Technology is revolutionising banking, calling for increasing levels of flexibility and versatility in a quickly and profoundly changing market. Today, the customer experience is created at all moments and through all points of contact with the bank. A multi-channel model makes it possible to create a continuous bank-customer dialogue to offer an excellent experience thanks to the simplification of processes, more efficient and effective communications, and the integration of all physical and virtual channels. The bank is no longer a physical place the customer enters but a series of services that can be accessed anytime, anywhere. It is the bank that goes to the customer and it is the customer that chooses the type of relationship and the level of service required.
The new Banca dei Territori Division service model involves the creation of new types of branches with the aim of supporting customers in the best possible way, directing them to the quickest and most suitable channel for their needs. The traditional branch, open until 1 p.m. and equipped with ATMs, still exists (at the end of 2014 around 600 branches had already been converted to this format). In addition to this type of branch there are the Hub Branches, which offer traditional counter services all day, self-service staff-assisted interactive banking and ATMs, and Consultancy Points where employees offer consultancy services to customers who can also carry out transactions using ATMs (at the end of 2014 around 70 branches were already exclusively dedicated to consultancy).
At the end of 2014 Intesa Sanpaolo had a network of approximately 6,600 ATM terminals in Italy, over 2,350 of which accept cheques and cash deposits.
Customers are provided with a vast range of services from withdrawals using all card types to account and card queries, mobile phone top-ups, payment of the most common utility bills, BEU (Bonifico Europeo Unico – SEPA bank transfer) and the top-up of transport season tickets issued by the main Italian transportation companies (e.g. Mimuovo, ATM Milano, Trenord, GTT Torino).
The “Donations” function is active at all branches, allowing customers to make free donations to the bank’s main partner non-profit associations.
MULTI-CHANNEL RETAIL CUSTOMERS
At the end of December 2014, Intesa Sanpaolo had over 5.31 million customers with multi-channel contracts (services via the Internet, mobile phone and telephone), 4.2 million of whom are active2 and 2.4 million of whom carry out at least one transaction a month, i.e. around 48% of all retail customers. During the year, the number of customers that had requested the activation of online reporting reached almost 89% (around 4.7 million) of all multi-channel customers, an additional increase compared with last year. In the first half year Internet Banking activities rose by 36% compared with the previous year, with peaks of 51% in online tax payments and 20% in securities trading.
In 2014 Intesa Sanpaolo promoted the “Integrated Multi-channel Platform” project, one of the pillars of the Business Plan. The aim is to supplement the skills of branch employees with the potential offered by advanced technology to provide customers with a better service and experience in their relations with the bank. The novelty lies in the fact that both customers and the bank manager can use all of the channels currently available - branches, ATMs, Internet and Contact Unit - in an integrated manner. As such, the innovation does not lie in the tool but in developing an all-around approach for customers. In fact, with the “Integrated Multi-channel Platform” project, customers can decide which channel to use to dialogue with the bank: from their first expression of interest to the analysis of the offer and through to the commercial proposal, the purchase and post-sales activities, operating where and when they want in a comprehensive, simple and convenient way.
The initial development of the project regarded “Proximity”, which enables the customer and the bank manager to communicate via the Internet Banking service: the customer can begin a chat or make an appointment with their manager through the Internet Banking service, without having contact by phone.
The project continued with the development of the “Remote Offering system”, through which managers can promote products to customers via the Internet. Customers receive the offer and, if they are interested, can accept it using the digital signature service, without having to go to a branch. More specifically, September saw the launch of the remote offer for debit and pre-paid cards, which can also be acquired autonomously via the Internet Banking service. Moreover, December saw the launch of the remote investments offer (primary market bank bonds and certificates, secondary market instruments, government bonds available through subscription and auction and mutual investment funds managed by Eurizon Capital Sgr, Epsilon and Eurizon Capital SA).
In Italy, banking/insurance applications for smartphones represent 36% of most downloaded apps and are used at least once a week by 68% of users3. Intesa Sanpaolo offers mobile banking services through the "La tua banca" app and an optimised mobile site. At the end of 2014, the app totalled 1.9 million downloads and 1.2 million single users had logged in (app and mobile site). The interest in this type of interaction with the bank therefore continues to grow and the phenomenon is particularly important if you consider that 32 million Italians have a smartphone, i.e. over 50% of the entire population4, and that almost 21 million of them access the Internet from a mobile phone/smartphone (around 48% of the adult population) and 6.8 million from tablets (approx. 16% of the adult population)5.
In 2014 the Intesa Sanpaolo App, already available on iPad, iPhone and Android, was upgraded and made available also on Android tablets. The new version includes the functions relating to Proximity and the Remote debit and pre-paid card offer: customers can make appointments and contact their manager with ease (also using the chat function), receive and subscribe to commercial proposals, and block debit cards directly from their smartphone or tablet.
Through the Move & Pay service, Intesa Sanpaolo also makes NFC (“Near Field Communication”) technology available, making it possible to associate a payment card with a mobile phone and pay for products at the check-out simply by placing the mobile phone close to the contactless POS. This service is integrated in the App “La tua banca” and is currently available to all customers with a Tim Smart Pay Card and Android smartphone. It will soon be extended to all of the Bank’s payment cards.
Intesa Sanpaolo also launched Masterpass in association with MasterCard. By creating a free account directly via the Internet Banking service, personalised in total security with their payment card data and delivery addresses, customers can make online purchases in just a few clicks using their computer, tablet or smartphone.
MULTI-CHANNEL CORPORATE CUSTOMERS
INBIZ is the name of the tool available to corporate customers for managing their financial, accounting and administrative activities online. Through a single online platform, customers can access the bank’s entire range of services, interfacing with the Intesa Sanpaolo Group’s national and international network, and, in Italy only, also make use of the interbank Corporate Banking services.
In 2014, the number of documents available through the online reporting service was extended (see the "Paper" chapter in Natural Capital @). A new interbank payment service called CBILL was also launched, which will make it possible to view and make payments to public or private creditors that register with the banks of the CBI (Customer to Business Interaction) consortium6.
Since 2014 a new version of the M-site portal is available, designed to offer a set of mobile functions to customers that use the INBIZ service. Completely free of charge, the service makes it possible to manage the authorisation and delivery of flows, to view account transactions and the results of submitted orders, and provides an overview of liquidity. It also makes it possible to find the nearest branch or ATM.
As part of the initiatives connected with Expo Milano 2015, the “Created in Italia” and “Created in Italia Business” e-commerce portals have been launched. The former is a digital showcase for top Italian businesses featuring the direct offer of non-banking products in the tourism and catering, food, design and fashion sectors to Group retail customers. The latter provides the Bank’s corporate customers with a new channel for increasing their visibility and promoting themselves on the domestic and international digital markets, and support when meeting Italian or foreign businesses interested in the sectors of Italian-made excellence.
INTERNATIONAL SUBSIDIARY BANKS
The range of products and services available via the Internet banking and mobile banking services was extended throughout the international subsidiary banks network in 2014: the electronic platforms are already widely used by the majority of the banks but are still being developed in some areas (Egypt, Albania).
In Serbia, 15% of retail customers use Internet banking and 5% mobile banking. In 2014 the number of new registered customers that actively use Internet banking services fell, while the number of transactions rose by around 15%. As for mobile banking, the number of new registered customers grew by 21% and the number of transactions almost doubled, whilst the number of customers enabled during the year fell. Almost 19% of businesses use online services. The number of new registered users that activated the service rose by 11% and the number of payment orders made via e-banking grew by 9% in relation to the total number of orders made.
In Russia, retail customers with an e-banking contract represent around 9% of all private customers; this percentage rises considerably with regard to small businesses and corporate customers with around 50% of SMEs and almost 70% of corporate customers under such contracts. In 2014 the number of online transactions carried out by retail customers rose by 46%. Among SMEs and corporate customers this figure was almost 1.5%.
In Slovenia, almost 43,000 customers actively use Internet banking services, around 40% of all customers, while around 7% of all customers actively use mobile banking services.
In Hungary, e-banking services are used by over 230,000 retail customers (55% of the segment) and enabled for almost 48,000 SMEs and corporate customers (73% of the segment).
In Romania, 18% of customers have activated Internet banking services. Having recorded the biggest growth in active customers per quarter, the biggest increase in transactions and the highest average number of transactions per customer during the year, in 2014 the Romanian bank was awarded a prize for its Internet banking services at the Online Banking Gala organised by local financial magazine FinMedia eFinance.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, 3% of the bank’s active customers use Internet banking and 2% mobile banking. In 2014, the number of e-banking customers grew by over five times and the number of m-banking customers increased by over 35% compared with 2013.
In Croatia, almost 270,000 customers have begun using Internet banking services, over 30,000 of whom in 2014. The local bank has launched new functions, introducing special online offers diversified according to customer segment, and new communication methods (chat/video chat). Mobile banking has been active since 2009 and covers almost all of the Internet banking services; in 2014 an application for mobile phones with the Windows OS was launched. Almost 140,000 customers use this service, over 50,000 of whom since 2014.
In 2014, Privredna Banka Zagreb in Croatia and Privredna Banka Zagreb VÚB Banka in Slovakia and the Czech Republic tested an innovative payment method that makes it possible to make purchases directly from a mobile phone by downloading a special application. In addition, both banks launched another contactless payment method, “Wave 2 Pay Sticker” (a label that contains a chip and an antenna that can be attached to mobile phones), and its application “Wave 2 Pay App” - developed by product company Intesa Sanpaolo Card - , which enable POS terminals to read credit cards just by holding a mobile phone nearby.
1 In Italy, excluding Banca Fideuram.
2 Who have accessed the multi-channel platform at least once
3 Source: “Mobile in my mind, Osservatorio Mobile Banking and ABI Lab, July 2014”
4 Source: “Mobile in my mind, Osservatorio Mobile Banking and ABI Lab, July 2014”.
5 Source: “Audiweb Database, AudiWeb, July 2014”.
6 The CBI Consortium defines, in a cooperative way, the rules and technical and regulatory standards of the “CBI Service", the “CBILL Service" and Access Point services, and manages the technical infrastructure linking consortium members so they can connect and speak with customers electronically, with the goal of achieving interoperability at national and international level, for the supply of the same services. The Italian Banking Association (ABI) and the banks, financial intermediaries and other subjects authorised to operate, on the basis of their national law and European regulations, in the payment services area in Italy and the EU can participate in the Consortium.