The Covid-19 crisis has compelled organisations – including HSBC Issuer Services – to adapt rapidly to a new normal operating environment. Giovanni Fenocchi, Global Head of Issuer Services and Karen Lomax, Head of Issuer Services, Europe at HSBC, explain how the bank is leveraging its technology infrastructure to help preserve high levels of client service.
How has technology helped HSBC Issuer Services support its clients during this difficult period?
Lomax: COVID-19 has shown us the importance for clients to be able to access their transaction data whenever, wherever they need it and to rely on their banking partners’ system infrastructure. However, the client demand was already there before the crisis, which is why we have a well-established digitalisation and innovation programme, which is bringing together a number of efficiencies and STP (straight through processing) advantages to our operating model. In the last couple of years, we have put a strong emphasis on making our systems and processes more streamlined, while simultaneously improving user experiences. This has allowed us to effectively transition almost entirely all our business to work from home and continue to support our clients with uninterrupted service from the start of the crisis. We are also in regular virtual communications with clients despite the majority of staff working remotely at home.
Although APIs and client self-service solutions have been integral to our long term strategy for the last two years, in the current environment more than ever, they have proven to be smart tools for clients to access their data or execute certain operations.
Can you give tangible examples of how HSBC Issuer Services’ technology is helping its clients?
Fenocchi: Although APIs and client self-service solutions have been integral to our long term strategy for the last two years, in the current environment more than ever, they have proven to be smart tools for clients to access their data or execute certain operations. Our first API, launched back in June 2019, enables clients to extract data from the bank on request. Not only does this provide clients with timely information, but it helps generate better connectivity between ourselves and the user. Elsewhere, changes have been applied to the bank’s Corporate Trust Portal, giving issuers access to real-time data, dynamic reporting and self-service tools.
COVID-19 has shown us the importance for clients to be able to access their transaction data whenever, wherever they need it and to rely on their banking partners’ system infrastructure.
Do you anticipate that Covid-19 could lead to a reappraisal of some of HSBC’s digital priorities?
Fenocchi: At the moment, our priority is to support our clients by providing them with all of the necessary information and reporting tools in a way that is as efficient as possible. We also need to be conscious that not all clients are identical. Take a large conglomerate or a bank, for example. These sorts of clients might be more open to reconciling transactions quickly using overnight APIs. In contrast, a smaller corporate client might prefer to have greater human interaction and communication with us during the life-cycle of a transaction. We are also spending more time focusing on cyber-security risk management, as this has been highlighted by some clients as a key concern for their business during Covid-19. It is vital to be diligent on cyber-matters.
To find out more about HSBC Issuer Services, please visit our website: www.gbm.hsbc.com/issuer-services