China’s crabby banking system opened windows for Alibaba and Baidu founders. They introduced a generation grasping for a new life style to an era of ‘anywhere is your time’.
Alibaba said ‘open sesame’ to reveal a cave filled with rich treasure. Baidu means persistent search for the ideal.
Their apps light up virtual cyber space as lanterns fill the sky with wishes.
Apps Light Up When You Forget Your Wallet
MalayMail was in a lyrical mood on Friday last. Their reporter was on a ‘dutch date’ but left her wallet on the dresser in her home. No worries: she went the ecommerce route to uber a taxi, and book a restaurant where she met her friend. Later they split the bill electronically over coffee
No Need to Get Crabby Standing in Bank Queues
Most of China’s well-heeled electronic set may have never been inside a bank. It is hardly surprising they do something else with their money. Brick-and-mortar banking offers consumers low-interest rates on savings, and not much more. No wonder they have moved over to virtual wallets on AllPay, Weixin and Baidu. All they need on a date now is their PIN and their beloved, as apps light up their evening.
Has Brick & Mortar Banking Lost Its Way
Some financial institutions like Industrial & Commercial Bank of China have launched ecommerce websites with some banking services added almost as an afterthought. Others like DBS in Singapore have lost their way. “An insidious consequence of the 2008-to-2009 global financial crisis is that our industry has been so preoccupied … that we’ve been unable to prepare adequately for the digital future,” muses CEO Piyush Gupta.
The Incredibly Inefficient Days of High Street Banking
In 2004, Zennon Kapron, now managing director of Shanghai-based consulting firm Kapronasia used to pay his rent by going to his bank, queuing, withdrawing cash, walking across the street to his landlord’s bank, taking a number, queuing again, and then eventually depositing the money in the account. “Now I do everything on AllPay from Alibaba,” he smiles. I wonder if Piyush Gupta still pays his bills the old way. Perhaps apps light up his life too.