Mashreq bank bets on ‘super app’ to improve customer experience, CIO News, ET CIO

By Dhrumil Dhakan

With the onset of the pandemic, much of the Mashreq’s operations have transitioned to digital banking, like so many others in the industry, allowing their customers to use their digital channels to meet their banking needs.

Talking about the development of these digital channels, Ellis Wang, Chief Technology, Transformation and Information Officer at Mashreq, explained how creating a super app was the need of the hour to meet the demands changing customers.

“Maybe you need to integrate with IoT smart device, watch Payment, voice speaker, even you need to integrate with omnichannel. So based on a lot of the strong demand, as a bank, we started thinking about how we can change the business model from vertical to horizontal, what we call platform business,” Wang said.

“Thus, the bank is increasingly committing to market players to integrate the service into a single page. So, for example, e-commerce, food delivery, insurance, hotel booking. Then we start integrating more and more market services into our Super App or portal,” Wang said.

Having done that, he added that as a bank they need to think about how to manage the platform business and furthermore how to support their brand owner like their e-commerce partner. who may be using an online booking service.

Giving an example and the solution for the same, he said, “So we are providing a payment solution, the payment hub solution to Noon (an e-commerce marketplace in UAE), so that their customer can literally instantly pay for anything, based on payment behavior or customer profile, we can provide a “Buy Now, Pay Later” service to the e-commerce portal. »

After moving into the digital sector, Wang added that Mashreq reconsidered the business model which can help them integrate with more and more market players to grow their platform business or provide their key payment functionality. to brand owners, whether they are e-commerce, food delivery partners, etc.

He also added that the move to digital banking has greatly benefited not only the customer through the seamless and fast method, but has also been a boon for the bank as it has helped them reduce operational costs.

The digital ecosystem

On how Mashreq coped with this workload, Wang explained that since switching to the digital banking model, that’s how they moved to the cloud.

Speaking more about it, he clarified saying, “So that means you have centralized operations management models, changed to be centralized because all the apps and the server are on the global cloud. And you keep all the data, sensitive customer data in your data center, but in addition to the data, all the other applications run in the cloud.

Having run their applications on the cloud, he said it helped them integrate the new service on the API more easily. “That’s why, as a bank, we started thinking about open banking architecture. So when we move to this architecture, we benefit from the integration of different market services to our lending page. So , open banking is not only about recognizing transformation, but also about transforming customer behavior,” Wang said.

The security perspective

While it has made data more accessible, moving to the cloud, it has also introduced the risk component, with sensitive data being vulnerable.

Speaking about Mashreq’s risk management strategy, Wang said, “So at Mashreq, we build the data column as a framework, related to compliance. So we call Digital GRC – Governance, Risk and Compliance”,

Previously, with their operations as a simple commercial bank, they had a risk management team. However, it took quite a long time. Since moving to the cloud, they can control who uses what information when, without manual labor.

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