Monday, 4 July 2022

BOCHK addresses cross-border needs through digitalisation and improved service capabilities

5 min read

By The Asian Banker

Bank of China (Hong Kong) (BOCHK) accelerated digital transformation and innovation of its channels and products to enhance cash management services for corporate customers. 

  • BOCHK launched global transaction banking platforms for customers in Asia
  • The bank upgraded the cash and liquidity management services for corporate customers
  • It enhanced treasury centralisation and management efficiency for a multinational corporation

Singapore, 03 August 2021 –– Bank of China (Hong Kong) was recognised as Best Cash Management and Transaction Bank in Hong Kong at The Asian Banker Transaction Finance and Bankers’ Choice Awards Virtual Ceremony 2021. 

BOCHK’s cash management products and services address customers’ cross-border needs

BOCHK and Hang Seng Bank were the finalists for the Best Cash Management and Transaction Bank in Hong Kong award. BOCHK was recognised for its enhanced product and service capabilities, and responsiveness to corporates’ cross-border cash management needs. 

BOCHK leveraged its status as the agent bank for UnionPay International and was the RMB clearing bank in Hong Kong that provides RMB clearing and settlement as well as transactional services. With the rapid development of RMB cross-border trade and the clearing of direct investment, together with the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, the demand for RMB asset allocation rises globally. BOCHK continues to cement its leading position in RMB business by expanding RMB product offerings, attracting new customers, and strengthening sales and trading capabilities to expedite its offshore RMB business development. 

BOCHK and Hang Seng Bank registered negative revenue and profit growth in 2020 as a result of the challenging macroeconomic conditions and tighter regulatory environment. Both banks have strong mandates reflecting their abilities to provide comprehensive solutions to customers.  

BOCHK’s global treasury centre solution stood out from others. It greatly enhanced customers’ cross-border treasury efficiency through an integration of features including shadow accounts, division of payables and receivables, online transaction sweep and electronic channels. Hang Seng Bank provided corporate application programming interface (API) solutions to various clients which enables full automation of platforms with real-time visibility and reconciliation.

Digital Strategy: BOCHK launched global transaction banking platform for customers in Asia

BOCHK empowered its transaction banking capabilities in the region with the launch of the iGTB platform to its ASEAN branches. Utilising the iGTB platform, BOCHK was able to swiftly replicate and roll-out the well-established transaction banking products such as GPI, cross-border payroll, cross-border cash pooling, global trade service, etc. to its ASEAN branches. Digital channels such as corporate mobile banking (iGTB MOBILE) and host-to-host solution (iGTB CONNECT & iGTB API) were also introduced to ASEAN branches.  

The bank has been digitalising its trade finance and supply chain finance solutions through adoption of advanced technologies collaboration with business partners. BOCHK was the first bank to directly connect to the trade finance blockchain platform, eTradeConnect, with its API to complete the first trade transaction in such way. It has also joined another blockchain network, Contour, to streamline letter of credit issuance, and successfully completed transactions with several large commodity corporates, shortening the end-to-end LC processing time from weeks to 24 hours. 

The acceleration of digitalisation has led to a renovation of business process in both bank-end and customer-end, which in turn improved bank efficiency and enhanced customer experience.  

Hang Seng expanded customer chatbot services which include customer loyalty programme and live chat service. It launched a payment tracker for Outward Remittance Telegraphic Transfer/Clearing House Automated Transfer System (CHATS/ORTT). It can track payment transaction status in the past 60 days through e-banking platform, desktop or mobile.  

Product and Service Capabilities: BOCHK upgraded cash and liquidity management services for corporate customers 

BOCHK provided liquidity management solutions to meet specific needs of corporates operating in single and multiple markets in the region. For instance, in addition to scheduled sweeping in a cash pool, it provided a cross-border manual sweep on the iGTB platform to provide flexibility for customers to pro-actively manage the cash pool positions among multiple markets. In addition to its online transaction sweep capability, a real-time auto-trigger of sweeping from fund source account to fulfil an outward payment, it has also enhanced the capability to automatically concentrate any incoming funds into header account. Its liquidity management product suite is very popular among corporates with a highly centralised cash management structure. 

In Hong Kong, the bank provided a one-stop corporate collection management solution encompassing eight products across cash, paper and electronic means of collection through multiple channels, with one consolidated report for easy reconciliation. Corporates can choose among various channels to enhance operational and financial efficiency in collection.  

Hang Seng Bank’s proposition includes upgrading customer experience through expansion of chatbot services and preferential deposit that maximises returns, real-time end-to-end receivable payment tracking service and a host of API solutions for e-commerce, consumer retail and insurance sectors. 

Customer Experience: BOCHK enhanced treasury centralisation and management efficiency for a multinational corporation

BOCHK implemented a regional cash management solution for a multinational corporation that specialises in retail merchandising business in Asia including markets of Mainland China, Hong Kong and Cambodia. A global treasury centre was set up in Hong Kong to centralise the corporation’s large amount of global cash flows and enhance financial management efficiency.  

The bank provided a host-to-host connectivity along with online banking platform that allows the corporation’s treasury centre to access account information and conduct centralised payment approval for bank accounts in multiple markets. Local cash pools were set up in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Cambodia in various currencies and different parameters to meet the corporation’s needs. Funds collected in local cash pool headers are pooled to the treasury centre in Hong Kong with cross border cash pool. The bank set up a group deposit interest optimisation for the treasury centre to enhance deposit yields for funds concentrated in Hong Kong.  

To overcome the foreign exchange control in Mainland China, a cross-border two-way RMB cash pool was set up for the corporation to facilitate inter-company fund flows between its entities in Mainland China and overseas markets, subject to the pre-approved regulatory limit.

Apart from funds centralisation, the bank also took care of local cash management solutions such as introducing collection of retail payments through traditional point of sale (POS) along with WeChat Pay and Alipay, to reduce the risks and costs of handling cash. 

The bank’s structured solution with cross-border and local elements helped the corporation achieve centralised control of funds while fulfilling local cash management requirements. From 2019 to 2020, the treasury function of the corporation transformed from mere automation to a genuine centralised control.

Hang Seng Bank provided corporate API solution on real-time transactions and balance enquiries function to fully automate Chinese logistic platforms for services ranging from client order placing to collection confirmation. Before the implementation, the platform’s end customers had to deposit the money into accounts across different channels which require clients to spend significant efforts to handle the account reconciliation process.

About Transaction Finance Awards

The Asian Banker Transaction Awards Programme, refereed by prominent global bankers, IT consultants and academics, is the most prestigious of its kind in the Asia Pacific. Recipients of the awards are honoured in a gala event to recognise their efforts in bringing superior products and services to customers. A stringent and comprehensive evaluation process determines the awardees. For specific details relating to description of the awards, evaluation criteria and process, kindly visit  http://www.asianbankerawards.com/transactionawards/index.php

About The Asian Banker 

The Asian Banker is the region’s most authoritative provider of strategic business intelligence to the financial services community. The global research company has offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Manila, Hong Kong, Beijing and Dubai, as well as representatives in London, New York and San Francisco. It has a business model that revolves around three core business lines: publications, research services and forums. The company’s website is www.theasianbanker.com.

For more information, please contact:

Mobasher Zein Kazmi

Head of Research 

Direct: (+61) 452 514 145  

Email: mkazmi@theasianbanker.com 



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