Idebank: Danske Bank Leverages Facebook to Improve its Mobile Banking Application

Last week, I caught up with Thomas Heilskov, Manager Group Online Communications at Danske Bank. Thomas made me aware of Danske Bank’s latest initiative in the social media space: Danske Idebank on facebook. I invite you to watch the interview I shot with Thomas a couple of months ago about Danske Bank’s social media strategy.

Danske Bank Idebank: Improving the Bank’s Mobile Banking Solution
Once more, Danske bank demonstrates its commitment to be a better bank, more engaging and more transparent. In this case, the Danish bank wants to improve its mobile banking solution based on their customer feedback. It seems like banks are really starting to leverage crowdsourcing to design their mobile banking apps: check Webank’s innovative Wepad Project which involves public brainstorming sessions and customer input. Please note that the initiative is limited in time, facebook users have until mid March to submit their ideas and suggestions. DanskeBank-Idebank-Facebook-Tab

Please find more info on Danske Bank’s mobile banking offering (source: YouTube):
“With Danske Bank’s Mobile Banking application, you can keep track of the economy with a single click on your iPhone, iPod touch, or IPAD. For example you can check your accounts, transfer money and convert amounts to more than 25 currencies. The application can also help you find the nearest ATM, branch and contact us.” Please find below an extract of the Terms & Conditions of Idebank: “Danske idebank is developed by Danish Bank A/S and found on the Danish Bank A/S’s Facebook page. The purpose of idea bank is to get input and ideas for improvements and / or new products and services from anyone who may have something to say.” 

a Facebook Only Initiative: Tab, Application, Blog, Videos
DanskeBank-Idebank-ApplicationI love that the bank identified facebook as the best vehicle for this initiative. It includes a dedicated tab “Danske Idebank” and facebook application “Idebank” including a blog and a few videos.

DanskeBank-Facebook-IdebloggenThe blog section contains just a few posts so far, all written by Esben Torpe Jørgensen, Consultant – Online Channels at Danske Bank Group.

Structured Data & Interactive Display
Two of the key challenges of social media and UGC are getting rid of “the noise”, the vast amount of unstructured data, and identity who the contributors really are. Danske Bank has invited users to submit their ideas using one of the four available categories:
Features (136)
Design (14)
Information (33)
Other (20)

The bank did a good job with only 20 ideas in the “Other” section. Equally critical for a user is the ability to find the relevant piece of information and display the result in an easy, interactive and relevant way. Here the bank gives four options to sort the ideas already submitted:
* Most popular
* Most commented
* Most recent
* Ideas from my friends (my favourite option!)

Activity & Usage In its first few weeks, Idebank has generated a good level of activity and usage. It is a good experiment which already generated a good level of involvement. DanskeBank-Facebook-ActivityPlease find below a few stats: * 9,950+ monthly active users * 2,000+ votes * 169 ideas * 128 comments

Urging Facebook Users to Contribute & Share their Ideas
The best element of this initiative is that Danske Bank gives the power to its customers and offers a platform to share their thoughts and opinions in a very open way. Again, from About and Terms & Conditions:

“Come with your idea: What do mobile bank could? Danske Idebank is your opportunity to come up with good ideas for improvements to our mobile banking. Is there anything we can do better, or if you miss a certain function?”

DanskeBank-Facebook-Top3IdeasHere, the REWARD for the contributors consists essentially of: * getting some visibility on the Danske Bank facebook page (for the top 3 contributors, cf left handside), and * getting to influence product development.

Top 3 ideas so far:
* easy access to balance
* registration for PBS
* GPS tagging of my expenses

Questions to the Top Contributor
DanskeBank-Facebook-IdeaI’d like to focus on the contributor with the top rated idea so far, Jacob Høffer Larsen. Last week, I contacted Jacob who accepted to answer a few questions on Idebank.

* how did you hear about idebank? I heard about it from “offline” friends, but also there have been banners on facebook and in the newspapers. Also I can see that friends on facebook is using idebank.

* are you a Danske Bank customer? Yes I have been a customer my entire life

* would such an initiative increase your propensity to become client or recommend the bank to your friends? The idebank is about new ideas for the mobile app, which Im very satisfied with. That app would be a reason for me to recommend the bank to my friends. Also I think that idebank makes Danske Bank look more transparent and honest. Instead of making nonsense push marketing, they here connect with me in a more intelligent way. This means that the balance of power between them and me is more equal. I get the feeling that I help them, and humans like to help other, so I get a positive feeling about Danske Bank. I feel that they listen and are innovative.

* what do you think of the facebook application? I think the facebook application is very professional and have a good user interface.

* what compelled you to take part and spend time sharing your ideas on the platform? The reason I participated with an Idea is that Im very pleased with the mobile app that Danske Bank has, and therefore have a positive feeling about Danske Bank. Also I think it is a very good idea to involve the users in innovation generally, so I wanted to take part. Some I also have a competitive feeling about it, and wanted to see if I could come up with an good idea that others would like.

* how happy are you to do that on facebook? Im happy to do this on Facebook because Im used to facebook. Some people might not see facebook as a serious platform for a Bank, but I think it is a good think to meet the customers in there natural surroundings.

* any suggestions to improve the interface / initiative? I think it would be even better if “Danske Bank” also commented on the ideas. They could tell us if the ideas are possible from their view. The might do that when the time has ran out – if not it is a big mistake and the project might lose some of its credibility! A big thanks again to Jacob for taking the time to contribute. Jacob (@jhlarsen on twitter) is currently writing his master thesis on “how to implement crowdsourcing/open innovation” with which is a danish consultancy firm that focus on how to make businesses social.

YouTube Video Introducing Idebank Danske Idebank: Mød udviklerne I like the simple, clear, video description and call to action: “Meet the developers to work on ideas from Danish idea bank. See more”

My Take
Leveraging social media, in this case Facebook, should be essentially about engaging  with your community and sustaining meaningful conversations with your members, not just launching a short term PR 2.0 campaign “a la NAB’s the Break Up” with limited interaction with your customers, or limited relationship to your brand “a la BNP Paribas Net on facebook” where the French bank essentially give away cinema tickets on one of its main official page.

Danske Bank has chosen one of the best ways to leverage its page: mobile banking is still cool, innovative, and customers are enthusiastic. The feedback is not a concern because it doesn’t involve products, and it gives the bank a unique opportunity to identify its key advocates, its most passionate and influential customers about mobile and innovation, and build relationships with them. This is an excellent experiment, just like ASB Bank’s Virtual Branch on facebook or Webank’s crodwsourcing Wepad Project. I can’t wait to find out more about the results and get hold of some of the insights from those three innovative initiatives.

Even though the Danish bank has generated a good volume of activity, it has also experienced first hand two key challenges which limitated its success:
* too much visibility for the early contributors which made it difficult for new contributors to join the top 3,
* the lack of proper REWARD which impacted the propensity of the contributors to spread the word around them and urge their contacts to participate As usual, the more visibility you give to the idea the more votes they’ll get. There is a clear advantage to be one of the first contributors. It happens again and again, for instance to the passionate marathon runners who contributed to the Standard Chartered UAE “Go The Distance” story campaign, or to the new active members of Bank of America’s smallbusiness online community. I can’t wait to see how the bank will leverage those input, how quickly they will implement some of the best recommendations, and explain why they can’t implement some of those favourite ideas (after all, the bank has its limitation too). Also, once the initiative is closed I wonder what will happen to the tab. Will the tab disappear like Citibank US’s Holiday tab which also contained some user content? Will the bank redesign the tab to focus on the key results like Chase Community Giving did with their “Chase Giving tab”? I’d love to see them using the same approach to start gathering customer feedback on a financial product or a service such as online banking or e-statements. To be continued. Don’t hesitate to call me (0044 7736 446 357), send me an email (, or DM me (@Visible_Banking).

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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