When asked to identify a key long-term priority, E.Sun president and chief executive Joseph Huang points to the importance of the lender’s digital solutions. Every bank is big on digital these days, but some take it more seriously than others.
For E.Sun, digital innovation is something akin to a religion. It is by far the best-in-class provider on the island. Analysts and peers are full of praise, with one describing it as “head and shoulders above the rest”.
In hiring Chen Sheng-wei, former chief executive of Taiwan’s first Artificial Intelligence (AI) academy, in January, E.Sun became the first onshore lender to employ a dedicated chief technology officer, overseeing more than 70 in-house data analysts.
Joseph Huang, E.Sun
It takes big data and blockchain seriously and has fully digitally enabled every one of its 138 domestic branches, while its automated online lending platform covers everything from personal loans and mortgages to micro, small and medium-sized enterprise loans.
Its digital services regularly snap up awards. In October 2017, Gartner named E.Sun’s intelligent loan platform the most innovative digital cost-saving initiative in Asia, while its AI chatbot was a finalist in the award for best digital product. Huang reckons the chatbot, which uses AI to communicate with customers on Facebook Messenger about financial services, reached more than 100 million people in 2017.
And E.Sun won’t stop there. Already the top digital foreign exchange platform, it processed more than 2.6 million transactions in Taiwan with a total value of NT$60 billion ($2 billion), and boasts an 85% market share in cross-border digital payments, using the likes of Alipay and WeChat Pay. The ultimate goal is to ensure E.Sun delivers “the right product, to the right people, through the right way, at the right time,” the bank says.