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The Power of Trust with Mox Bank’s Deniz Güven

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 Mox Bank Limited’s CEO, Deniz Güven, about the power of trust.

What does trust mean to me?
Well, my last name “Güven” means “trust”. So trust is something I truly value. In life, in business, in relationships – trust is the foundation of every decision made.

Including the one I made when I moved to Hong Kong. I’d worked in various cities across the world: London, Hong Kong, Curitiba, Bucharest, Kiev, Moscow, and finally Singapore before relocating to Hong Kong. Hong Kong is a young, vibrant city bursting with energy, and I was ready for it! And trusted that this was where I should make my next career leap.

One question continues to dominate my career – how can we engage with and gain trust from our customers in new ways? When I took on my first digital role in Istanbul 20 years ago, “online banking” and “Internet banking” did not exist yet; we were exploring the potential of the Internet. And while the banking systems and culture differed in each location, my aim remained the same: to reshape banking, and make it easier, smarter, and safer for customers. And Hong Kong was ready for this too.
Mox Bank is a virtual bank. We didn’t build another traditional bank with physical branches that digitised their business. Instead, we are without physical branches; Mox was completely built from the ground up, based on the latest technologies to redefine customer experience. We are a challenger bank [a small retail bank competing with larger, more established banks through specialised functions] with a new, unfamiliar set-up. We rely heavily on customers trusting us to fulfil their banking tasks and to protect their important personal information while almost being completely invisible. So what we aim to do is to focus on winning “heart share”, rather than market share.

What’s heart share? Well, we believe that if you make yourselves more relevant to your customers’ daily lives, the business would simply follow – not the other way round. We recognise how Hong Kong has become a mobile-first community, and people are much more comfortable living their lives virtually – for work, entertainment, education. But what about for banking? We spoke with over 2,000 people and understood that there’s a desire for new and better experiences. And so now, we respond to that by putting the power of banking literally into our customers’ hands and by becoming an integral part of their daily lives.

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


Trust is an intangible emotion that takes time to build. As a subsidiary of Standard Chartered Bank, we are lucky to leverage on its existing reputation in serving the community. Offering great customer experience is crucial to building trust, so it’s important to identify which of your offerings set you apart from the rest of the competition.

You want to help to solve your customers’ pain points. Banking elicits immediate panic from most people, so we wanted to introduce a less intimidating route to financial wellbeing. Through our app, our customers can open an account in just minutes, reach us via live chat with any questions, set personal savings goals…and more. Our multi-level in-app security procedures also provide that trusted reassurance to our customers. Now, it can all be done much simpler than before.

Internally, leadership trust is really important to any project launch. Senior management at Standard Chartered was ready for digital and innovation and trusted our team with this ambitious project. They shared our vision and together, we took the leap to building a new product for Hong Kong. Trust means having full confidence that you and your team are all working towards the same goals and objectives, and delivering what is expected of you. Hiring the right team, then, is what is necessary. Create a hiring culture with a Midas touch. Look for people with the passion and desire to turn something ordinary into something extraordinary. We call ourselves – and our customers – Generation Mox, and really nurture a mindset for more possibilities. To grow, both individually and financially, as a community.

As with any other position, and for any other senior executive, I’ve come across situations during the development of Mox where I had to make key decisions. But having strong, dedicated and trustworthy teammates around me, I know I can trust that their input is always in the company’s best interest. In other instances, where you also fall down from making mistakes, you experience them together and you learn from them too.

I still remember my dad asking me which area of banking I was in. I was able to tell him the answer right away. But now when I think about the answer to this question again, I think, maybe I should have told him I am in the business of trust. Nothing is a one man show. We need partners to help us in growing ideas and to work together towards success. But trust starts with yourself. Sometimes you have to trust the decision made in your head, and sometimes you trust the decision made by your heart. It’s always a balance.

If you can’t start something new, how about renewing what you already have? Read about the Power of Refreshment with Coca-Cola China’s Florence Yu.

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