WeBank's Henry Ma on Digital Banks: Promote Financial Inclusion and Achieve a Sustainable Business
Henry Ma, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of WeBank, attended 2020: Digital Transformation Agenda panel discussion at the Singapore Fintech Festival. He briefly revisited WeBank's digital journey and suggested how to reconcile the contradiction between improving financial inclusion and building a sustainable business.
"We have a very clear goal -- promote financial inclusion and also achieve a sustainable business. Only by leveraging the power of technology, WeBank is able to drive financial inclusion at scale," said Henry.
To date, WeBank is one of the largest digital banks with over one hundred and seventy million retail and small-and-medium-sized enterprise customers. From the beginning, WeBank has adopted new generation fintech capabilities in the areas of ABCD (AI, blockchain, cloud computing and big data).
How WeBank approaches fintech might inspire the banking industry. Besides embracing fintech, WeBank's technical team has created an "agile governance structure" based on decentralized operations with coordinated controls. In addition, WeBank also nurtures a culture of trial-and-error with low cost, encouraging bottom-up innovation and empowerment of individual employee.
While WeBank has already found its position in the digital transforming banking industry, it is also actively looking for partnership and collaboration to take a step further in promoting financial inclusion through new technologies and the '3O' open banking model (open platform, open innovation and open collaboration).
- Open Platform entails the use of API, SDK and H5 technologies, etc. to provide banking services for partners.
- Open Innovation encourages open source software, intellectual property licensing and reference implementations to empower partnerships.
- Open Collaboration fosters business alliances on top of distributed technologies.
This model enables banks to embed their product, risk management, technology and financial service capabilities into specific scenarios and industries. In return, it will help banks to approach target customers more effectively, enabling more inclusive, contextual financial services.
At the Festival, WeBank is showcasing fintech applications and solutions, including China's first enterprise-grade federated learning platform - Federated AI Technology Enabler (FATE), blockchain infrastructure platform FISCO BCOS, blockchain middleware kits WeBase, blockchain applications like WeIdentity & WeEvent, an IT management framework of distributed architecture named WeCube, a big data analytics solution called WeDataSphere and WeBank's FinTech Sandbox.