[Sponsored Report] Nonghyup Bank invests in change, innovation

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[Sponsored Report] Nonghyup Bank invests in change, innovation

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A model introduces the release of NH Nonghyup’s Watch Banking system, a new smartwatch balance-checking service. Provided by the company

NH Nonghyup Bank, an agricultural cooperative bank in Korea, has adopted a wide range of services that give finance a touch of technology.

In 2012, Nonghyup developed the NH Barobaro Market smartphone application. The app allows consumers to conveniently purchase and order agricultural products and have them delivered. The system is unique in that finance, distribution and IT are mixed into a single service. In January, there were new additions to the bank’s financial technology (fintech) services, such as the wearable banking service, which allows customers to check their balance through their smartwatch.

The bank also focuses on investing in enhanced security measures to prevent financial fraud. Last December, the bank released the NH Authenticate Security Card, which has an integrated circuit chip embedded in it. This makes it a must to have the actual card to make financial transactions over the Internet. Nonghyup also plans to provide one-on-one service to customers with the Smart Finance Center system. Customers are able to make inquiries via telephone, smart appliances, SNS and the Internet. Analyzing the information provided by customers, the company will be able to offer advice that caters to individual concerns.

In addition, Nonghyup continues to focus on technology financing. This indicates that technology is a critical factor for both individual customers and companies that are clients of the bank. Last year in September, a technology evaluation team was added to the company’s loan policy department, which will develop policies and products related to technology financing. For small- and medium-sized businesses that satisfy a certain grade in their technology credibility evaluation, a moratorium will be placed on the interest on the premise that the redemption is made on expiry. These measures and others, such as offering prime rates to companies with satisfactory ratings or loans for starting small or midsize technology enterprises, are expected to encourage companies to invest in technology finance. In fact, the business showings of technology finance have leaped, with last year’s record being 384 billion won ($349 million), while this year it was approximately 502 billion won.

Kim Ju-ha, the CEO of Nonghyup Bank, has been especially dedicated to making sure that small- and medium-sized companies know the importance of technology finance. “Banks should provide funds to companies based on the evaluation of their credit rating and technology, not just in the form of a security loan,” said Kim. “When small companies that have the technology prosper to become medium-sized companies or even conglomerates, I believe Nonghyup will grow with them.”

By Bae Jahyung [bae.jahyung@joongang.co.kr]

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