Baiduri Bank: Our digitisation journey means upskilling and reskilling our people

As Brunei's leading bank moves its core banking platform into the cloud, CEO Ti Eng Hui explains how Baiduri's client and staff relationships are more important than ever

September 5, 2023

Baiduri Bank has long been at the forefront of financial services in Brunei, delivering technological firsts and innovative solutions in response to ever-evolving consumer behaviour. Baiduri CEO Ti Eng Hui explains how the bank’s digital transformation is improving the customer experience, which technologies are being deployed behind the scenes, and how Baiduri is upskilling and reskilling its workforce to meet the new challenges of the digital-first banking era.

World Finance: How has your digital transformation been delivering improved customer experiences?

Ti Eng Hui: We believe that genuine human connection is at the core of excellent customer experience. It is therefore essential for us to have a hybrid approach – leveraging technology while providing the best banking experience for our clients.

And we have enhanced so far our digital banking platforms for both retail and business customers. The app that we have launched incorporates optional biometric login as well as financial calculators and risk profiling tools to provide a better customer experience.

More recently, we have launched new offerings such as Baiduri Qpay, that allows our customers to pay via QR code.

We continue to improve digital engagements through our industry-first AI chatbot, Emmi. At the same time, we are reconfiguring our branch design and service model to offer a better overall experience that combines both online and offline interactions. So our branches are now focusing less on transaction processing, and more on providing quality financial consultations to our customers.

World Finance: And how have you been transforming Baiduri’s internal workflows and infrastructure?

Ti Eng Hui: Yeah, we need to ensure that internally, the organisation is ready to support our digitisation aspirations. For that reason, we kickstarted our digital transformation with our HR function. We are using cloud-based solution SAP SuccessFactors, and through this platform, most of our human resources and talent management processes are now done digitally.

We are actively deploying modern technologies including artificial intelligence, machine learning, Robotic Process Automation and new microservices to automate existing workflows.

Baiduri Bank will be the first bank in Brunei to migrate and operate our core banking platform to a new cloud-based system under the SaaS model. This will enable us to offer superior customer propositions with personalised offerings when we go live in the middle of next year.

We are also the first bank in Brunei to modernize our credit risk management using artificial intelligence – through this, we are developing and deploying high quality credit scorecards at a fraction of the time and cost – with reduced credit risk, improved efficiency and greater agility for retail and SME businesses.

World Finance: Now, is there a risk that on your transformation journey, you could lose good staff along the road?

Ti Eng Hui: This digitalisation journey will undoubtedly bring about shifts in the way that we work – and that is why it is important for us to be a learning organisation that focuses on reskilling and upskilling our people – identifying technical competencies needed to support our journey and building in-house digital capabilities.

The bank’s newly established Organisational Development and Learning Unit is tasked with upskilling and reskilling the bank’s workforce – offering leadership courses, Employee Wellness initiatives, Change Management, transformational workshops, and on the job training to identify gaps in skills and competencies.

A great example of this is that over 30 employees from different business lines and key support functions across the whole Baiduri Bank Group underwent the RPA Citizen Developers certification. They will act as RPA champions to help further Robotic Process Automation within the group.

World Finance: And what does the future hold for Baiduri Bank? With these twin digital and people transformation strategies, what do you hope to achieve?

Ti Eng Hui: So as a 100 percent owned local bank, our focus for the time being is very much on the Brunei market; Baiduri Bank has continued to grow significantly, thanks to the great support received from our customers and all the stakeholders. Since we already hold a prominent position in the local banking industry, the only way to grow further is venturing beyond Brunei.

At the moment we are focusing a lot on capacity building, especially from the people side of it, technology and organisational perspective. We need to evolve our business model, reaching a high-performing level of operations and execution of our strategies.

Once we have a strong foundation, it will be time for us to consider a diversification plan beyond Brunei.