. It also launched SnY Digital Accounts, which are linked to the SnY Credit Card and digital services like Haojizhi Smart Investment and customer service bots, and cooperated with payment operators like My FamiPay and Jiekou Pay, creating a digital consumption ecosystem with a smooth user experience. Rich App, which provides one-stop services such as wealth management, loans and mobile payments, has also been well received. The key to Hua Nan’s award this year was the launch of its Just Smart Enterprise Platform to simplify traditional corporate finance processes. Powered by AI and application programming interfaces (APIs), this digital tool has assisted more than 50,000 SMEs in digital transformation, helping them make it through the pandemic. Digital transformation to jointly pull through the pandemic Jun-yu Wu, Managing Director of Hua Nan Bank responsible for the Digital Operations Department, said that consumers’ willingness to go out decreased due to the pandemic, international trade was disconnected, and logistics congestion in Hong Kong caused many SMEs to face capital allocation dilemmas. The process of applying for loans in person at banks is lengthy and complex. It takes 7-30 days just to request documents, and print and sign the application, and for the bank to review the loan. By the time the funds are in place, business have often already missed market opportunities. For SMEs, time is money, and the bank loan process is difficult. In response, Hua Nan used Just Smart to launch RPA Automated Lending and AI Supply Chain Financing services for quick AI document review. Audits are completed in one day, helping business to obtain funding quickly. During the pandemic, Hua Nan completed a total of 23,000 loan applications, and central factories and upstream and downstream manufacturers were connected to create win-win networks with more than 500 companies. Wu also said that modern business models have changed. Telecommuting, decentralized production and, ESG have all become management issues for SMEs. To meet the needs of different customers, Hua Nan included a customizable API Package Module on Just Smart. The modules have six functions, which customers can freely combine according to their own needs: acquisition and settlement, cash flow, letters of credit, hedging, loan review, and batch loan reservation. Over 50,000 businesses have used the API integration service, covering manufacturing, services, retail and other major industries. Hua Nan has also cooperated with partners to integrate these services, integrating nearly 40 paper documents and replacing physical printing and signatures with e-signatures, greatly reducing time at the bank, achieving effective use of resources, reducing operational carbon emissions and rainforest deforestation, and assisting customers to implement their ESG social responsibilities. “Digital corporate finance is Hua Nan Bank’s way to differentiate itself from its peers and leap into the future.” Wu said that most of its industry peers focus on personal finance, while Hua Nan started with corporate finance and has a large corporate customer base. It has also developed an innovative “Hua Nan Corporate Mobile+ App” providing online mobile dialing for corporate customers, and launched a high-strength mobile one-time password (MOTP) defense mechanism. It launched multi-person collaboration in line with companies’ internal hierarchies, and assisted companies in work-from-home during the pandemic, meeting the diverse needs of its customers. People-oriented technology for digital transformation In 2022, Hua Nan Bank launched its digital transformation plan, and set up a new digital operations department, responsible for managing digital customer groups and providing customers with a full range of personal mobile financial services; and a fintech department, responsible for digital transformation and agile development of the whole bank. The latter assists with cloud migration, data governance, and data sharing mechanisms. “Hua Nan Bank is recruiting digital and IT professionals, and the applicants are quite enthusiastic,” Wu said. In recent years, it has aggressively recruited nearly a hundred digital and IT experts as a digital team, optimized its corporate and personal finance services through agile training, and striven to improve each customer’s digital experience. Wu also revealed that Hua Nan will hire hundreds more outstanding experts in the future. The bank hopes to cultivate its talent, data, and agility to turn it into a leader in the field of digital finance.