Leading in Fintech: The CTBC Program

The Challenge

To distinguish itself as a Fintech leader, the largest privately owned financial institution in Taiwan knew it needed to build on existing strengths while providing its leaders with the latest digital knowledge and skills. However, making that happen across multiple business units and subsidiaries across Asia and North America, while facing greater competition from incumbents and disruptors alike, posed a critical challenge.

The Goals

The pandemic accelerated the need for digital transformation, increasing competition and stimulating greater technological innovation. CTBC knew that to remain a Fintech leader in its markets, it needed to both continue its digital efforts (including achieving end-to-end digitization, which started after its first Wharton program on the subject in 2019) and provide its leadership with Wharton’s expertise in strategy and digital innovation. To meet those goals, the company would need to continually find new ways to:

  • Identify and exploit digital opportunities in the banking industry
  • Develop new strategies to capitalize on the digital economy
  • Enhance cross-cultural leadership that encourages a culture of excellence and innovation

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CTBC Client Sucess Fintech

Our partnership with Wharton has been an integral factor in our success over the past decade. Each annual program has been designed to target our specific areas of interest and concern, helping participating executives and employees work together — leveraging a common mindset and experience across our diverse regional holdings — to drive strategy and innovation. Our focus on digital transformation from 2019 through 2022 and advanced change-leadership skills in 2023 are making a significant difference.”

James Chen President, CTBC Financial Holding Company

The Solution

Wharton Executive Education worked with management professor Henry Han to create a suite of programs on digital innovation and global strategy and with Wharton professor Gad Allon on scaling and expanding those initiatives. In 2023, CTBC leaders worked with Wharton professor Marissa King in an innovative simulation that gave them hands-on practice in effectively managing organizational change. By providing coordinated learning experiences and creating a common language and mindset among executives and department heads, CTBC is forging a strong pipeline of coordinated leadership. This is helping the firm excel in executing their innovation strategy and compete in an increasingly crowded field. In addition, employees from across CTBC participated in Master Forums designed to capture and inspire innovation from every branch and subsidiary.

The Impact

Since Wharton programming on digital strategy and innovation began in 2019, CTBC has undergone a significant transformation. It has obtained 580+ patents to date and pioneered digital banking in Taiwan with innovative services and products, including:

  • A Blockchain Lab that leads the industry in developing innovative applications in the green energy industry, e-commerce, health care, and supply chain finance (CTBC is the first member of the R3 Blockchain Alliance in Taiwan)
  • A Customer Experience Center team of CX experts that has used advanced equipment such as an eye tracker to develop and deploy 55+ CX projects in brick-and-mortar branches, online platforms, and apps
  • 540+ Robotic Process Automations, a first for any financial institution, that have substantially improved operating efficiency through a back-end unmanned factory management model
  • Home Bank, the most widely used mobile banking app in Taiwan, which includes patented innovative functions such as voice transfer, multi-account analysis, and the only comprehensive conversational banking platform in Taiwan
  • An innovation competition, designed with Wharton’s help, that captured more than 1,200 ideas from more than 4,000 participants across all subsidiaries
  • The AEGIS Project, implemented as a partnership between CTBC Bank and SAS, which is the first enterprise-level real-time fraud-management platform in Taiwan. It could support all risk decisions, analyzing 40,000 rules and completing model scoring within 0.03 seconds. After the AEGIS Project is launched, $20 million in annualized fraud cases could be prevented, and about $1.3 million in fraud operation fees could be saved

CTBC has received substantial acclaim in 2023 for excellence in performance, digital innovation, and ESG, winning over 300 awards—the most ever in Taiwan’s financial industry. Especially for digital innovation, CTBC has been recognized by major national and international awards, including World’s Best Consumer Digital Bank by Global Finance, APAC Winner of Innovation by Gartner, Most Innovative Bank in Asia by IDC, Digital Transformation of the Year in Asia by Asia Insurance Review, and Digital Bank of the Year in Taiwan and Digital Brokerage of the Year in Taiwan by The Asset.

From the perspective of customers, providing a good digital financial experience and completely transforming existing businesses is what we must do. Our partnership with Wharton’s experts is assisting us in achieving those goals.”

James Chen President, CTBC Financial Holding Company

Wharton faculty members are worldwide leaders in professional fields, and Wharton business school produces high-quality research and insights that are relevant to the banking industry. The program covers strategy, leadership, and innovation/transition, assisting us to polish leadership skills and to apply what we learned from the class to analyze workplace issues that may well occur during career. As we expand into global market and build a complete cross-border financial service platform, it is crucial to manage overseas subsidiaries/branches by local practice while at the same time to connect global footprints together to build synergy on a global scale. As an alumni of Wharton’s AMP, I deeply appreciate that the real-world insights and practices offered by Wharton faculty can help us develop advanced skills and knowledge. This enable us to make more comprehensive business decisions and formulate international business strategies that cater to today’s fast-changing world.”

Tony Yang President, CTBC Bank

Would you like to learn more?

To find out how Wharton Executive Education can help your company achieve its own customized solution, please contact Client Relations — Custom Programs.