Saturday, 11 July 2020
Editorial

Kakaobank is the Most Helpful Bank in Asia Pacific during COVID-19 according to consumers

By Janine Marie Crisanto

South Korea’s first digital-only bank Kakaobank (kakaobank) earned the top spot as the Most Helpful Bank in Asia Pacific during COVID-19 in the inaugural BankQuality Consumer Survey and Ranking, which involved 11,000 bank customers in 11 markets across the region.

  • kakaobank was highly rated by consumers for the efficacy of its digital banking services
  • Rounding up the top five Most Helpful Banks in the region during COVID-19 are UnionBank (Philippines), Kotak Mahindra Bank (India), VPBank (Vietnam) and Citibank (Singapore)
  • kakaobank was also recognised as the Most Recommended Bank in Asia Pacific

The BankQuality.com survey was conducted at the height of the pandemic, thus capturing the shift in consumers’ adoption of digital and contactless transactions.

kakaobank was highly rated by consumers for the efficacy of its digital banking services

kakaobank secured the highest score among banks in Asia Pacific for its COVID-19 responses with a BankQuality Score (BQS) of 102.21. Because of kakaobank’s digital business model, it is well-positioned to provide financial services to its customers during this period where physical distancing is vital.

Customers of kakaobank remarked that the bank was helpful, efficient and convenient because of its contactless mobile banking services. The usability of the bank’s mobile app design enabled it to provide convenience and speed for customers. It takes only ten seconds to transfer money to a friend, and mere minutes to open an account, wire money internationally or receive a microloan.

In response to the pandemic, kakaobank has introduced initiatives to ease the financial burden of its customers, such as cutting its Western Union overseas international transfer fees from between $6 and $12 to a fixed amount of $5.

To view the full ranking, visit https://www.bankquality.com/global-rankings/most-helpful-banks-in-asia-pacific-during-covid-19  

Rounding up the top five Most Helpful Banks in Asia Pacific during COVID-19 are UnionBank (Philippines), Kotak Mahindra Bank (India), VPBank (Vietnam) and Citibank (Singapore)

Among the 80 banks in this year’s ranking, UnionBank (Philippines), Kotak Mahindra Bank (India), VPBank (Vietnam) and Citibank (Singapore) all garnered the highest scores in their respective countries and make up the top 5 banks in the region. These banks leveraged their digital capabilities in easing the financial burden of consumers brought about by COVID-19.

UnionBank, with a BQS of 102.09, made banking accessible through its digital platforms and Bank on Wheels initiative. Kotak Mahindra Bank, also with a 102.09 BQS, made remote banking a top priority for customers during this time as it strengthened offerings such as its digital onboarding platform 811. Meanwhile, VPBank promoted cashless transactions through preferential programs including free inter-bank real-time transfer and discounts of 10% to 25% transaction volumes on various e-commerce platforms. In response to COVID-19, Citibank in Singapore (BQS of 101.42) offered eligible clients with financial assistance including interest and fees waivers, tenure extensions, alternative settlement arrangements loan payment reduction programs among others.

kakaobank was also recognised as the Most Recommended Bank in Asia Pacific

On top of being named as the Most Helpful Bank during the COVID-19 crisis, kakaobank was also voted as the Most Recommended Bank in Asia Pacific with a BQS of 101.88 – surpassing traditional counterparts in the region. The three-year old digital bank was recognised by customers for the in-app user experience and digital banking services including savings and current accounts, and overseas remittance.

The bank has also accumulated $17 billion (KRW 21.3 trillion) in deposits and disbursed $14 billion (KRW 16.7 trillion) in loans. It first achieved profitability in 2019. A year later, it became the highest capitalised digital bank in Asia having a total paid-in capital of $1.6 billion, with Kakao Corporation as the largest shareholder with a 34% stake. 



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