Standard Chartered Mobile Banking Comic Book Superheroes - 1

5 Q&As – Standard Chartered: Remote Banking, Employee Advocacy, Superheroes

We are launching a new series of short interviews, ‘5 Questions on Digital Innovation‘, where we will follow up with the most innovative thought leaders from the global financial services industry.  Starting with the Standard Chartered Remote Banking Team.

Standard Chartered Mobile Banking Comic Book Superheroes - 1Earlier this month, we covered the latest innovative initiative from the brilliant Remote Banking Team at Standard Chartered in Asia Pacific: ‘Standard Chartered Turns Mobile Banking Teams Into Comic Book’s Superheroes‘.

But I was still curious to find out more about this excellent initiative aimed to increase employee advocacy and drive collaboration between international teams.

So I’ve asked Akshay Trivedi – Digital Manager – HVCC and Social Media at Standard Chartered to answer a few additional questions: “These initiatives and the team spirit and the enthusiasm are inter linked – we are all self driven enough to come up with these ideas and bring them to life. This only motivates us more to keep the chain of thought going infinitely.”

I invite you to read his insightful comments.


1. Where did the idea of a SC comic book come from?
The genesis of the comic book was the fatigue that comes from detailed presentations, tool kits and demos and we noticed that these had very low consumption rates among staff. Another key agenda was to spread the knowledge of capabilities of remote banking and how they make the customers more self sufficient and the front line, subsequently more productive.

Putting these needs together the comic came into being, with the main purpose of the same being to create ‘a cool and simple clutter breaking repository of functional information that our front line is exposed to and makes them ask for more’

2. Who is featured? How did you choose those ‘superheroes’?
It was not easy to select the “chosen ones” from so many real-life ‘superheroes’ who are contributing to our aspiration of being the best global consumer internet and mobile bank. The few privileged ones that have became famous overnight in the bank, together with their team, having toiled for the greater good.

Naming a few that were featured in our release episodes:

  • Ronytta, our digital banking head in Taiwan
  • Banny, our senior digital manager in Hong Kong
  • Asif, who is in the central team driving digitization take-up and usage across countries.
  • Audwin, who is from our Group Analytics team. He is the one who made this idea a reality.

Each of these people have adequately applied their individual strengths in their work and tangibly boosted output, making them the unanimous choices for the first editions

  • Banny and Ronyetta have with their perseverance and focus boosted penetration of remote banking channels by 300% ion their respective countries over the last few years
  • Audwin – a unique blend of being innovative and execution oriented. He creates and then efficiently executes
  • Asif – a stalwart in the remote banking team. He has been instrumental in making Remote Banking top of mind amongst staff of all countries. Vision and razor sharp analytics made him a natural choice.

All these values constitute our characters in the comics.

Although no credits are given in the comics, the fact the super heroes are avatars of actual people in the bank, the frontline employees, call centre agents, technology and business intelligence folks can easily relate to them and spot the associations.

Keeping who we are going to feature under wraps for now but definitely you will see more heroes across our global footprint – Asia, Africa and Middle-east

3. What are your key goals and success criteria for this initiative?
Two key goals and success criteria here:

  1. Find an unconventional way to encourage our country teams to pick up and read the content on their own accord. Our objective is for them to understand what they can do to encourage sign-up and usage for digital channels, learning from our markets that have done well.
  2. Secondly, we want to spread the capabilities of our digital services to all SCB employees. We want our employees to wait and want to understand more about the digital products so that they will make it a conversation topic when they meet up with their friends and families. No marketing will beat word of mouth from our internal employees.

4. What’s next for the comic? More books? More featured employees?
It’s envisaged to be a 4 episode series educating our countries on what they can do to encourage sign-up and usage sustenance on remote channels and also make our employees viral brand ambassadors of our capabilities.

In each episode, we plan to release 2 storylines and the storylines related to our day to day life of how employees across the various touch-points and within the back-office can work together to achieve our aspired end state. Most of them are real life best practices across multiple countries and our belief on how we can do better for migration.

We have launched the 1st (touching on cross-sell via Call Center and signing up Employee Banking customers) and will soon be releasing the 2nd (Analytics-led decisions with targeted approach and signing up via Branches). 3rd and 4th episode will be touching more towards the customers belief (Social) and technology teams.

5. How many people are privy to the comic and how has the feedback been?
The comic has been shared with all staff globally ~80k people. The feedback has been almost overwhelming with the recurring demands for more. We are hard at work to turn around the next comic real quick.

And when I asked Akshay which innovative employee-focused initiatives we could expect from the dynamic Standard Chartered Remote Banking team in 2013: “more comics, cool stuff and hopefully something unprecedented”.

I know this might sound a bit too much, but from the very first time I met my now friend Aman Narain – Global Head of Internet & Mobile Banking at Standard Chartered in Singapore back in September 2008 (before the Retail Banking Innovations conference), I knew I had met someone special.

In my opinion, his team demonstrates the highest level of team spirit in the worldwide banking industry.  And it shows in the many innovative products and services they launched over the last four years.

What do you think of those comic books?  Is it a great, fresh, way to encourage collaboration?  Or is it just a gimmick?  And if you think it is ‘just for show’, could you please share with us your best practices?

Join the conversation here or on our Facebook page.

What do you think?

Written by Christophe Langlois

Based in London for almost a decade, Christophe is an entertaining fintech marketing keynote speaker and a trusted advisor to the global financial services industry on the topics of digital marketing, innovation and B2B social media.

Christophe has contributed to over 140 events in 18 countries.

Currently, Christophe is advising a number of fintech startups on marketing and growth hacking and he is the Chief Marketing Officer of The Fintech Power 50, an exclusive annual programme helping fintech scale-ups to accelerate their growth globally.

Christophe's views on are his own.

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