Banco Sabadell Turns its Homepage into a Giant iPad

Last night I received a DM from one of my good spanish friends, Pol Navarro – Senior Director, Head of Direct Channels and Innovation at Banco Sabadell“Hey Chris, did you check the video at our homepage? Opinion?”.

So today I checked Banco Sabadell’s homepage only to find this:
Rather surprising design for a bank’s homepage, isn’t it?

Straight away, I though about the time, a few years ago, when I was heading up the online sales team at Lloyds TSB Consumer Banking in the UK.

Anyone who has been in charge of online marketing or online sales via a bank’s prospect site would know how valuable every single inch of the homepage is. I remember internal departments fighting to get some premium presence on this almighty web page reached by millions of people every month.

This layout is a fantastic statement of the growing importance of the remote channels. We all know that most retail banks aim to provide a customer experience as good as the likes of Apple or Amazon. 😉 But rare are the banks which would give so much exposure to their remote banking services. Only a highly innovative bank like Banco Sabadell could come up with such a move. Congrats to Pol and his team.

I’d like to point out the promotion of the bank’s social media presence on facebook, twitter. youtube and flickr. It is easy to have some kind of presence on facebook or twitter. It requires more effort to produce content and engage with your audience. And it is important to give those channels more visibility on your own online and offline assets.

I’m loving the fact that the landing page includes a live twitter feed from one of Banco Sabadell’s official twitter accounts @BancoSabadell, their account dedicated to customer support (in our top 10 most followed accounts in Spain).

On that topic, we are now tracking over 50 accounts dedicated to customer support on twitter as part of our Visible Banking Twitter Watch series (1,550+ accounts from 72 countries).

Please note that Banco Sabadell is one of the only banks in the world toprovide 24/7 customer support on twitter.

My Take
This is an excellent move from BS. And when you know that the bank’s homepage attracts 7 million unique visitors every month… I wonder how big the impact will be on the adoption and usage of their online and mobile banking offerings from their existing clients, and client acquisition.

By the way I invite you to read my post from last week about the brilliant mobile app launch from FNB in South Africa. Many South African are thinking of switching to FNB thanks to the overall extremely positive (and visible) comments from their customers and the lack of innovation from the other banks…

And going back to Banco Sabadell, it is not just a marketing / brand move unlike most of the recent activity in the social media and mobile space likethis intiative or that one.

Pol and his team started to experiment and find engaging ways to leverage the remote channels. Back in 2007, they formalized a collaboration with IBM with the late Banco Sabadell Labs (which because launched too early didn’t really materialize), in the last few years they successfully built several online communities on twitter and facebook, they communicate about their press releases essentially via a blogging platform, in March 2011 they launched a helpful PFM service, in April 2011 they leveraged foursquare to give more exposure to the prestigious tennis open tournament hosted by BS in Barcelona

And in terms of mobile banking, Banco Sabadell and Pol’s team have also been pretty busy lately: back in April 2010, they became one of the first European banks to launch dedicated iPhone and iPad apps, and in January 2011 Banco Sabadell became the 1st European bank to add a remote deposit cheque capture functionality to its iPhone and Android apps (USAA has been offering this service since Q3 2009).

Currently Banco Sabadell’s remote channels are experiencing a all-time peak in terms of usage: the bank says that 80% of customer operations are currently carried out via remote banking. Of this figure, 15% of customers access their accounts via the different mobile phone channels.

This is outstanding. So what is your mobile banking strategy? And what is the level of your penetration and usage rates among your customer base?
If I were you, I would think about launching innovative apps not necesserarly offering the standard and basic online banking features, but apps being helpful to your clients and your prospects. On that topic I very much look forward to checking out the brand new iPad app for prospects Webank is about to launch following their successful crowdsourcing experiment “the Wepad project“. You want to find out more about this new app, check my video with Carlo Panella, Webank’s Head of Sales.

Check out the video published by Banco Sabadell two days ago to support this push: “Esto no es banca a distancia, es llevar tu banco contigo.

What do you think?

Written by Christophe Langlois

Based in London for almost a decade, Christophe is an entertaining fintech marketing keynote speaker and a trusted advisor to the global financial services industry on the topics of digital marketing, innovation and B2B social media.

Christophe has contributed to over 140 events in 18 countries.

Currently, Christophe is advising a number of fintech startups on marketing and growth hacking and he is the Chief Marketing Officer of The Fintech Power 50, an exclusive annual programme helping fintech scale-ups to accelerate their growth globally.

Christophe's views on are his own.

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