Digital banking has maintained rapid growth in 2020 because of its convenience and efficiency, shrugging off the challenges of the outbreak of COVID-19.
British Virgin Islands-headquartered Bank of Asia, serving global customers, has always been in the front line of the digitalisation of the banking industry.
Looking ahead to 2021, Bank of Asia will continue to lead the development of digital banking and to offer its customers professional cross-border financial services.
Digital Banking Transforming the World
Digitalisation has changed every aspect of people’s lives and has also penetrated their financial behaviours. The CX platform Lightico found that 63% of people surveyed said they were inclined to try digital banking while 82% of consumers were concerned about going to physical banks after the pandemic.
The market size of digital banking is estimated to be nearly US$8 trillion in 2019 and is poised to register gains at over 6% CAGR from 2020 to 2026; total transactions of international digital payments will exceed 750 billion in volume, with the value accounting for over US$700 trillion, according to a recent report by Global Market Insights.
Digital banking is the irreversible trend. The vast adoption of Fintech has allowed banks to offer more efficient, swift, and convenient services while guaranteeing high security at the same time.
Bank of Asia has pioneered in launching remote account opening service for corporate and individual consumers, meeting the increasing demand of digital banking services due to the pandemic.
In 2021, Bank of Asia will partner with leading service and technology partners and upgrade their core banking systems, client management and service systems to even better provide high-quality service to its customers.
Bank of Asia will continue to develop BOA Pay, the new digital payment channel launched in 2020, to provide customised services to corporates and individuals. In the meantime, the e-Wallet service is in the pipeline to bring the fully-fledged e-Payment technology to the Caribbean region to realise cashless transactions and to provide digital banking services for the BVI population.
BVI’s Digital Asset on the Way
In the past year, some leading international financial institutions have started innovative trials on broadening their digital asset offerings, thus the capital market has realised the value of digital assets and authorities worldwide have also started to review the relevant regulations and policies.
In April 2020, The G20 rolled out the rules to regulate Global Stablecoins such as Libra cryptocurrency to prevent financial risks.
The British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission also issued guidance on 13 July 2020 regarding the regulation of digital assets, including cryptocurrencies.
The recent launch of the BVI's regulatory sandbox allows industry participants to trial innovative Fintech products and services, for a limited period, under the supervision of the BVI Financial Services Commission.
Lorna Smith OBE, Vice Chairman of Bank of Asia, said, "BVI has always been committed to innovation. It has made huge efforts in moving forward the digitalisation of financial services and establishing the digital infrastructure geared to support the relevant offshore financial services.
The recent passing of the BVI Regulatory Sandbox Regime allows players in the digital asset sector, including startups, to use offshore structures more efficiently."
"Bank of Asia is based in the BVI and is familiar with the latest regulation regime; thus it can provide consultancy services to clients who are interested in applying for the sandbox license," she added.
"Meanwhile, Bank of Asia can bring digital asset related products and services to the industry participants, fully leveraging the advantages of the BVI as an offshore jurisdiction."
Belt & Road Initiative - the Bridge
As Belt & Road Initiative moves forward, the integration of onshore and offshore resources is now the key to cross-border projects.
Offshore jurisdictions like the BVI have strong advantages, such as tax neutrality, political stability, privacy and a well-established legal system; thus the offshore structure has become an efficient tool for companies who are looking for resources in restructuring and integration, overseas investment and M&A.
Bank of Asia joined the Belt and Road Service Connections in September 2020, becoming the first international banking institution to participate in the scheme to support the projects under the Belt & Road initiative.
Bank of Asia’s President Lisa Lou said, "Bank of Asia is a digitalised bank set up on a Fintech platform and is experienced in cross-border services. We are joining forces with partners from Kazakhstan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and the Philippines to accelerate our global footprints.
As the first international banking institution participating in the Belt and Road Service Connections, Bank of Asia not only understands the local markets, but also has the expertise in setting up offshore structures and related financial infrastructure and can provide a one-stop comprehensive solution to our clients."
"We will continue to utilise our advantages to pave the way and bridge the gap for companies participating in the Belt and Road Initiative and support them with the necessary financial services," she added.
Bank of Asia, a pioneer of digital banking, has been developing rapidly and will continue to provide essential cross-border banking services on its cutting-edge fintech platform.
It will allow corporates and individuals to carry out financial activities despite the impact of the COVID-19 and local measures put in place to manage the pandemic outbreak, so that clients can meet their cross-border business needs in the long term.
In 2021, Bank of Asia will bring its clients more solutions, helping them achieve their financial aspirations.