ABA ‘scaling up physical-digital channels’

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ABA chief business development officer Mey Polin. SUPPLIED

How has the ABA business philosophy contributed to the local community, private businesses and individuals in the Kingdom?

We believe that different customers – such as a manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and individuals – will benefit commercially from our operations and the execution of our vision and mission.

To become the number one supplier of dependable, easy to use and accessible banking services requires our significant investment and consistent efforts.

As such, we keep bringing in and dynamically transforming innovative business ideas into digital banking solutions and robust operating models, as well as the provision of accessible, convenient, secure and effective solutions, helping our customers and the community to benefit from their banking experiences.

How is ABA capitalising on its brand to position itself in the Kingdom’s competitive banking sector?

The competition landscape changes drastically, especially with fintech and digital solutions, and with modern banking facilities being aligned with the global trends of Generations Y and Z.

Therefore, we have expanded and modernised our physical branches and introduced digital banking solutions in response to local market demands.

Our marketing activities in digital channels and ongoing post-sales services, as guided by our customer-centric model, have allowed us to seize the position as the number one supplier of choice and be recognised by prestigious financial magazines such as The Banker, Euromoney, Global Finance, and Asiamoney.

What is ABA doing to improve the business environment for individual entrepreneurs, SMEs and corporations?

We have found that convenience, accessibility, speed and consistency of service are the basic banking needs of our customers regardless of who they are. While executing a phase-based customer-centric model, we stay focused on the driving factors that strategically deliver.

We continue adopting and introducing digital banking solutions, leveraging on advanced technologies, R&D activities and human capital development to serve exponential growth in clientele and their increasingly complex demands for banking services.

We are introducing and further enhancing self-service solutions, and payment and collection platforms in response to the demands of 99 per cent local businesses, which are characterised as micro, small and medium enterprises.

We believe all stakeholders in business, including the corporations residing at the top of the distribution chain, will economically benefit from our ecosystem.

Has mobile banking changed the Kingdom’s banking landscape? How has it helped ABA grow its revenue base?

Our research shows that people are more reliant on smartphones given their desire to be conveniently connected and to share information hassle-free.

Smartphones have become a key component of human life, and reflecting this, our flagship retail proposition – ABA Mobile – has been consistently developing in response to changes in consumer behaviour.

We have observed a compound annual growth rate of 99.33 per cent in the growth of ABA Mobile users over the last seven years.

The today-pool of ABA Mobile users has processed transactions of $88 billion and 11 trillion riel so far this year alone.

The movement of funds inside our ecosystem allows us to optimise the cost of funds, handle demand effectively and make tailored offers to our customers.

Does ABA remain committed to physical branches as it increases self-service banking?

Branches remain a critical touchpoint in executing our customer-centric model. Therefore, we thoroughly analyse and develop the branch network accordingly based on existing and potential demand.

A comprehensive banking service requires a branch platform – for example, the provision of loans requires a physical network to manage the portfolio.

Strategically, we are scaling up physical-digital channels. The ABA 24/7 network and the ABA Mobile app together with self-service solutions will ensure that customers’ basic banking needs of accessibility, speed, convenience and consistency are delivered.

Do you have positive outlook for the Cambodian banking sector next year?

I do! Despite the persistent challenges posed by Covid-19 for almost two years, the performance of the banking sector remains strong under the leadership of the National Bank of Cambodia.

Last year, the banking sector achieved the annual growth rates of 16.9 per cent and 15.4 per cent for loans and deposits, respectively.

The outlook of the banking sector remains stable and well functioning, being backed by strong capital and liquidity buffers at ratios relatively higher than set requirements.

With the government’s achievements in containing Covid-19, its vaccination programme and the concrete plans to launch the post-Covid-19 “Economic Recovery Plan 2021-2023” – and with a promising GDP growth forecast of 5.5 per cent next year from ADB – I am optimistic the banking sector outlook will remain strong.

Accordingly, the banking sector will continue to play its crucial role in supporting economic activities, which, in return, will allow banks to further expand business.