Efficiency and innovation, Spanish banks priority objectives to confront the crisis

Technology and multichannelness as tools in seeking efficiency like the Holy Grail. This may be the main conclusion reached by the different financial institutions attending the New Banking and Insurance Techniques seminar organized by SOCINFO and sponsored by Latinia last Wednesday in Madrid. It was also attended by representatives of Grupo Banco Popular, Bankinter, Rural de Servicios Informáticos (RSI), Seguros Santa Lucía and the Treasury Department who acted as speakers.

Enrique Martínez, Director of Mobile Banking of Grupo Banco Popular went over the institution’s experience in its commitment toward the mobile channel. He stressed the importance of integrating it with the rest of the media and channels, its potential as a catalyzer of business initiatives, as leverage for innovation, its contribution to the bank’s trading account earnings or its use as a generator of alliances with third parties. Martínez went over the fork of mobile solutions offered by his institution that he broke down into: Mobile Portal, SMS Services, Mobile Marketing and special actions with special mention of adaptation of the bank’s mobile portal to the iPhone. He equally insisted “on the respect” toward the customer as an indissociable component for the success of mobile initiatives “without forgetting the importance of integrating them with the bank’s CRM strategy”. Lastly, he stated that “the SMS services are the mainstay of a mobile channel at a bank as this is a service with popularity, and it is valued extraordinarily (8.26 out of 10 in a recent survey commissioned by the bank), with a short-term clear profit.”

David Villaseca, Technology Manager for Bankinter, especially insisted on multiplying efforts with efficiency as the focus for surpassing the current situation “going from a squared to a cubed efficiency”. He specified three keys for surviving the current “turbulent” situation: flexibility, reliability, and the ability to differentiate itself “without losing sight of innovation as an irreplaceable pillar in the quest for differentiation as a competitive tool, not to mention talent and effort as the means for overcoming the crisis”.

Oriol Ros, CMO for Latinia, laid out the new “conversation” communication formulas that are emerging among the users (and consumers) at the dawn of the arrival of 2.0 tools “much more than simple channels of communication, veritable socializing items where the company’s role will be key. At the same time, there will be an excellent opportunity to learn more about and better what its customers think and need. It entails an authentic exercise of tyranny transparency for financial institutions that must accept the challenge of a new playing field with new rules, aligned and in accordance with their customers’ desire to talk to them”.

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