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IBM ready to embrace upcoming Bank 4.0 era
Yihan Li, Taipei; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES

IBM is ready for the advent of the Bank 4.0 era by providing banks with system integration and solutions to help them further accelerate banking automation to better offer mobile banking services, according to Hong Wu, associate partner of Global Business Services at IBM Taiwan.

Brett King introduced the new banking idea in his book, "Bank 4.0: Banking Everywhere, Never at a Bank."

In elaborating on banking evolutions, Wu said that the Internet helped Bank 1.0 advance to 2.0, which has progressed further to 3.0 through the popularity of smartphones, with people getting used to handling financial operations through handsets.

Now Bank 3.0 is advancing to 4.0, not driven by the emergence of new inventions but by many mature and advanced new techs including VR (virtual reality), AI (artificial intelligence) and voice recognition that can be combined to create many embedded mobile banking service solutions, according to Wu.

In the Bank 4.0 era, time is the key, Wu commented, adding that banks must change their past thinking modes and first focus more on "client experiences" by offering services from the perspectives of clients. Then, future banking values will be co-created by banks and clients, and finally banks have to cooperate with tech firms to bring new operating methods. Banks will be increasingly like tech firms and require the assistance of tech firms to accelerate their business transformation, Wu continued.

Wu revealed that IBM has entered cooperation with banks to accelerate their business upgrades and transformation. DBS Bank, for instance, has integrated robotic processing automation (RPA) service and AI under the assistance of IBM, significantly reducing manual operations and accelerating service flow to satisfy client demand for instant services. In addition, IBM has also assisted the bank in fighting financial crimes with backend monitoring automation while also helping cut 25,000 hours of labor force at the bank per year.

Moreover, IBM has also helped Westpac Banking in Australia carry out the "Journey to Cloud" program, relocating more than 100 application systems to the hybrid cloud platform and drastically boosting the bank's system development pace by 10-fold, according to Wu.

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