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Hello tomorrow: the new Sathapana Bank

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Mr. Kato Norihiko, Chief Executive Officer of Sathapana Bank.

Hello tomorrow: the new Sathapana Bank

As the second largest bank in Cambodia in terms of its branches and staff, Sathapana Bank reveals a new refreshing look to coincide with a promising future providing innovative banking solutions in the Kingdom.

Transparency, solidity, reliability, harmony, growth and innovation; these are the qualities conveyed in Sathapana Bank’s new logo, which form the core of the bank’s mission. The new design features the shape of a honeycomb, nature’s ideal storage of valuable assets. With its multiple hexagons one next to the other, it represents the bank’s extensive branch network, reaching customers in every province.

A blue triangle that runs through the center of the comb represents Mount Fuji, one of Japan’s symbols of solidity and harmony.

“The blue color with the relative shade is to show the transparency and modern image to utilize our latest technology,” says Chief Executive Officer Kato Norihiko.

Sathapana has been operating in Cambodia since 1995 – first as a microfinance lender for more than 20 years. It merged in April 2016 with Maruhan Japan Bank to form Sathapana Bank PLC., a fully licensed commercial bank. Sathapana Bank has expanded its branch network to 168 branches throughout the country. This is the second largest branch network of all commercial banks in the country and will only keep growing.

“We want to continue to be nice and kind to the people all over the country, and also in low income rural areas. It’s a big challenge to make such an efficient operation in rural areas but we are one of the few banks that can provide true nationwide banking products and services,” Kato says. “We’re committed to continue to providing banking services throughout the country.”

Cambodia presents the perfect landscape for financial innovation, with a developed financial sector and technological readiness, providing a unique opportunity for product-market fit – an opportunity Sathapana embraces as they look to launch a digital banking solution in the near future.

“It’s a must have product,” says Kato, cognizant of the recent uptick in digital banking solutions. “We’ve studied and are currently in the process of introducing the most modern multi-channel digital platform so that we can provide Internet banking, mobile banking, e-wallet or QR [Quick Response] code payment.” While their current plans for mobile banking are still not public, the awareness around being thoughtful around the market and consumers shows Sathapana’s dedication for putting their customers, and in this case, users, first.

Another way Sathapana shows their dedication to making sustainable, impactful digital banking solutions is through their eagerness to partner with some of the big names in E-wallet and digital payments.

“We’re positively thinking about an alliance with other types of financial services, such as money transfer companies and digital payment companies. They need banking services and a partner bank like Sathapana. There’s a mutual opportunity there for collaboration to increase the customer’s convenience as well.”

This mindset of seeing the bigger picture and creating a better banking future for Cambodia through collaboration is key to the next phase of Sathapana’s plans to service their customers better.

As Sathapana reinvents itself in the digital age, it makes sure to do so through self-awareness and social consciousness. Though there’s a rapid race towards providing the best online solution for all, Sathapana prides itself on operating at the intersection of innovation and social responsibility, a quality increasingly required around the world in doing businesses.

One of the bank’s highlighted goals is to support sustainable and green projects, as well as businesses with a positive impact on the environment, or which contribute in other socially positive ways.

This goal carries the same weight as do their other business objectives, which means occasionally rejecting clients if the business is deemed to be harmful to society. In looking to provide the best, sustainable solution for their customers, embracing both innovation and social consciousness is the unique card Sathapana plays, which sets them apart from those who may put economic development or making profit first.

“For that purpose we study what kinds of projects can be very positive and in the world globally there are such international institutions or funds that are waiting to support such activities,” Kato says, adding that this should be a “day to day effort” within the bank’s operations.

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