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ICBC offers new online service platform
( 2003-12-17 00:35) (China Daily)

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) yesterday unveiled a new platform for its personal online banking business -- BANKING@HOME.

ICBC officials said the upgraded e-banking platform is expected to facilitate a key shift of the bank's outlets from all-round functions to sales-orientated services, and gives it a firmer foothold in a market with intensifying foreign competition.

Jiang Jianqing, president of ICBC, said: "BANKING@HOME will comprehensively elevate the quality of our services, and will give a further push to our online banking operations.''

Bank officials said the 58-function brandname allows "almost all services a traditional banking outlet offers'' to be processed by the client on the computer, including 24-hour any-amount transfers of funds or remittances, securities and foreign currency trading as well as collateralized loans.

Wang Gang, general manager of ICBC's e-banking centre, said the bank expects online banking to process at least 50 per cent of its total transactions in five to eight years, as compared with 18 per cent currently.

The online banking capacity is expected to replace more than 4,000 traditional outlets, saving the bank more than 3 billion yuan (US$360 million) in costs annually, and help existing outlets focus on promoting bank products.

Apart from a personal identification number, the new platform adopts a USB Key chip, which the bank developed in co-operation with Microsoft, to ensure transaction security.

"I can say that security is guaranteed,'' Jiang said.

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