An Interview with Roy Heong


OCBC Bank Malaysia’s Head of eBusiness and Digital Marketing speaks with FST Media about how OCBC will leverage mobile platforms to enhance the overall customer journey in the next five years.

FST Media: What are your priorities for the next 12 to 18 months?

Heong: The priority for OCBC Bank Malaysia Berhad over the next two years is to continue the journey of engagement and interaction with our customers via our digital channels. Digital is an important cornerstone in our overall strategy to ensure new revenue streams and to expand our customer base.

FST Media: How will OCBC leverage mobile platforms to enhance the overall customer journey in the next five years?

Heong: Mobile platforms will play a key role in keeping the customer constantly in touch with the bank. We see this as the beginning of a cashless society where mobile payments will be a key focus for OCBC in Malaysia. Already, we can see that mobile platforms are growing in importance in this transition from traditional banking to digital, and the effects can be felt everywhere with digital gadgets and platforms available in the market.

FST Media: What role will digital marketing play in shaping the future of the banking industry?

Heong: Digital marketing plays a critical role in reaching out to customers and communicating with them. I feel this is something   that is vital to the banking industry and will play a significant role in shaping our industry’s future. Customers are now digitally savvy, so it is extremely important for us to have a strong digital front. The digital channel is highly productive and tends to incur the least cost. For OCBC, digital remains the platform where most transactions will be conducted by banking customers today and in the near future.

FST Media: What eBusiness strategies are OCBC looking to implement over the next 12 months to reach out to new customers? 

Heong: Over the next 12 months, we will focus on providing key value propositions to the urban consumer and one of the key distribution channels will be digital. Urban consumers are digitally inclined and they view digital channels as a quick source of information and communication.

FST Media: What value has OCBC Money In$ights brought to the FRANK brand and how will you measure success?

Heong: OCBC Money In$ights brings to Malaysia a new level of e-banking that goes beyond simply transactional customer interactions. OCBC Money In$ights makes banking easier and simpler for our customers as it helps them track their daily and monthly spending, set savings goals and analyse their portfolio against other customers like them. These insights are coupled with a highly intuitive interface that ensures customers can easily perform daily transactions like checking balances and making payments online.

FST Media: How do you leverage data analytics to deliver targeted and relevant content to customers?

Heong: Using analytics to segment our customers and be relevant to them is in the DNA of every program that we run. Our front-end systems are equipped with the offers and content that have been data mined in the back-end so that the delivery to the customer is seamless and contextual. This ensures that we are able to deliver enriching and relevant content to customers. 

FST Media: How do you encourage a culture of innovation in your team?

Heong: In our team, the best way for us to embrace a culture of innovation is to not be afraid of failure, be agile and think like a startup everyday.

FST Media: How significant is the role of technology in your everyday life?

Heong: My mobile is the first thing I look at when I wake up each morning and the last thing before bedtime. Also, I often surf the internet, watch a video and look at my social media feeds all at the same time. I think this speaks volumes for how technology has become an integral part of my everyday life.

FST Media: Every leader has a legacy they wish to be remembered for, what is yours?

Heong: I would like to be remembered for being a leader who played a significant role in building and spreading the digital wave in Malaysia, championing OCBC’s transition from being a traditional bank to being a bank that has embraced digital transformation.