The terms 'innovation' and 'digital' are not synonymous, but almost. In the financial industry, innovation is concentrated in the development of digital banking. The Innovation centre of Bankinter responds to the new challenges of the sector from three angles:
Acquire a better understanding of the client's relationship with technology (what the client whats and how) to offer them appropriate services. The technological revolution and changes to consumer behaviour, for which there is much more information and possibilities than before, require new entities to have certain operational guidelines. Bankinter not only bases its innovation projects around products but also around solutions (e.g. digital wallet or software applications).
Generate more efficiency in the organisation. This entails offering the same services at a lesser cost. This is the case, for example, with the biometrical digital signature project set up by Bankinter. The platform allows customers to digitally sign contracts using a touch-screen device and simultaneously create an electronic copy of a legally protected contract for it to be sent to head office. The new system simplifies procedures, saves time and eliminates administrative costs.
Find new business models, as it is the case of COINC. Bankinter's Innovation Centre analyses existing business models that are threatened by increasing regulatory requirements, new customer demands and the emergence of new technological players. It then proposes new ways to generate values. The key to innovation is not so much about having ideas, but rather translating them into sustainable business sources and anticipating major changes faced by the financial industry.
Together with these guidelines, the Innovation Centre analyses certain problems or challenges that are specific to the organisation, which it then works on in collaboration with the implicated departments in order to find a solution from an innovative perspective.
During 2015, a major portion of the Innovation Centre's resources were used to develop the Coinc project, a new financial product launched in 2012, and which has had a large impact in the Spanish market. The challenge is to transform COINC, which was born as a saving product, into a complete digital platform for financial services. In this regard, not only can COINC customers save using the system of targets, as they have done up until now, but they also have the possibility to access preauthorised loans, which are immediately granted, and to get discounts on online purchases (e.g. with Amazon or businesses that are members of the COINC club, such as Booking.com, Fnac or Expedia.es).
Other news from 2015 includes the creation of COINC Junior, which promotes saving for children and young people, and an update to the website's interface, both for desktop computers and smartphones/tablets, which revolve around the idea of simplifying account management actions and facilitating operations.
In 2016, COINC will provide its customers with the ability to manage their day-to-day expenditure, allowing for the direct payment of credit cards and bills. Furthermore, this will include a payment method, based on both a physical card and on smartphone. Throughout the year it will continue with its modernisation strategy, based around customers' facilities via the internet and mobile apps.
COINC it constitutes the spearhead of the bank's digitalisation model. Its development is implicating an important technological effort, which is also useful for other initiatives of the Bank.
The results of this commitment to enrich the project are very encouraging. In 2015, around 1,000 million euros were managed through COINC, which represents a growth of 47% with respect to 684 million euros in 2014. The growth in the number of customers was also very remarkable. Registered users rose from 60,583 to 84,000, which means an increase of 37%.
Together with COINC, the Innovation Centre of Bankinter gave priority to two other projects in 2015:
Mobile digital wallet solutions.Bankinter used the experience of the Mobile Virtual Card, launched in 2014, to continue investing in search for m-wallet solutions (purse or mobile wallet), in which it was somewhat a pioneer in Spain, allowing users to make payments for day-to-day items with their phones. For 2016, the m-wallet will allow for users to pay for purchases via the application with debit or credit cards, make payments between people. manage advanced notifications or receive a wide range of discounts with their mobile phone. The company considers these solutions to be strategic for its business. To develop these solutions and preserve their innovation projects, Bankinter has started to protect its know how and has already been granted a patent related to 'contactless' mobile payments and online payments.
Mobile services for customers. The intention it is to improve customers' relationships with the bank, adapting the mobile offer to new consumer demands, such as through specific software applications. In 2015, Bankinter launched a renewed and advanced version of its mobile bank service, designed especially to make good use of all the technological potential of new smart phones and tablets. The objective it is to optimise customers' experiences so that they can monitor their personal finances in real time, no matter where they are. A groundbreaker in Europe, Bankinter has offered a service for financial and stock market operations via mobile phone since 2005. In this period, the number of users of the service has not stopped growing and now, among those customers that are active online, has a penetration of 38.8%. In 2015, Bankinter increased its mobile banking user base by 9% with respect to the previous year, amounting to 172,824 active customers.