Vietnam-based Southeast Asian Commercial Stock Bank (SeABank) announced that it will rely on Google Cloud services to handle its banking operations in the future. The aim is to improve customer coverage of the existing AI-supported banking services in order to be able to offer more specific services. Also a worthwhile model for Germany?
Digital banking on the rise
Digital banking is on the advance worldwide. Even though a large majority of Germans (75 percent) still do not want to deny their love of cash, the need for more payment options is also growing among many. Among young people in particular, the willingness not only to try out new things in this area on a one-off basis, but also to integrate them into their lives as part of their everyday lives, is growing all the time. Two years ago, a good 14 percent of people could very well imagine doing without digital payments altogether. In the meantime, this share has already shrunk to eight percent.
Forced trend toward digital money transactions
35 percent of respondents to a representative survey conducted for the consumer watchdog group Verbraucherzentralen cited better control over their own spending as the main reason for sticking to cash. A further 30 percent cited reasons of freedom and data protection as motives. But in the course of increasing rationalization in the banking sector as well as in the retail sector, the possibilities of getting hold of cash or spending it as such are steadily dwindling. Hundreds of bank branches have been and are being closed, sometimes in the face of vehement objections from local residents. Thousands of ATMs have already been dismantled in pedestrian areas. And the growing number of self-service checkouts in supermarkets and the refusal of more and more retailers to accept coins and bills at all are reinforcing this trend. The final, perhaps decisive, jolt to the development was given by the news, quickly refuted even by the WHO as a hoax, that physical currencies would transmit corona. Instead, significantly more germ cultures were detected on the Germans’ second favorite means of payment, the card. But this seems to be fueling the trend toward contactless payment.
SeABank: Pioneer of the new banking landscape?
For some time now, people inside and outside Europe have been shaking their heads in amazement at this typically German, historically conditioned need for security. After all, people there see the advance of digital payment systems more as a gain in convenience and a wide range of individual options.
One company that exemplifies this view is SeABank. For a few years now, it has distinguished itself by constantly integrating digital innovations into its business processes. In order to reach its self-imposed goal of soon having 5 million users, it has therefore entered into cooperative ventures with technology companies such as Cisco, Oracle, IBM and Hp. The resulting linking of artificial intelligence with sensitive areas of the company’s own infrastructure, such as risk management, financial administration and customer service, was probably just the beginning. They are now being followed by the migration to Google Cloud technology, which is expected to make processing faster and more efficient.
Google Cloud: scalable banking
In the future, SeABank will be relying more on Google products because, in addition to a high level of stability and security, it expects them to provide a continuously expandable basis. The digital structures of the American company are considered by many users to be the ideal solution, because they have been tried and tested, for transferring sensitive information to the new systems, which are advertised as being more efficient. Applications such as Engine, Kubernetes and Migrate for Compute support the fast and reliable transfer of large data streams from data centers, which were previously often kept locally, to the globally accessible Google clouds. Once migrated, the data stored there can then be played out to a large number of end devices as required. SeABank also hopes to take advantage of Google’s extensive expertise in data analysis, artificial intelligence and machine learning. It is assumed that these technologies will soon provide a much better overview of the bank’s own customer base and their actual needs. This could then be transformed into specific services for the benefit of both sides.