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Episode 57: Innovation in Asia Banking with Neal Cross

Neal Cross, the Chief Innovation Officer from Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) shared the story behind how DBS kickstarted its innovation efforts both internally with the bank and externally with the startup ecosystem from Singapore to Hong Kong. He also offered his thoughts and perspectives on the disruptive technologies to banking from blockchain and bitcoin to mobile payments.

Here are the interesting notes and links to the discussion (with timestamps included):

  • Neal Cross, Chief Innovation Officer, Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) – (@Neal_X, LinkedIn)
  • The Story of Neal Cross
    • How did you get started in technology? Neal started writing computer games with assembler in the early days. [0:49]
    • You have worked in various roles in Microsoft and Mastercard, what are the lessons that you draw from those experiences? [1:22]
    • You are currently the Chief Innovation Officer for the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS), what are your roles and responsibilities? How do the DBS innovation team work within DBS? [3:00] 
  • Managing Innovation & Digital Disruption in Banking
    • A short introduction to the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS), market capitalisation of US$32.3B, with operations in 17 markets a regional network spanning more than 250 branches and 1.1K ATMs across 50 cities. (BloombergGoogle Finance and Wikipedia)
    • Why has DBS as an Asian bank embarked on the path of innovation?  What are the current threats for the Asian banking sector? [5:39]
    • Why is it that the bank need to think as a technology or a ecommerce company? [8:20]
    • How does DBS organise programs to involve their own staff to work with startup founders and developers? For example, DBS organise hackathons differently from the rest of the other banking institutions within the region. [9:00]
    • How do DBS team operate within the bank and navigate this era of digital disruption? [10:11] Examples include partnerships with ASTAR leading to the IES award with the future of audit using predictive analytics on irregularities and risks in bank branches.
    • How does the DBS innovation work with startup ecosystems from Singapore to Hong Kong? DBS has worked with StartupBootcamp Fintech accelerator in Blk 71, Singapore and NEST accelerator in Hong Kong. DBS is launching a new program with IIPL in Blk 79 next week to help Singapore businesses to develop their prototypes and ideas in a pre-seed stage with no equity.
    • How is the importance of support from senior executive management team (CEO) for digital transformation? [15:34]
    • What do you view these areas in the whole picture of digital disruption against banking?
      • Bitcoin and Blockchain [17:10]
      • Mobile payments [18:55]
    • What are the difference in how you tackle innovation for DBS in a developed market vs an emerging market such as India and China? What are the tips you would give to other enterprises in thinking about innovation across different markets in Asia? [20:23]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bleongcw) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) and Linkcious (and check out their other product, Chiibi). Also check out Ideal Workspace’s new standing desk, Aspirus and sign up for their mailing list.

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By | 2015-09-05T06:45:08+00:00 September 5th, 2015|Analyse Asia Podcast, Podcast Shows|

About the Author:

A pragmatic idealist in technology, media & entrepreneurship.