Wrap Up – 5th Visible Banking Social Media And Finance Workshop (Singapore)

Social media financial services. Wrap Up of our 5th Visible Banking Social Media and Finance Workshop (Singapore).

Last week in Singapore, we successfully delivered our 5th social media & finance workshop in the last 12 months. After two events in London, one in Paris, one in Madrid, it was our very first event in exciting Asia. And based on the growing appetite for social media from financial institutions based in the region, the first of many more.

I love delivering those workshops and having the opportunity to share my vision of social media and our unique insights with a brilliant group of participants and contributors. It is good to be challenged and to have to articulate our key messages in different ways depending on the region of the world we are in.

Online / Mobile / Social in Asia
Asia is definitely in a league of its own. Not only the quality of service is superb and far higher to the one in Europe or even the US, the take up rates of online / mobile / social in the last 12-24 months have been simply astonishing!

In a blog post from September, Thomas Crampton – Asia-Pacific Director, Digital Influence at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, shared with his readers some results from a study of 2.9 million messages conducted bySemiocast in June 2010. A few months ago, Asia accounted already for 37% of world’s tweets.

This is consistent with a recent study from ComScore I covered in August on Visible Banking: Wake Up Call: 92 Million Unique Global Users Visited in June 2010. ComScore identified the Asia Pacific region (APAC) as the region with the second largest growth (+243%) in the last twelve months, behind Latin America.

Despite the stronghold of extremely popular local social networks in countries such as China or South Korea, the levels of penetration and activity for Facebook are equally impressive. It looks like after adding 10 million users in October 2010, facebook now exceeds 100 million users in Asia. I invite you to check another post packed with data and stats from the excellent GreyReview blog.

And last but not least, Techcrunch’s Sarah Lacy wrote a brilliant article on Singapore and explained “How Singapore Could Become the Most Important City in the Emerging World“. Fascinating. I could easily live in Singapore, which is ideally located in Asia, and I totally undertand why quite a few people I know, like Rob Findlay aka “the Bank Channel”, recently moved their family there. 😉

I invite you to find out more about social media in Asia by watching the video produced by Thomas Crampton
and his colleagues at Ogilvy.

5th Social Media & Finance Workshop
As usual, for the benefit of the participants we kept the audience small and exclusively made of banking and financial services professionals. Our events are not open to consultants or agencies, and one more time we had to turn down quite a few attendance requests. A few registered participants had to pull out at the last minute.

Our participants came from Standard Chartered, OCBC Bank, DBS Bank, Visa and Mastercard, and worked in Innovation, e-Business, Digital, Marketing, Communications, and Corporate Affairs.

Before talking about the event into more details, allow me to put some perspective first.

Two years ago, I was invited to speak at the 2008 edition of Retail Banking Innovations, where I got to spend a few days with fellow banking & financial services innovators such as Steve Kietz, CEO at Mobile Money VenturesAlessandro Colafranceschi, Head of Internet at UnicreditMatt Flannery, Co-Founder & CEO of, orAman Narain, Global Head of Remote Banking at Standard Chartered.

I invite you to watch my interviews with them, and my coverage of the event entitled “Asia, still a long way to go“.

In the last two years the situation has changed, and the appetite to (at least) learn and assess the potential in the social media space has increased tremendously. I must point out that most of the financial institutions in the room were focused on facebook and not twitter, despite the sizable uptake of the popular microblogging site in the last 12 months.

Initially, people were doubtful when I started to promote twitter as a formidable amplifier tool (Citi @ Sibos), a great tool for real time market research, and the perfect tool for customer support with more and more banks launching dedicated accounts such as BNP Paribas in France orLloyds TSB in the UK.

Customer service excellence is always high on the agenda of Asian corporations, and it is easily measurable on twitter. I was delighted that Aman supported my point at the end of the day when he confirmed Standard Chartered in Singapore wasn’t ready yet to leverage facebook, but started leveraging twitter to support their innovative social media contest. 😀

Kick Off in 5 Languages and “a la BarCamp Bank”
I wanted the workshop to be as interactive and as valuable as possible. In order to capture all the key questions from the audience and make sure to address them throughout the day and during the discussion panel, I invited the participants to spend 10-15mn to identify their top three questions / priorities / concerns.

We started the day “a la BarCamp Bank”, in a similar fashion as the BarCamp Bank Madrid I was invited to contribute to a year ago.

Please find below a few pictures taken during this initial session.

As you can see on the last picture, most of the questions were about strategy & framework, ownership, measurement & ROI, senior management, and facebook was The favourite channel. Blogs or twitter were hardly mentioned at that stage.

Best & Worst Practices
I wanted to maximize the value of the event, deliver something different, and share as many relevant actionable insights as possible.
During this workshop, I talked the participants through screenshots of good and bad social media initiatives and implementations.

I believe it is equally important to learn not only about the best practices but also the worst, don’t you think?
I covered roughly 35 initiatives which generated a lot of questions and discussions.

Discussion Panel
A BIG THANK YOU to my two guest contributors, I know how busy they both were: Aman Narain @ Standard Chartered and Rob Findlay @ OCBC Bank.

IMG_3505IMG_3497 IMG_3517
It was great to catch up with my friend Aman, and (at last) meet Rob aka “the Bank Channel” in person.
Rob moved to Singapore less than five months ago to lead customer experience at OCBC Bank, after a few years spent at NAB in Australia.

Rob briefly introduced his work at OCBC and shared his personal experience of social media, mainly on blogs and twitter due to time constraint, and his excellent work on “the Bank Channel” blog. I invite you to check the post Rob published following the workshop: Remember, don’t be boring.

By the way, it looks like NAB is now ready to start leveraging social media, after two years spent wondering if and how they should join the conversation, despite their direct bank UBank doing a great job on facebook and twitter. It is quite similar to the HSBC / first direct situation here in the UK.
Indeed last month NAB started tweeting, and last week they announcedthey were looking to recruit a social media coordinator.

Aman is one of the few great visionnaries in the banking industry. He has an excellent understanding of online, mobile and social, and he is a real champion of digital innovation. Aman is responsible for online and mobile at Standard Chartered globally (in the region of 30 countries, which keeps him and his teams busy).

Aman shared his vision of social media in banking, explained why Standard Chartered HQ in Singapore was ready for twitter but not facebook, and talked us through three key social initiatives he launched from Singapore in the last twelve months:

* Dash for Cash 2: an internal blog based on WordPress and built for a budget of $10,000. The goal of this internal community, which looks “strangely” like facebook, is to invite the Standard Chartered workforce thoughout the word to share their ideas and projects and have them copied as many times as possible. The most copied ideas are rewarded here! Brilliant and cost effective.

* about a year ago, Standard Chartered launched, an initiative meant to drive awareness about HIV & AIDS and support the bank’s HIV education programme. More than 1.4 million people from all over the world took the quizz. Top three “protected” countries: 1. India, 2. China, 3. USA.

* the Word’s Coolest Intern Contest: I invite you to check my coverage of the innovative contest Standard Chartered launched last month, “Standard Chartered is Hiring the World’s Coolest (and Social Media Savvy) Intern to Evangelize their Breeze Solution“. Visible Banking is one of the proud partners of SC. 😀

Please note that Aman’s team have been instrumental in the UAE where Standard Chartered has successfully engaged their clients on facebook with initiatives such as the “Get Rich with a Click” contest.

Video – Intro in 5 languages
I always start my workshops with a few sentences in the local language. In Singapore, to make it a bit more challenging, there are no less than three official languages: chinese, indian, and malay.

I invite you watch the video below and tell me how good / bad my accent is!

In case the video doesn’t display correctly, I invite you to watch it directly on my youtube account.

Video – Benchmarking SM: Visible Banking Twitter Watch
Since March 2009, we’ve been tracking how financial institutions worldwide are leveraging social media channels and in particular twitterfacebook,youtube and blogs. We are now tracking over 2,400 initiatives in 65+ countries.

During this short video, I am giving an overview of our Top 10 Financial Institutions on Twitter from October 2010.

In case the video doesn’t display correctly, I invite you to watch it directly on my youtube account.

Pictures from the event
I invite you to check all the pictures of the event included in the dedicated photo album on the Visible Banking Facebook page.


Please call me (0044 7736 446 357), send me an email (, or DM me (@Visible_Banking).

I am keen to talk to you about twitter, customer reviews, and social media & social commerce in banking, financial services, and insurance.

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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