In September 2012, we launched a new series of short interviews, ‘5 Questions on Digital Innovation‘, where we will follow up with the most innovative thought leaders from the global financial services industry. For our second edition, we questioned a Spanish bank which has been pushing the digital innovation envelope for years, “La Caixa”.
Earlier this month, we covered the latest innovative initiative from “La Caixa”: ‘La Caixa Launches First ‘Social Networking’ Service For Private AND Personal Banking Customers‘.
I was curious to find out more about the adoption and usage rates of those new online tools, and what lied behind the concept of ‘Wall’ presented as a ‘social network’ for both private and personal banking customers.
So about ten days ago, I sent a few questions to my friend Xavier Bermudez – Social Media Strategist at “la Caixa”. Thanks to Xavier’s help, I received an email from the bank’s Corporate Communications and External Affairs department with some answers as well as a number of pdf documents on their latest digital initiatives.
I am sharing all those info with you in this article.
1. Could you please share with us your latest stats on “la Caixa”’s online/mobile/social activity?
The bank’s extensive range of services and its long-term commitment to innovation and developing new services has placed “la Caixa” amongst the leading international operators in innovation. As a result, “la Caixa” was recognised in 2011 as the world’s most innovative bank at the Global Banking Innovation Awards, a prize that 200 banks in 40 countries aspired to win.
“la Caixa” keeps a leading position in online banking through Línea Abierta (with 8.6 million customers), mobile banking (more than 2.6 million customers, the highest number of financial service users in Spain, and one million monthly users of mobile banking services) and electronic banking (12.5 million cards in circulation),
“la Caixa” is also active in the main social media, with around 3.75 million video views in YouTube, 29,000 followers on Twitter and 127,000 likes on the Facebook fan page. In addition, “la Caixa” has profiles in Linkedin, Flicker, Pinterest and Google +, as well as a blog offering corporate info.
In 2011, “la Caixa” developed online communities which use is exclusive for customers. Firstly, “la Caixa” launched the Online Community CaixaEmpresa, which enables small businesses and freelance workers to contact each other for work purposes. In 2012, “la Caixa” has developed a new model for interacting with private and personal banking customer using social network models.
2. Could you talk us through your latest key initiatives and main achievements in the digital space?
See attached information about:
- Massive contactless payment system roll out (download pdf)
- Private and personal banking new model for interacting with customers (download pdf)
- New mobile banking applications and statistics (download pdf)
3. Could you please share with us your latest stats on your ‘new services’ (including ‘the Wall’) quoted in my recent article?
Since the launch of the “Wall”, 7,000 customers have used it and stats of use are increasing around 20% weekly.
4. What is behind your concept of ‘Wall’? Can clients interact with each other? Is there some kind of public element to the conversations?
The “Wall” is a space where conversations can be held with asset managers (via written messages or videocalls) and where customers can be provided with new investment suggestions and customised portfolio tracking reports, as well as other items of interest. The interaction can only be viewed by the customer and asset manager, providing all the confidentiality and security that comes with “la Caixa”’s online channels.
5. How important is video technology in your customer engagement strategy?
“la Caixa” uses new technologies to provide increasingly customised Private Banking and Personal Banking services and it includes video-calling services. Customers can contact to their asset manager through video-calling in order to keep in touch and discuss investment proposals or new services.
And when I asked “la Caixa” what type of digital innovations we could expect from them in 2013: “we will keep you informed!”.
Unarguably, there is nothing totally ground-breaking here. But I believe the sheer amount and the broad range of digital innovations still put “la Caixa” among the most innovative banks in Europe.
So, what do you think of “la Caixa”‘s recent innovations in the digital space? Which one do you find the most exciting? Which one has the best potential? Can the concept of “Wall” even work? Does it even address a need from the market?
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