2020 Winner: Standard Chartered’s mobile updates win recognition in Korea & Malaysia – Retail Banker International Asia Trailblazer Awards


Standard Chartered has won five categories at the online, virtual Retail Banker International (RBI): Asia Trailblazer Awards 2020, including Excellence in Mobile Banking for updates at its Korean and Malaysian units and Best Retail Bank: Hong Kong. The Singaporean bank won three other categories covered in the next story (see following page).

Standard Chartered Korea has delivered the next generation SC Mobile App 3.0 to simplify the way customers manage their finances on the move. The team:

  1. Re-imagined the new 3.0 experience: by focusing on the user experience (UX) and interface (UI) design elements to give maximum convenience and service.
  2. Introduced Personal Financial Management (PFM): - This one-stop shop tool gives a complete view of customers' finances. It also opens the door to multi-aggregation, driven by the trend towards open application programming interface (API) usage, to let customers monitor their entire accounts at other financial institutions (FIs). The SC Mobile App therefore acts as a gateway, giving a complete overview of all accounts and other holdings at other banks across deposits, loans, and investments.
  3. Transfer money: A simple sliding gesture can now be used to transfer money to friends via contacts or the KakaoTalk messenger app service in Korea, without requiring their bank account information.
  4. The ‘Self Bank' app: is a mobile sales and on-boarding app designed for non face-to-face interactions, and digital wealth capabilities. Its been added to the SC Mobile App 3.0 to improve real-time services, retail product purchases and day-to-day transactions, while enhancing track-and-grow wealth services – all in a single app.
  5. Notifications: are now digital, replacing costly SMS messages with notifications from the SC Mobile App itself.
  6. Enhanced security and access: Customers can now choose their preferred way of accessing the app via digital authorisation technologies such as fingerprint, face or iris recognition, mobile token, or a blockchain-based digital certificate.
  7. Tracking financial goals: Interactive spending and savings goals now help customers to see the broad perspective and improve their financial health.
  8. Services: are designed to allow customers to personalise their profile, update information, freeze the card in the app if it’s lost, and request various banking services in just a few clicks.

The result has been over 700,000 app downloads; very strong app store ratings in the iOS and Google Play stores; and an uplift lift in digital sales via the mobile app – not to mention winning the Excellence in Mobile Banking trophy.

The Malaysian unit of Standard Chartered Bank has also been busy updating its usage of the SC Mobile App paltform to emphasize its marketing tagline of the “bank in your pocket” and experienced a 26.3% growth in mobile usage last year. In 2019 it unveiled a number of improvements, such as a similar ‘SmartGoals’ tracking and savings tool, and a dynamic use of the improved UI to offer specific personalised videos for Chinese New Year, Hari Raya (Eid) and Christmas. The Malaysian bank is also making contextualized mobile offers before log-in and it is offering:

  • Enhanced mobile banking services: By December 2019 80% of all its services were available in the app and this figure is improving all the time. In addition, 56% of all services are now performed online.
  • Faster credit card on-boarding: Since September last year a customer can apply and, on approval, get a digital credit card within minutes. The physical card follows later.

Best Retail Bank: Hong Kong
The previous iteration of the SC Mobile App has been improved and enhanced for Standard Chartered’s Honk Kong retail bank customers, winning it the RBI Asia Trailblazer 2020 trophy in this category. A number of local improvements, and an on-going commitment to incorporate localised add-ons from the SC Mobile App 3.0 platform described above as it’s rolled out organisation-wide, have ensured that customers now enjoy better on-boarding; enhanced security via the SC Mobile Key digital security token; and improved UX.

The revamp has provided:

  • Mobile current and savings account (CASA) functionality: Now means easy account opening in just eight minutes, and there is an electronic e-KYC (Know Your Customer) capability to ensure compliance and to:
  • Verify authenticity via security features on customer’s identity card
  • Use facial recognition to confirm the client is the identity cardholder.


  • SCPay: is a built-in function that supports real-time transfers to local banks using mobile number, email addresses or even merchant IDs that have registered. This can enable purchases and regular bill payments at merchants, top-ups, QR Scan & Pay features to facilitate peer-to-merchant (P2M) payments, and so on.

Customers can also get QR Cardless Cash withdrawal instructions from their SC Mobile App negating the need for an ATM card  and they can use the SC Keyboard to simply tap once to easily access banking services while they are messaging or shopping online. Additionally, you can split bills and get cash from a card, driving up digital loan sales 50 times over the previous base.

An upgraded digital wealth platform also gives clients:

  1. A new one-stop foreign exchange (FX) platform: allowing clients to get FX opportunities via their mobile. Key features include:
    (i) Real-time FX rates and exhaustive data powered by Thomson Reuters. Market updates.
    (ii) Watchlist creation & price alerts via in-app notifications.
    (iii) FX membership introduced to unlock exclusive rewards, such as cash rebates, etc.
  2. Online Unit Trust (UT) mobile functionality: Specially designed functions allow clients to make the most well-informed decisions and to:
    (i) Execute UT orders 24x7.
    (ii) Review UT portfolio profit & loss (P/L) statuses and to look at individual fund evaluations.
    (iii) Access information via four constantly updated fund lists and advanced search functions.
  3. Mobile insurance: Life insurance quotes can be accessed in five minutes with straight-through processing (STP) negating the need for medical exams in regard to initial underwriting. Additionally, travel insurance can be accessed via the SC Mobile App in just two minutes with personal information pre-filled, and it can be debited to SC bank or credit card accounts directly. These sales have increased 20%.


The Retail Banker International Asia Trailblazer Awards is an annual platform that celebrates the best in class retail banking institutions and individuals for their innovative service offering and commitment to customer excellence.

If you would like to share your incredible consumer finance journey, then register for the 13th Annual Retail Banker International Asia Trailblazer Awards 2022 and submit your entry!