Singapore –  A staggering 70% of banks in APAC failed to achieve digital transformation for their banking platform, as reported by Backbase. 

The latest report challenges the long-standing default approach of building in-house solutions for digital engagement banking platforms. 

According to the data, 65% of mid- to large-sized banks in the region have opted to build their engagement banking platform in-house to attain digital transformation. And of this number, 70% of these projects have failed due to costly and lengthy in-house efforts. 

An overwhelming 80% of digital engagement platforms built in-house with a budget of $10 million also face underperformance and have not yielded the desired ROE in their digital initiatives. 

Despite having embarked on digital transformation since the 2000s, many banks in APAC remain at an early stage, failing to fully capitalize on its benefits and deliver compelling digital customer engagements.

Furthermore, the latest report also highlights a crucial disconnect between banks and their customers, where most banking products and offerings are deemed “me-too” and limited, resulting in shortfalls in digital experiences. 

As banks focus on locking in a high amount of resources to get banking platforms into shape, they fail to prioritize the creation of differentiated upstream customer journeys and experiences. As a result, customers face challenges accessing multiple services through disparate interfaces, lack a unified view of their portfolios, and endure lengthy onboarding processes. 

The demand for instantaneous approvals and streamlined digital processes remains unmet, while personalized experiences, segmentation, and relevant promotions based on customers’ lifestyles, life moments, and goals continue to elude them.

Additionally, backend operations suffer due to the lack of intelligent assistance in contact centers, leaving customers repeating information to different service officers due to the absence of a 360-degree unified customer view. 

However, the current report also found that the “Adopt and Build” approach is a pragmatic solution for banks to accelerate their go-to-market efforts, differentiating where it matters instead of reinventing the wheel by building from scratch. 

By adopting a collaborative platform and building upon it, banks can achieve a 40% faster time-to-market, where digital engagement banking platforms can be launched within 11 months, as compared to the traditional 20 months with a full “build” approach. In addition, “Adopt and Build” had proven to be more cost-effective, offering 2.3 times more than the traditional in-house “build” option.

The “Adopt and Build” approach was rated highest and had shown tangible advantages across six key metrics: market fit and differentiation, legacy risk, build risk, time to market, modernizing talent and IT skill sets, and regulatory compliance. This is in comparison to the “Build” and “Buy” approaches.

The in-depth report draws insights from 125 banks and 316 CIOs in APAC to offer a full regional perspective on digital transformation. Backbase commissioned IDC InfoBrief for the report. 

Ashish Kakar, research director of financial insights at IDC Asia Pacific, said, “Building in-house has been a de-facto strategy by banks, but it’s no longer feasible to deliver to the pace and scale that is required to be competitive. The complexities that come with the extensive amount of data layers, channels, features, upstream and downstream integration that needs to support legacy and modern systems to manage and orchestrate sophisticatedly is where in-house implementation breaks apart.” 

Riddhi Dutta, regional vice president at Backbase Asia, also shared, “A true platform comes with all the hygiene requirements from market fit, to security and regulatory compliance, to being versatile and customizable to support each bank’s unique customer needs. The platform is a composable fabric providing modularity and re-usable data and journeys for banks to help banks futureproof at scale.” 

Singapore—Small-medium enterprises (SME) in Asia Pacific are slowly making their way into being adoptive to today’s business changes across the digital transformation sphere, according to a report from IT and networking company Cisco and market intelligence firm IDC.

With more than 1,400 respondents across APAC SMEs, the report found out that there is a significant increase for digital adoption, showing a 16% growth for SMEs willing to integrate more digital transformation strategies, compared to the 11% growth last year.

On the other hand, 53% of SMEs showed initial willingness to be ‘observant’ at first for their small modern digital changes, while 31% of SMEs showed reactiveness to move into the digital market and are slow in their own transition.

The current COVID-19 pandemic proved to be one of the major reasons for digital transition of SMEs, as statistics showed that 94% of SMEs showed reliance on technological measures for their businesses. In regards to using digital business measures as a way to make roundabout on disruptive events i.e. the pandemic, 55% percent said that such measures are important and are crucial for the business framework.

Some of the leading goals for digitalization of SMEs include market expansion, improved customer experience (CX), prototype kickstart/startup, supply chain, among others.

Cisco estimates that with willingness from SMEs to conduct business presence online, such enterprises are forecasted to   bring $2.6–$3.1 trillion in GDP across Asia Pacific, suggesting faster economic recovery by 2024.

Singapore — AppsFlyer has released its first retargeting report; The State of App Retargeting 2020 Edition. The report showed that Asia Pacific’s marketers have utilized retargeting most effectively, with the region having the highest rate of retargeting conversions across all verticals, compared with all other regions. 

Commenting on the report, Beverly Chen, Marketing Director, APAC, AppsFlyer, said, “As app stores become increasingly crowded and app marketers find it more difficult to gain the attention of users and drive conversions, retargeting has proven to be a reliable engagement tactic, surpassing even user-acquisition in growth. APAC is leading the way to this adoption with a 36.4% average share in the global pie of retargeting conversions, followed closely by the Middle East & Africa’s 35.3% and North America trailing last with 29.5%.”

Without a doubt, retargeting has proven to be an effective tool for marketers that enjoy the benefits of further driving retention, while taking advantage of the opportunity for sustained growth.

Beverly Chen, Marketing Director, APAC, AppsFlyer

In Asia Pacific, over 1.6 billion retargeting conversions were analyzed alongside 2.5 billion non-organic app installs across 22,000 apps from 2018 to 2020. 

Lifestyle verticals utilizing retargeting

The report highlighted that shopping is not only the vertical with the highest share of retargeting, it has also rapidly grown by 27% in Asia Pacific, followed by hardcore gaming (strategy and role-playing games), which has grown by 32%. Asia Pacific’s mobile market is very focused on shopping, and a large investment in that vertical is undertaken because of it being a less expensive option of owned media. 

Appsflyer Average Retargeting Share

In Indonesia itself, Shopping vertical grew from 39.8% in 2018 to 66.1% in 2020. The reason for this is retargeting is a natural fit for this vertical; direct response campaigns encourage action, which drives purchases of products users expressed interest in. Vietnam also saw a large growth in the shopping vertical, from 61.4% in 2018 to 73.9% in 2020.

In Indonesia, Entertainment apps showed the largest growth amongst other retargeting led the way with a nearly 40% increase in retargeting adoption between 2019 (25.6%) and 2020 (35.5%). Adoption of retargeting in APAC among non-gaming apps is widespread. The rate in Shopping and Food & Drink is so high that there is not much room for additional growth. In Asia Pacific, entertainment apps grew from 24% in 2018 to 30% in 2020. However, Thailand’s retargeting adoption rate in Entertainment outranks that in Indonesia, however, with an increase in the same period of time of 140% from 21.6% in 2019 to 51.7% in 2020. 

The Coronavirus Effect

In order to account for the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the State of App Retargeting: 2020 report looked at two different time frames: a year-over-year comparison of January and February 2018-2020 prior to the outbreak and lockdown, and pre-COVID-19 data from the end of February through April 2020. As lockdowns took place in many countries, marketers in the Finance and Gaming verticals used it as an opportunity for growth. 

Appsfyler Indonesia

Finance apps showed to grow by 30% year on year, reflecting the increasing popularity of this vertical in Asia Pacific by both entrepreneurs and developers. In Indonesia itself, retargeting conversions increased 400% in two weeks (from the week of February 24th 2020 to the week of March 3rd 2020) and then plunged in the following weeks. 

In Indonesia, the finance vertical is known for the diversity of solutions and high adoption rate by users. Marketers turned to owned media to ramp up their marketing with paid media to increase their emphasis on retargeting through owned channels like email, push notifications and SMS. 

With more people spending time at home, the high volume of activity in the mobile gaming industry was reflected. Marketers in the gaming industry also preferred using owned channels, with the report highlighting an increase from 8.9% retargeting conversion in the end of February to 14% in Week 9, a 67% increase. This is a significant increase from paid media figures of 2%-4% during the same period. 

The State of App Retargeting: 2020 Report is available here

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Agoda has launched its biggest integrated campaign, “GoLocal”, aimed at stimulating domestic tourism across its Asia Pacific and global markets, and has signed up thousands of hotel partners in the pre-launch phase.

Accommodation providers opting into Agoda’s GoLocal initiative are set to benefit from its multi-channel approach to helping partners reach and convert travelers looking for great domestic travel deals. In its largest domestic initiative, Agoda has developed a fully integrated sales and marketing campaign to support its GoLocal program, investing in coordinated social media campaigns, digital brand activations and video content, and targeted public relations activities, as well as bespoke customer marketing and a dedicated landing page

Agoda GoLocal Social Media

“We soft-launched this initiative over the past month to gauge the appetite for support of domestic travel promotions, and the enthusiasm has been beyond our expectations. We have now officially launched GoLocal and already have thousands of hotel and Agoda Homes partners around the world working with us to share great deals with people who want to start traveling again.  Our pre-launch GoLocal early adopters are significantly outperforming other providers within the domestic travel sector across the region, and so we are confident this GoLocal initiative will continue to generate even more bookings,” explained Errol Cooke, Vice President Partner Services, Agoda.

Partners signing up to GoLocal are offering up special domestic deals.  In return, participating partners will be featured across various Agoda product and marketing touchpoints, strategically identified to maximize impact of the campaign. These include the exclusive landing site for domestic travel, GoLocal badges to highlight participating properties on Agoda, plus exciting brand and performance marketing activities.  Strategic partnerships with key verticals will highlight and promote partner hotels and properties, further extending the reach of the campaign.

“As restrictions on travel ease, we want the GoLocal campaign to stimulate domestic travel demand across Asia Pacific and beyond, by using creative content and messaging to inspire as many travelers to explore their own countries, reconnect with local culture and discover hidden gems. We will encourage them to safely learn to travel again and help our customers to find the widest choice and best value deals to do so. We’re going all out to make this campaign a true success, so our partners can ride this wave of increasing demand, and strive for better times ahead,” said Cooke. 

The GoLocal consumer campaign launches with a global brand film, distributed digitally in key markets.  The film, a love letter to travel told from the perspective of a wise experienced traveler, encourages more mindful travel as we explore the world nearby. 

Agoda | Explore the World Nearby | #GoLocal