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PPCBank: Digital Transformation

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It has been an exceptionally busy three years at one of Cambodia’s fastest-growing banks, as its digital transformation continues to move at a breathtaking pace. PPCBank first opened its doors in Phnom Penh in September 2008 and was acquired in August 2016 by two of South Korea’s leading financial institutions, the JB Financial Group and Apro Financial Co.

At the time, newly-appointed bank President, Mr. Shin Chang Moo was quoted as saying: “PPCBank will immediately begin a digital banking project focused on a mobile platform to make the banking experience easier for our customers. Also, we plan to expand our service with our Japan desk, China desk and the launch of a Korea desk.

We truly value all of our customers and we will continue to develop new products and services in order to best serve them.”

Those new products and services have come on stream at lightning speed. In August 2016, PPCBank had just two customer interaction channels: 14 branches and ATMs. Today, there are 19 branches and 41 ATMs in Cambodia’s main centres, together with a host of new channels. It has a mobile banking app, its corporate internet banking service‘smartBiz’, mobile teller, a dedicated call center, live chat via its website, mobile app and smartBiz, Facebook chat, as well as POS merchants across the country.

One of its biggest success stories has been its mobile banking app, which was launched in May 2017. As of October 2019, there are over 23-thousand subscribers, who can access their account information 24/7. Transfers can be made immediately or be scheduled. Even interbank transfers have been facilitated, allowing PPCBank customers to transfer funds to any bank within Cambodia. There’s also seamless transfers to their Wing accounts, the ability to send cash to a phone number for collection at an ATM or branch counter and top-ups for mobile phones and the bank’s prepaid card, PayOn. Perhaps its most unique feature, though, is that it’s available in no fewer than five languages: Khmer; English; Korean; Japanese and Mandarin.

PPCBank’s mobile banking app got Silver A’Design Award 2019, the World’s largest, prestigious and influential design accolade, the highest achievement in design.

Given its success, PPCBank says it’s excited about quickly approaching launch of the app’s Version 2.0, which will allow for the opening of accounts without the need to visit a branch. It will also feature SWIFT and Western Union transfers, as well as Real Time Fund Transfers (RFT). The bank is promising to host other exciting features too, concentrating on making banking as easy and convenient as possible, so watch this space.

Another key milestone in PPCBank’s digital transformation has been its Corporate Internet Banking offering, smartBiz, which was launched in January 2018. As of October 2019, there are 714 subscribers who stand to benefit even more from this month’s launch of smartBiz Version 1.5. A host of greater accessibility features, including its unique “Virtual Account” system, will allow payment collections and payment status tracking from multiple sources.

This will be of particular interest to owners of condominiums or education institutions, who collect payments on a regular basis.

It is Cambodia’s youth who are leading the uptake of mobile banking services. As their financial needs grow ever more sophisticated, so too will the apps developed by PPCBank. Already, 37% of all transactions are conducted via the bank’s digital channels and mindful of how this statistic will rapidly grow, the bank made sure to take care of the core of any digital transformation: its core banking operation system.

After more than a year in development, PPCBank launched the first in Cambodia built-from-scratch core banking system in May 2019 to facilitate stable, safe and secure digital transactions 24/7. It allows for a more integrated approach towards customer information, including such features as an SMS service to alert customers about activity on their accounts. It facilitates the faster development and deployment of new products. It’s also flexible and highly scalable, providing a foundation that allowsfor faster connection to 3rd party platforms. This will be vital in increasing collaboration with other financial institutions in the provision of new products and services.

As bank President, Mr. Shin Chang Moo says: “PPCBank sees digitalization as the only way forward in making banking easy for everyone. Whichever channel our customer chooses, they can expect the same quality experience.

We will never lose sight of the importance of human interaction and so our other main priority will always be the quality of our customer service.”

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