Indonesia's best digital bank 2020: Bank Danamon
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Indonesia's best digital bank 2020: Bank Danamon

Bank Danamon

Yasushi Itagaki, President Director, Bank Danamon.jpg
Yasushi Itagaki, Bank Danamon

In a more perfect world, the digital bank award would go to a purely local institution. Normally, we might shy away from honouring a name that is 94.1% owned by Japanese firm Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group. But Bank Danamon’s strides, particularly in the coronavirus era, are hard to ignore.

March marked the first anniversary of MUFG’s investment, and the beginning of year two in a three-year digital strategy.

In May, Danamon made a loan channeling agreement with Investree, one of the nation’s leading fintech operations, allowing the bank to lend through the P2P platform.

It’s the kind of business that president director Yasushi Itagaki hopes will become routine for the bank.

Danamon’s shariah banking department has also gone digital. Roughly 87% of Indonesians are Muslim, which means there are about 229 million people keen to bank in accordance with the Koran.

Digital options for this lucrative and growing market have been relatively few – at least until May, when the bank launched a series of digital offerings for the market, including services for those planning a pilgrimage to Mecca.

The bank has achieved other milestones, including the launch of an application programming interface and the creation of the D-Bank Registration service, Indonesia’s first fully online account-opening system with a know-your-customer verification process over video. The service was due to launch in August.

The bank’s programmers also had to spring into action in recent months as Covid-19 put staff continuity at risk. In the space of a week, the bank rolled out D-Care, an app for employees to swap information, notify bosses of their activities and make calls as work-from-home procedures were perfected.

The next enhancement, if all goes as planned, could be an in-house contact-tracing app that keeps high-risk individuals from entering any Danamon facility. That gives the idea of bank security an entirely new meaning.

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