Chairman Cho Yong-byoung of Shinhan Financial Group is ready to sign an agreement with Amazon.com Inc., a leading U.S. global online financial settlement service firm, on cooperative ventures in a move to strengthen its operation in the fintech area.
The group’s chairman orchestrated a huge shake up in the group’s organizational flowchart to support the expansion plan in its capital market and the digitalization of its operation. The core of the change lies in integrating the same functions in various affiliates into a single unit for greater synergy.
The financial group is teaming up with Amazon for leadership in the burgeoning financial technology sector and its goal of becoming a top Asian financial leader by 2020. According to multiple sources from the financial industry, Cho Yong-byoung, chairman and chief executive of Shinhan Financial Group, will leave for the United States as early as June 28 to hold an investor relations (IR) conference inviting local institutional investors, and also to visit the Amazon.com headquarters in Seattle to sign a business agreement in the financial technology, or fintech, sector. The upcoming agreement will include partnership between the two parties in the overall fintech business, as well as tying up with Amazon Pay, an online payments platform operated by Amazon.com. Amazon Pay, which was launched in 2013, is the world’s second-largest online payment service with 33 million subscribers as of last year. The service provides consumers with a payment platform, not only at Amazon’s online store, but also other online outlets. It can also be used to give donations, pay taxes and buy insurance online. The latest partnership will involve Shinhan Financial Group adding its debit card as one of the payment methods offered by Amazon Pay. As part of efforts to boost competitiveness in the growing fintech sector, Korean financial institutions including Shinhan Financial have been forging partnerships in the so-called “pay service” sector with online payment service providers.
Last year, Shinhan Bank entered into a partnership with China’s top three online payment solution providers including Ali Pay and WeChat Pay by offering its debit card as a new payment option. The latest partnership with a U.S. online retailer will allow Shinhan Financial Group to expand its fintech business in the Asian U.S. markets.
The first move of the integration plan involved the GIB (global investment banking) sector taking over the investment banking dep’ts of all the affiliates including Shinhan Bank, Shinhan Capital and Shinhan Life, and placing them under the Shinhan Financial umbrella.
Global divisions were also integrated at five affiliates including Shinhan Bank, Shinhan Card, Shinhan Financial and Shinhan Life, under the title of vice president. The individual will be responsible for major policy decisions for the units as the head of the “control tower.” If two affiliates are in the same city overseas, the head of one of the affiliates will be named as the Country Head to take control of the global sector of the other affiliate.
The shakeup also included the Chief Digital Officer, who will take charge of the digital units of all the affiliates, and the CDO Council. The group will set up SDII, Shinhan digital reform organization, to be responsible for making major decisions and strategies on all matters related to the development of the technologies for the digital sector such as AI, Blockachain, Open API, Cloud and Digital Experience (DX).
The Affiliates Management Committee of the Shinhan Financial Holdings Co. named Huh Young-taek, vice president of Shinhan Bank Global Operation, to head the Global Operation Sector as president while President Lee Dong-hwan of Shinhan Data System was named to head the Global Investment Banking (GIB) Sector.