Unlocking growth with Invisible Banking

Last week was a truly special experience for me as I had the honor of hosting a roundtable discussion with some of Vietnam’s leading banks. Our focus? Exploring the exciting realm of Invisible Banking. Banks are institutions we trust the most, but can they become so seamless that we hardly notice their presence? This question sparked a lively debate on the essence of "invisibility" in banking.  

Invisibility, in this context, means being effortlessly present and available whenever customers need us, seamlessly integrating into their daily journeys. We've already seen this in payments: while banks facilitate most of our transactions, we often find ourselves using third-party apps more frequently. The trend extends to loans, with options like Buy Now Pay Later allowing us to access loans without visiting a bank branch, directly through airlines, e- commerce platforms, and retail sites. Soon, we might even open bank accounts or check balances without needing dedicated banking apps. The potential for seamless integration is immense, especially in a country like ours with a burgeoning banking sector and ample room for growth. Imagine the innovation if banks open up their platforms like tech giants such as Apple or Google, attracting millions of developers to create new services.  

During our discussion, banks acknowledged the limitations of their older core banking apps. However, they are actively launching new services outside these constraints, embracing agility while pursuing hyper-personalization as a key growth opportunity for the next few years.  

Cloud technology emerged as another exciting frontier for banks, although challenges such as the absence of local cloud regions and regulatory ambiguities remain hurdles to navigate.  

Despite these challenges, banks recognize the importance of maintaining engagement through existing channels while also embracing embedded experiences as a significant avenue for growth and innovation.  

Thank you to my friends from ABBank, Public Bank Vietnam, Hyperlogy, Saigon-Hanoi Bank (SHB), BacABank and Standard Chartered Bank for joining the conversations. I'm eager to continue this dialogue and would love to hear your thoughts on the vast potential of invisible banking and where you see the most promising growth opportunities.