Focus On Performance
For WeBank, applying the latest technologies is key to bringing basic financial services to low-cost, unbanked customers. By definition, the underbanked segment involves very high volume transactions, while at the same time, ticket prices are mostly small. This is the reason why traditional financial institutions ignore this segment. The key is to support each customer at a fraction of the cost that a traditional digital bank can… without sacrificing service or experience.
WeBank leverages the ‘ABCD’ (AI, Blockchain, Cloud Computing and Data) model to improve efficiency at scale. Data and AI not only support innovation and the creation of customer service models, but are the foundation of the entire organization. WeBank also operates multiple cloud platforms at the same time, supporting daily transactions and providing a foundation for innovation testing with real-time transaction and account data. Blockchain is increasingly being leveraged to automate functions.
“We are among the first financial institutions to run an ARM-based cloud server in a production environment. The benefits are increased cost savings and increased energy efficiency.
— Henry Ma
This ABCD approach allows WeBank to achieve scale without a single branch. To support this approach, more than half of WeBank’s employees consider themselves engineers.
Go Beyond Traditional Banking
Recently, WeBank introduced the WeBank Blockchain brand, which enables the organization to drive ESG (Environmental, Sustainability and Governance) initiatives, both within WeBank and outside the organization. In addition, hundreds of applications have been built on top of the WeBank ABCD open source technology platform that are used outside the bank. According to Ma, there are already more than 30 open source projects worldwide.
“We have a very strong open source culture within WeBank, and while the key mandate is to support our own businesses, they are also encouraged to contribute to the open source community.”
— Henry Ma
Another result of what WeBank is doing is supporting integrated banking throughout the customer journey. The focus is on integrated banking to provide a better customer experience for both its customer base and the organizations that customers frequent. Having an open platform with collaboration helps non-financial services companies deliver financial services using API tools to drive shared business outcomes.
Adopt A ‘Challenge Mindset’
According to Ma, a very important part of WeBank’s culture is the idea that employees believe they own the business. As part of this employee-owned mindset, bottom-up decision-making is highly encouraged, encouraging innovation from your team. This includes a “fail fast” mentality where teams can try new things and fail cheaply.
“That’s why it’s also so important to build the right technical architecture to help test new ideas. When we design digital banking technology the overall architecture, we want to make sure it’s scalable. Yes, but the cost structure is low enough to allow our staff to try new things.”
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