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Busan Bank, IBM Developing Mobile Apps for Better Customer Service

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September 30, 2014

Busan Bank, IBM Developing Mobile Apps for Better Customer Service

By Casey Houser, Contributing Writer

The smartphone penetration rate in South Korea is extremely high. Of the overall population of about 50 million, 78 percent of residents use smartphones; furthermore, in the 18 to 24-year-old age bracket, a whopping 97 percent of people use smartphones. Not even considering the rest of the world's population which is increasingly adopting smartphone usage of its own, the numbers emanating from South Korea show that a sizable amount of its population is pushing forward mobile technologies that shape their lives in the workplace and at home.

According to analysis of the issue at, the development of smartphone usage is reason enough for Busan Bank, a regional South Korean bank, to consider using an established mobile development platform on which to develop the mobile apps that can empower both its employees and its customers by enhancing the services provided to them. It has reportedly chosen the IBM (News - Alert) MobileFirst platform to achieve that goal, and now it has new apps that can streamline various processes of interaction in which its customers engage. Oh Nam Hwan, chief information officer at Busan Bank, said that it is important for the bank to use mobile to develop relationships with its customers.

"To stay competitive, it is critical we offer compelling mobile solutions to both our customers and our employees, while meeting strict security standards," Hwan said. "With IBM, our investments in mobile are helping to create a more rewarding professional work environment for our employees that not only increases job satisfaction, but also creates new touch points with customers for more valuable, interactive relationships."

The new apps developed with IBM MobileFirst specifically target interactions that can happen either inside a branch or from remote locations. The apps can securely integrate with back-end systems and databases, so employees and customers will have access to customer information no matter where they are located. Although the report did not provide specific details about the exact nature or types of financial transactions, it did mention that the apps would be able to help employees work with customers to achieve their individual financial goals.

The fact that the apps are geared toward the connection of employees and customers suggests that customers will have access to their banks through audio, video, text, or other forms of instant connection. Customers on their mobile phones will have the capability to engage in such exchanges, and employees on their own smart devices or bank computers should be able to interact with those mobile applications through Internet-driven or cloud-driven portals. The IBM MobileFirst website mentions that development of applications through the IBM product supports cloud usage, and it mentions that, once built, companies using the MobileFirst platform can continue to enhance customer experiences by taking advantage of analytics.

Glenn Finch, global leader of technology and data practice at IBM Global Business Services, commented that MobileFirst can take advantage of big data and that the platform should allow Busan Bank to improve employee productivity and customer engagement.

"Our mission is to transform the way people work with a designed-for-mobile app approach infused with big data and analytics to drive a new generation of empowered employees," Finch said. "With the IBM MobileFirst portfolio, Busan Bank is creating a secure, flexible mobile platform to help employees be more productive and responsive, while laying the groundwork for long-term customer loyalty."

Edited by Alisen Downey

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