(Yicai Global) Dec. 12 -- Globally super-connected banks are the sector's future since digitization is unstoppable, according to the head of Citibank's Shanghai branch.
Traditional banking was characterised by paperwork, intensive manual labor, inefficiency, old industry clients and was capital intensive, Zhang Xiaomeng said at the 2018 Lujiazui New Financial Annual Conference yesterday. Today's lenders are mostly e-banks that are data-intensive, standardized, open, fast and lean.
Digitalization has also changed clients' business models and overturned traditional industries, she said. Since a bank's mission is to serve its clients, they will keep adapting to developments and carefully manage risks while seizing new opportunities.
"Non-bank institutions are given access to bank infrastructure, transactions are processed in real-time, and banks' clearing systems are connected via application programming interfaces," Zhang said. "Via these technologies we'll help our clients manage anti-money laundering risks to guarantee all transaction data."
Many companies have reformed their sales channels and virtual organization through big data analysis, she said. "We notice firms are more focused on analyzing application data to improve liquidity and estimate cash flows. They will use digitization to optimize internal processes, think over emerging payment channels and use technologies to improve network security."
China has far excelled most countries in terms of digitization, Zhang said, giving the country's lower credit card ownership as a sign of its greater use of digital payments.
Just 10 percent of Chinese used credit cards compared with 94 percent in South Korea, 97 percent in Japan and 99 percent in Australia and New Zealand, data shows.
But some 65 percent of Chinese use mobile wallets. The rate falls to 25 percent in New Zealand, 24 percent in Australia, 13 percent in South Korea and just 3 percent in Japan, Zhang added.