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Haitong Securities in interview to Sina Finance: O2O strategy implementation

Chen Chunqian, assistant to the General Manager of Haitong Securities, is interviewed exclusively by Sina Finance

Chen Chunqian is currently assistant to the General Manager of Haitong Securities, with nearly 20 years of experience in securities investment and international and brokerage business. Chen Chunqian is interviewed exclusively by Sina Finance on how a broker can improve customers’ satisfaction and how to conduct O2O’s strategic layout.

Haitong Securities continues to promote the O2O strategic layout, with its online integrated services APP "e-HaitongCai", ranking in the top three of its industry in terms of active users per month. Despite being steadily in the “10 million users” club during 2016, Haitong values user’s activity. Whether it is technological innovation or service efficiency, the Internet financial platform is only a basis for a service. Activity is the core reflection of customer satisfaction. In 2017, Haitong Securities will continue to increase investment and reinforce the O2O strategy. Our slogan is “e-HaitongCai, Making Your Investment Easier!”

Sina Finance: In this Internet era, what has Haitong Securities done to improve customers’ satisfaction? What difficulties encountered?

Chen Chunqian: Paying attention to well-succeeded APPs has been the key of keeping up with the rapid development of the Internet finance during the past three years. In the beginning, most brokers were thinking on how to cooperate with existing third-party platforms but later on they began to think about developing their own APP.

Now our team is focused on our own APP "e-HaitongCai" while paying close attention to other companies on the internet to make the necessary technological adjustments.

The industry is under great pressure, an APP has no real technical barriers and the main differentiator is in the optimization of customer experience and the system construction of service content. The two need to be integrated and services need to match the technology. For example, when you offer too many services, the User Interface will be jeopardized and more importantly affecting the user’s experience within the APP. The APP also needs to match the services offered with the customer's profile. Some investors do not need to look at so much information and content. They only need the trade services and so we should supply targeted information. Some investors do not want to look at in-depth study research reports, instead prefer to read the comments on the stock market. Thus, we need to remove unwanted remarks or information, and then make a secondary processing by professionals to guarantee the information’s accuracy. The current regulators are very concerned about the adequacy of customers who use these services and want to strengthen the risk control. Many brokers have already started to strengthened their risk control over the last year and are now paying more attention to compliance, enhancing appropriate customer suitability requirements’ management, while their starting point being the customer’s needs.

Sina Finance: Haitong Securities’ APP “e-HaitongCai" was widely praised, can you share some of the operating data with us? What goal does Haitong hope to achieve through the mobile platform?

Chen Chunqian: Currently our monthly volume is stable in the top three ranking of its category, having more than 10 million downloads and 99% of the customer accounts are done through a mobile terminal. For 2017, we hope our APP can be up to a higher level by improving the registered activity. Firstly, the market trends may condition the usage of the APP. Secondly, we want to promote the offline sales network. This year, Haitong Securities will be work on improving the services’ platform in both online and offline, combining its advantages.

Sina Finance: You have mentioned that in the process of developing Internet’s financial business, you will build a global market asset management platform through O2O strategy. Can you explain more clearly Haitong’s O2O strategy?

Chen Chunqian: The offline "O", in addition to the physical branches, are important channels for offering the services. These channels are critical to the service experience of our platform. If we cannot persuade professional institutions offline, they won’t persuade customers directly. Adding to the original brokerage business outlets, these offline channels of cooperation with other professional institutions should also be a part of the experience.

Sina Finance: In 2013 Haitong Securities approved the establishment of more than 90 branches across the country and is also regarded as an industry pioneer online. As you just launched the O2O strategy, how will Haitong Securities balance the offline/online relationship?

Chen Chunqian: We began the operations on the APP only three years after the development of the system by our IT. Today, 99% of customers opened accounts through mobile terminals. In 2015, the highest number of opening accounts was 100,000 per day.

For the APP account customer’s experience, Haitong Securities requires the full participation of its business departments, including its general managers. They have to make recommendations on the account opening system and we have to assess them. Only in this way can we make adapt our products.

In terms of Offline strategy, we will further strengthen the branches coverage, because the service can not only rely on the online system, we also have to provide local, personalized, professional and technical services. We should bring out the advantages of Offline strategy and synergize with the Online strategy, forming a strong complementary relationship.

We have added a batch of more than 90 branches, and from the operation point of view it was very successful. These new branches, serving a large number of new customers, achieved good operating performance results, with a commission fee under 0.03%.

Our goal with the Offline strategy is to improve customer contact and service depth, and further cover the blank area with customer demand in the market. We have to establish more branches covering the whole country, especially well developed areas, maintaining branch coverage advantages.  For instance, in Jinhua city, Zhejiang province, there will likely be 5 new branches established, since customers there have financial needs. We will set up the branches to meet customer needs, not only paying attention to retail customers, but also institutional and HNW customers.  

Sina Finance: Brokerage service is entering a diversified business structure, the proportion of bond investment and asset management is increasing, while the proportion of brokerage business income is gradually narrowing. As the brokerage business profit margin is declining, proportion is decreasing, occurring rate of issues is increasing, how will Haitong Securities react to this situation?

Chen Chunqian: The traditional brokerage business refers to the traditional stock trading, after the securities margin trading was introduced in 2010, it became one of the main brokerage business lines. After the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect Program, Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect Program, stock index futures, derivatives transactions, and cross-border transactions, the brokerage business has been diversified. A few years ago, we got the custody license, and then the services offered weren’t just stock trading products, but also included asset custody, asset transaction and asset allocation, as a result, the scope of the brokerage business was extended. In terms of the business model, we have transformed from a business-oriented sector to a customer-oriented sector, adapting the changes in the market and changes in customer needs.

Now, the integration of asset management, investment banking and brokerage business has been strengthened. We are more emphasized on cross-selling with other sectors to enhance the overall profitability.

Last year, we carried out some reforms in our branches, using them as platforms to sell asset management products, bank outsourcing business, bonds, and cross-border services, going far beyond the traditional brokerage business.

Sina Finance: Haitong Securities made a five-year IT strategy planning, which is very important in terms of the layout of artificial intelligence. Can you share with us what are Haitong Securities’ plans in this area?

Chen Chunqian: our 5-year plan has a layout of artificial intelligence, but artificial intelligence can´t replace human’s, nor even become the only answer. In recent years, we have expanded customer service centers, increased customer service personnel, established customer service training system. Now, we have more than 300 customer service teams, and we are the first securities firms to achieve a 24/7 customer service.

Sina Finance: How will Securities companies survive in the future?

Chen Chunqian: The essential of brokerage business is the service. It can´t be too ambitious. Our goal is not to make money ourselves, but to make customers invest in a simpler way.











陈春钱:目前我们的月活量稳定在行业前三,拥有超过1000万装机用户,99%的客户开户都是在手机端完成。希望2017年我们的 APP能更上一个台阶,主要目标在于进一步提高活跃度。做到这个要靠什么?第一,市场行情很重要,没有财富效应很难提高客户活跃度;第二,营业部线下网点的推广,增加与客户的接触点,提升服务深度,海通证券今年的重点会关注线下网点和渠道,即线下这个的“O”的配合,我们要把线下网点的优势发挥出来,加强与线上这个“O”的互补和结合。