Financial Insights Announces Winners of the 2008 Financial Insights Innovation Awards (FIIA)

Singapore and Hong Kong - 3 March 2008

Leading independent research and advisory firm, Financial Insights, an IDC company, today announced the winners of the Financial Insights Innovation Awards (FIIA) in recognition of the most innovative use of information technology by financial institutions in the region. In conjunction with the FinTech Asia 2008 that is being held on February 28 and 29 in Singapore, the Awards highlight the significant achievements of financial institutions in the effective use of information technology to support overall business strategies. The noteworthy accomplishments of these organizations highlight how the region's financial institutions are true drivers of innovation and operational excellence.

With almost 150 submissions received from banks and insurers across Asia/Pacific, it provides a good indication of how the region's financial services industry as a whole is leveraging technology as a driver of innovation and competitive differentiation.

The submissions were evaluated based on their responsiveness to market need, effectiveness of the implementations, market take-up and sustainability. Those organizations who can distinguish themselves among the other competitors have been able to clearly define their overall strategic intent, rally support and commitment from senior executives through to project management and business users, articulate the role of technology in these initiatives, as well as generate significant business benefits from the initiatives.

The winners show that IT projects can drive technology-related benefits such as operational efficiency and infrastructure optimization, which in turn can help the organizations to accomplish business objectives including increased market share, higher product cross-sell and improved customer satisfaction.

The ten winners of the 2008 Financial Insights Innovation Awards are:

e-Payments Project: Yes Bank Limited (India)
Introduced electronic payment of both real-time gross settlement (RTGS) and National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) via the web. The platform provides online confirmation along with instant settlement within 2 hours for RTGS and same day confirmation for NEFT payments, making cash flow forecasting easier and precise to the last minute. Important details include various security features, authorization workflow, online IFS Code library, email advising to beneficiaries, etc.

Business Process Reengineering: Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd. (Japan)
Awarded for its Business Renovation Project, an extremely ambitious undertaking to overhaul every aspect of the business, covering insurance product redesign, business processes, claims services, core systems, and the agency portal. The project spans several stages and stretches out till 2011, with the insurer underway in achieving its targets to reduce workload for agents and employees by up to 30%, improve system development efficiency by 30%, and raise straight-through processing to 100%, among others.

Biometrics and Smartcards in Microfinance: Bank Danamon Indonesia (Indonesia)
Danamon Bank leveraged smartcard and biometric technology to bring efficient and differentiated microfinance product offerings to Indonesia's micro-entrepreneurs. As a result, Danamon's microfinance arm has shown strong growth over recent years and now plays a more significant role in the bank’s proposition to the market.

Sales Force Automation: Taishin International Bank (Taiwan)
Taishin Bank is awarded for developing a new sales force automation tool for its telemarketing team that effectively integrated different systems covering the datawarehouse, the risk assessment system, the credit bureau, computer telephony, SMS, and the core banking system. The system was completed in a short period of time, allowing the bank to see a sharp increase in businesses booked through a new, cost-effective and customer-responsive channel.

Business-to-Government (B2G) Payments: UnionBank of the Philippines (Philippines)
Integrated, one-stop-shop portal to make e-payments to the key government agencies. It enables corporations to settle their monthly mandatory payments with the BIR, SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG in a simple, online, and efficient manner

Business Process Automation - Account Opening: CIMB Bank Berhad (Malaysia)
Malaysia's CIMB Bank has seen improvements in operational efficiency by introducing automation in their account opening process. The new system has not only decreased the average branch queue times but has also resulted in a significant increase of new accounts booked.

Web-based Receivables Solution: Westpac Banking Corporation (Australia)
PayWay is an internet-based solution, which can be used to manage and collect customer payments. It supports direct debit and credit card payments, enabling customers to pay online or over the phone. PayWay is a solution providing businesses with multiple receivables channels with low implementation and ongoing costs.

Project Management Excellence: ING Asia/Pacific Ltd.
Awarded for its implementation of "Towards Project Excellence" (TPEX) intranet strategy execution for its subsidiary, Bank of Beijing. TPE was introduced to Bank of Beijing to logically cluster its hundreds of projects into a TPE Excellences framework to simplify staff functions, and identify and motivate staff responsible for strategic projects. The framework is proving to be a more practical tool for executing strategy and evaluating performance.

Credit Risk Management: OCBC Bank (Singapore)
Awarded for "Project REACH", OCBC's one-stop end-to-end credit and risk management system. This solution sees a collaboration between the corporate banking and risk management divisions to achieve an end-to-end information flow for each credit process, and allows OCBC to manage global exposure and control drawdown transactions in a timely manner out of their head office.

Trade Services: Kasikornbank PCL. (Thailand)
Overhauled its trade services business and moved from a decentralized structure to a centralized structure – a hub and spoke model. This is a radical change from the previous structure and allowed the bank to rapidly scale up its trade services business moving from 16 "spokes" in 2006 to 42 in 2007. The change also occurred at the people level as the bank invested heavily to train and improve its staff's ability to service customer requirements.

In addition, Financial Insights would also like to give special mention to:

Special Citation - Islamic Payment Switch: Al Rajhi Bank (Malaysia)
Islamic Payment Switch (IPS) which allow customer to Purchase Saudi Riyals in various denominations and load the cash into a card (AL MUSAFIR) and have the ability to withdraw from Al Rajhi Saudi’s ATM when customers are there. Subsequent phase is to allow Al Rajhi Malaysia’s customers to perform cross border withdrawal transactions and debit their account directly.

Special Citation - Transaction Banking: Standard Chartered Bank
Supply chain finance initiation and SWIFT TSU integration into SCB's Straight2Bank platform. The incorporation of TSU into SCB's platform is a first for the industry and allows customers to take advantage of the benefits and efficiencies created by automating the document matching process. With TSU as a value-added part of SCB's solution, the bank can offer customers the convenience of working with trading partners “embedded” with another bank's electronic solution.

Special Citation - Mobile Payments: Baiduri Bank Berhad (Brunei)
Baiduri Bank’s FAST (Fast And Secure Transactions) is a mobile authentication and transaction platform for banking and services payments. The project is poised to prove that an interactive voice response-based (IVR-based) system can effectively resolve security issues to provide a convenient and personal way for consumers to undertake mobile payments. The FAST Project’s inclusive approach allows a broad selection of third parties to offer the mobile phone as a payment channel to customers, aside from providing a new payment channel for credit cards and hire purchase --- business lines that are uniquely strong in the Brunei market.

Special Citation - Payments Transformation: PT Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk. (Indonesia)
Bank Mandiri strengthened its payments infrastructure through the adoption of SOA and a holistic enterprise payment framework, enabling them to implement multiple payments initiatives quickly and cost-effectively. This has led to a significant increase in fee based income and transaction volumes, as well as higher net interest margins resulting from low cost funds.

Special Citation - E-Tax Project (India): HSBC
HSBC Global Payments and Cash Management in India partnered with an authorized alliance bank to make electronic payments (E-Tax) on behalf of clients through their portal with differentiators such as pan-India coverage and an outsourcing proposition for processing these transactions. It was launched with the joint efforts of various teams, including the Legal, Tax, Compliance, Operations and Customer Group teams who worked together with the Global Payments & Cash Management team in India to complete this launch within 3 weeks of the regulatory mandate and comfortably met the timelines set by the CBEC.

“These awards represent the best of what financial institutions in the region are capable of achieving,” notes Cyrus Daruwala, Managing Director of Financial Insights Asia/Pacific. “Moreover, these reinforce our belief that in many areas, Asia/Pacific is leading the world in its use of information technology to meet pressing business challenges."

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