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PEOPLE

The Power of Transparency with Livi Bank’s Michelle Chan

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• Michelle Chan, Director of Marketing, Business Development & Innovation at Livi Bank, talks to The Mag about the power of transparency.
• Transparency is about trust, inclusiveness and openness.
• Being transparent can help avoid misunderstandings, create a sense of belonging and spark innovation.

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What’s the one thing that motivates you? “The Power Series” offers thought leadership insights from industry experts at Taikoo Place on the “power” of their initiatives in relation to everyday life. In November, we speak to Michelle Chan, Director of Marketing, Business Development & Innovation at Livi Bank and InsurTech Co-Chair of the FinTech Association of Hong Kong, about the power of transparency.

I’ve worked in a variety of roles and industries over my 15-year-plus career, from telecom to digital payment, and from digital insurance to virtual banking. If I have to name one key element of success for businesses and leaders across all these different industries, I’d say it’s transparency.

Transparency, for me, means trust, inclusiveness and openness. In everyday life, being transparent can help you avoid a lot of unnecessary misunderstandings, which are usually the result of miscommunication. When you express your thoughts and emotions openly, you’re essentially taking out the guesswork for others.

“Everyone can take the lead to bring more transparency to the workplace. ”

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Find inspiration from your Taikoo Place neighbours –
Read more from The Mag’s POWER SERIES.  

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It’s even more important in the workplace. When you work in a team, you can’t do everything on your own; but you can’t delegate unless you trust your teammates enough to share information with them. As a leader, I find that an open work culture can do wonders for overall productivity and employee morale. Imagine being told to perform a task – but without knowing its purpose, importance or urgency, you probably wouldn’t feel very motivated to do it, nor would you prioritise it when you already have other duties.

Transparency also helps build a stronger sense of belonging. It just comes naturally when you feel trusted, involved and included as part of a group. This is especially important for start-ups like Livi Bank, which have very limited resources yet face new challenges every day. It takes every individual employee to dedicate their expertise and effort to support the company’s growth, and this sense of belonging acts as the driving force.

Every individual can take the lead to bring more transparency to the workplace. Start by breaking down silos – remember, you’ll go a lot further as a team rather than as an individual. For my role, I always make sure to share and communicate our business direction and goals with our team. Of course, there’s a fine line between transparency and confidentiality. It’s about making more relevant information accessible to your staff, and that doesn’t mean you need to share the details of a top-secret contract, nor any personal information that’s unrelated to work! Know what your organisation’s confidentiality policies and guidelines are to avoid the risk of information leakage.

As the InsurTech Co-Chair of the FinTech Association of Hong Kong, I’m also an advocate of transparency in the fintech space. Traditional financial service providers tend to operate in a closed system. In other words, they select the services to provide to a certain group of customers, with rules that aren’t clearly communicated. Customers would have to visit in person to ask for details.
With technology, everything is changing rapidly. These days, information can easily be accessed and compared over the internet, so it’s become paramount for new banking service providers to be more transparent and customer-centric to stay competitive in this digital age. Fortunately, technology is also making service customisation and automation possible, which are key to enhancing financial service accessibility to not only individual customers, but also small and medium-sized enterprises and other potential partners.

Transparency also removes barriers to innovation. I believe that the future of the digital financial service ecosystem lies in part in an open banking architecture. Our company has become one of the first registered banks in Hong Kong to commit to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA)’s open banking initiatives, which allow consumers and third-party service providers to access the network of accounts and data across institutions. This means banking services will no longer be provided by only banks in the future. Instead, they will become fully integrated and available to all partners within the ecosystem, which will bring unlimited possibilities of new collaborations, products and services.

What else do we need to succeed in life? Read about the Power of Passion with FWD’s Jeff Wong.

Do you work at Taikoo Place and want to be featured in The Power Series? Get in touch.
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