On November 26, Agricultural Bank of China Limited (ABC) held a marketing campaign in Shenzhen to celebrate the tenth anniversary of e-Banking, heralding a new era of e-Banking development. According to Mr. Cai Huaxiang, Executive Vice President of ABC, the convenient and quick service of ABC e-Banking plays a significant role unparalleled by conventional channels in counties and rural areas and thus has become the core channel for ABC to enhance service for Sannong (agriculture, rural areas and farmers). Besides making good business, ABC thus also fulfills its social responsibility to advance the well-being of China.
Over the past decade, ABC e-Banking adhered to its customer-oriented and innovation-driven philosophy and remained dedicated to building a well-deployed channel system, a powerful product system, and an enriched brand system. ABC put into place a complete service system with sound functions and design, allowing for comprehensive account management, flexible fund deployment, all-around security guarantees, and easy wealth management in RMB and foreign currencies. Customers now have access to secure, convenient, expedited and efficient financial services within doors, and enjoy a closer relationship with the bank, an enhanced capability that propels the rapid development of many enterprises.
As early as in 2008, ABC positioned itself as “focusing on Sannong and adopting a commercial business model”. ABC’s has supported Sannong through financial innovation to promote and provide basic rural financial services. Under modernization, the mode of agricultural production fundamentally changed, necessitating innovation in rural financial products and services to serve the new and evolving needs of Sannong.
As banking relations with farmers unfolded and expanded, ABC stepped up efforts in developing self-service terminal business, improving Huinong Card payment systems, and supporting the marketing and operation of the new rural pension and cooperative medical care program. By the end of September 2012, the number of cash self-service equipment reached 72,687, the highest number among all major Chinese banks and transaction volume totaled RMB6.36 trillion. The number of self-service terminals reached 33,470 and transaction volume totaled RMB5.11 trillion.
Corporate online banking “Zhirui Version” was launched especially to meet the demand of SMEs and to provide quality online banking service to Sannong enterprises in county areas. ABC offered basic banking functions such as account management and transfer & payment, popular value-added services such as payment of salaries and wealth management, and as a result, rapidly grew into an important channel serving Sannong corporate customers. By the end of September 2012, the number of registered corporate online banking customers reached 1.7573 million, with its transaction volume totaling RMB38.35 trillion.
Simultaneously, ABC launched telephone banking, and provided holders of Huinong cards with multiple functions such as account inquiry, small-amount loans, investment and wealth management, and account management.
Moreover, ABC actively explored a new mode of serving Sannong, i.e., the customer service center, constructed a service platform for Sannong customers, and adopted various measures to improve related services. It tailored service solutions based on the “Golden Harvest” brand and provided professional consultancy services. Through segmenting Sannong customers, ABC intensified agricultural information support and differentiated financial service for quality households and SMEs in county areas. The Sannong banking business presents advantages and high potential for ABC, but due to its wide geographic area and small number of physical outlets in county areas, the business mode of urban outlets could not be applied to Sannong banking business. Instead, ABC has consistently promoted the e-Banking stand-alone registration system, which allows customers to use e-Banking products without leaving home. In this way, the coverage of e-Banking products has been enlarged, effectively, thus addressing previously insufficient service levels in county areas and improving ABC’s ability to serve Sannong customers.
Due to its advanced products and quality services, ABC e-Banking has won multiple awards. It won the “Best China e-Banking Award” for two consecutive years in 2010 and 2011. With its mission of promoting rural financial service innovation and applying new financial tools, technologies and products into Sannong banking services, ABC won an award for being among the “Top 10 Most Influential Corporate Philosophies in 60 Years of New China”.
After years of exploration, ABC has established a new mode of serving Sannong that provides large-scale financing and SME services in county areas and uses Huinong Cards as the carrier to offer small-size loans to rural households. This mode ensures sound services, controllable risks, and sustainable development with ABC features. Looking to the future, ABC e-Banking will continue pioneer serving Sannong and fully arise to its role as the backbone of the rural financial system.