The 35th Asian Bankers Association (ABA)'s General Meeting and Conference hosted by Bank of Maldives (BML) held at Kurumba Maldives, commenced on Thursday.
Focusing on the year's theme 'Banking in Asia: The Next Frontier', participants discussed banking developments in Asia, in particular, the importance of the financial sector’s continued stability and integrity in the face of rapid technological advancement.
The first of the two-day conference featured eminent speakers within the industry including leaders in banking and field experts renowned in the field as leading banks across the Asia-Pacific region took part in the event.
A 'Host Bank' session presented by the Head of Channel Management, Aishath Fifsheen Ali on 'Digital Transformation - The Future of Banking', provided insight into how BML is leveraging digital technology to make its services more accessible and convenient for their customers.
BML revealed that during the past year as many as 9 out of 10 customer transaction behaviours took place through a digital medium, noting the bank had handled over 30 million transactions through digital channels within the same period.
According to Bank of Maldives' Deputy CEO and Operations Director Mohamed Shareef, “As with other countries in the region, banking behaviours are changing in the Maldives too. A key focus of our strategy in Bank of Maldives is improving the customer experience through enhanced technological convenience".
"With 24/7 Self-Service Banking Centres, Internet Banking, Mobile Banking and an increasing number of services via our Mobile Wallet, 90% of our customer transactions are now conducted online”, he said.
Prominent speakers in the session included famed Maldivian academic Hassan Ugail, who spoke on the importance of understanding and appreciating the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the banking sector.
Presentations were also made by American Express and Mastercard on innovations in digital payments and the tangible opportunities presented by new and upcoming technologies.
During the 'Discover ABA' session, country presentations focusing on the economy, financial markets in their respective countries were conducted by the Bank of Maldives, Japan Credit Rating Agency Ltd, Lanka Impact Investing Network, Fintelekt Advisory Services Pvt. Ltd, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Mongolian Bankers Association.