Top bankers hit the playgrounds of digital natives

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NH NongHyup Bank CEO Kwon Joon-hak (right) and comedian Hong In-kyu co-host a live broadcast on the lender’s YouTube channel on Tuesday. (NH Nong Hyup Bank)

In a studio decorated with colorful mascot dolls, NH NongHyup Bank CEO Kwon Joon-hak, who heads South Korea’s fifth largest commercial bank, made his debut live on YouTube on Tuesday. Co-hosting the hour-long event with a comedian, Kwon ditched the image of an unreachable company representative and turned into a ‘guy next door’ making jokes with customers online. .

“I’m a little nervous but I’ll do my best to have a good time with our clients attending this online event,” the 59-year-old banker said as he opened the show. The online event, held to celebrate the lender’s social networking sites reaching 3 million followers, featured a quiz contest, phone calls and a giveaway that included Samsung’s latest foldable smartphone and Starbucks coffee coupons. About 3,000 online users participated in the event, leaving nearly 13,000 comments, officials said, effectively expanding its online exposure.

Kwon is one of the top bankers here who roll up their sleeves in an attempt to connect with younger consumers through YouTube, the metaverse and fandom culture of K-pop stars.

Credibility has always been a major asset for big banks. But the rise of digital natives – Gen Z and Millennials – demands that their brands be cooler, fun, and social – obviously not that serious.

As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic persists, banks find YouTube a cost-effective tool for interacting with customers, especially young people who tend to use social media more frequently, said Seo Ji-yong. , professor of economics at Sangmyung University.

In the rapidly changing financial services industry, commercial lenders are under pressure to get as many young clients as possible to ensure future profits.

“You can feel a kind of desperation when you see CEOs of banks rolling up their sleeves to communicate directly with potential customers. It also means they are predicting a rocky road for conventional banks, ”Seo added.

By taking a customer-centric approach with high-tech services, fintech companies and exclusively online banks are ahead of their traditional counterparts.

Those under 30 made up 31.9% of total NH NongHyup customers, while at KakaoBank, the country’s largest digital lender, the age group made up 61% of their customer base.

KB Kookmin Bank CEO Hur Yin (center) poses with K-pop girl group aespa and their four virtual avatar members in a teaser video released by the bank on September 30.  (KB Kookmin Bank)

KB Kookmin Bank CEO Hur Yin (center) poses with K-pop girl group aespa and their four virtual avatar members in a teaser video released by the bank on September 30. (KB Kookmin Bank)

South Korea’s largest commercial lender, KB Kookmin Bank, also experimented with its branding. To promote his new Liiv Next mobile app this month, a financial platform service geared towards young clients, the bank’s CEO made an unusual move by filming a teaser video with K-pop girl group aespa.

The branding of Aespa as the first K-pop group with unique AI avatars as an alter ego of the artists matches the concept of the lender for the 43-second video, which was designed for marketing. conceptual rather than promoting a specific financial product.

It represents singers traveling the digital world of KB with their avatars after receiving an invitation from KB Kookmin Bank CEO Hur Yin.

Some viewers took note of this bold move.

“One of the benefits of having aespa as a business model is that advertisers can use their concept in their ads,” read a comment on YouTube.
It has created an instant buzz online, garnering over 7.45 million views on YouTube since its first release on September 30.

“Gen Z and millennials are shaking up the status quo for financial companies that have maintained the same marketing strategy for a long time. The competition for ideas suited to the language and sense of humor of the generation is fierce, ”said a bank official who declined to be named.

The race among lenders to adopt the metaverse is intensifying.

Kwon Kwang-seok, CEO of Woori Bank, had several virtual meetings with young bank employees creating personalized avatars on a metaverse platform.

The bank said the meetings were aimed at “spreading digital culture in the business and improving the understanding of future customers.”

Hana Bank and Shinhan Bank recently offered financial education programs for young adults and college students through metaverse platforms such as First-Time Car Buying Sense and Tax Savings.

By Park Han-na ([email protected])


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