BIBD COO Aims To Pave Way To The Future

Posted on  17/02/2012  |  Media Centre

Danial Norjidi
Friday, 17 February 2012

Bandar Seri Begawan – Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) is looking to the future, with new goals and benchmarks of an international standard, while also announcing that this year should also see it looking to meet the aim of providing its customers with the ability to conduct bank payments via their mobile phones.

This was said yesterday by Dr Gyorgy Ladies, Chief Operating Officer at BIBD and International Director of Fajr Capital Ltd, speaking in an interview following the THiNK BiG Dialogue yesterday.

“I’d like to see that this year. It is a significant effort, and we’d like to see it this year,” he said. “I’m the kind of person who likes to go for pushy dates and pushy timelines and be at the edge of meeting times.”

Speaking on how BIBD plans to go about this, in terms of whether or not they plan to work with local telecommunications providers, he said, “This is not decided yet. If I look at the thought rationale and the thought process going through I would -sty that BIBD has implemented online banking so that people can make transactions over the Internet.”

“So it’s natural, by definition, the next step is that what you can do on the Internet, you should be able to do on mobile phones,” he highlighted. “We’ve seen a successful roll-out on online banking and we’d like to continue the success of online banking, but we’d like to get into one more domain, which is the mobile banking domain.”

Reverting back to the dialogue’s Q&A session, answering a question from Delwin Keasberry, Programme Manager at Asia Inc Forum on what this year holds for BIBD, he said, “It’s going to be a lot of work, and just make sure we can step up from the 18th Century.”

“We plan to keep promoting online banking, credit cards, and also making it so customers can bank over phone,” he said, to name a few.

“We want to make it so you (the customer) don’t have to come to the branch but can still get a banking service,” he continued. “Also, we cannot disregard the importance of social media and networking, and that everybody has a mobile phone nowadays.”

“Mobile banking makes sense, it is modem banking. Mobility is about a lot of marketing, a lot of promotion and a lot of information, and as I said, if you don’t have a mobile solution to pay your bills, that would be boring in this day and age.

“We have to be more than that. So we’re looking for partners, we’re open to partners to tell us what do we put there (in terms of) content, and how do we make interesting to the customer?

“It also makes a change of generations, because mobility and mobile banking is mainly for the young people, so it’s even more important that you put content into it, so that’s the very early thinking process,” he added.

Back to the Q&A session’s question on BIBD’s future plans, Dr Ladies said, “We would like to transform BIBD to be one of the most competitive, best banks and eventually compete in a space far beyond Brunei, before adding that a number of positive changes will have to come into action while also stressing the importance for customers to be able to see and feel the positive changes that BIBD makes.”

Asked for further elaboration on this point during the interview, Dr Ladies said, “It’s difficult to put a timeline, but again from a thought process perspective, when you’re setting standards, a benchmark and goals for an organisation, we’re setting it at an international standard level.

“Of course, at the same time we are looking in the mirror and we are seeing where we are at right now. It will take time for BIRD to go up to the stage to go beyond Brunei, but I think mentally it is time to start thinking like that and when you do start thinking like that, it will happen sooner or later.”

“I will not say it’s coming in the next few weeks or months, it’s more of a strategic deduction,” he continued.”This is the way we like to have our mindset, and this is where we want to be in the long term.”

Asked for his thoughts on the Bruneian landscape for business, he said, “Compared to Hungary, Brunei is in much better shape. We all know that Brunei has a few big companies, a few big employers.

Brunei has no golden middle class or golden middle way. You have the upper segment, you have the lower segment, but you have to build the middle.”

He also said that Brunei’s size is a benefit, in this regard, because it’s smaller size makes it easier to establish this “middle”.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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