Guotai Juan Securities has been developing a remote onboarding and KYC solution for wealth management clients, which is expected to go live in April. The solution enables clients to set up an account through the mobile application, while remaining compliant with regulatory requirements.
The remote onboarding solution is in the final stage of testing, with a prototype already rolled out. Bassanio Lo, managing director of Guotai Junan Securities (HK) Limited, said much progress has been made over the last 12 months, spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have made tremendous efforts to design a remote onboarding application and an e-KYC solution. We have redesigned the ongoing due diligence process using “robotic process automation” (RPA) to achieve improved efficiency for our KYC and onboarding process,” he told Asian Private Banker.
In addition, the wealth management business in Hong Kong has launched a dedicated team to oversee fintech research development, which sits under the business unit. The team is mandated to research and formulate competitive fintech strategies, capitalising on connections with technology vendors, fintech start-ups, quasi-government agencies, and the academia.
Lo explained that the ultimate goal is to “think ahead and identify solutions that create value for the clients and generate ROI for the company”.
Speaking of the progress the company has made in digital transformation, Lo pointed out that its deployment of big data and analytics tools to analyse client behaviour and their business network has resulted in more than HK$3 billion in AUM within the past year alone.
“We integrated big data of investment behaviour with our client base and identified the existing clients who have not been actively engaging with the firm,” he elaborated. “By analysing external information on substantial shareholder movements, its associated persons, and the client’s tendency to invest in particular sectors, we have come up with a strategy and reached out to the client with a tailor-made solution.”
Striking a balance
“Fintech is something that we must steer carefully to strike a balance between the disruptive technologies and the current regulatory environment,” Lo cautioned.
He believed that while there is a first-mover advantage for innovators of novel technologies, the practicality and applicability of the use case are equally critical.
“Take robo-advisor as an example: it has a distinctive advantage for the mass market, but when it is applied to the HNW sector, we must consider issues such as the fulfilment of investment suitability for multi-asset class portfolios and the best execution policy.”
The firm has been working closely with its parent company in mainland China — which serves a much larger domestic client base across a wide spectrum. In the next few months, it is expected to roll out AI customer service and chatbot functions.
“For all wealth managers and private banks, human touch and tailor-made advisory services are key components of the service value chain,” Lo noted. But, he added, the post-pandemic reality has compelled wealth managers to find digital alternatives to fill in the gap where human services are difficult to deliver.