In a quickly and profoundly changing market, technology is revolutionising banking, calling for increasing levels of flexibility and versatility. Today, the customer experience is formed at all moments and through all points of contact with the bank. The bank is no longer just a physical place the customer enters but a series of services that can be accessed anytime, anywhere. It is the bank that goes to the customer and it is the customer that chooses the type of relationship and the level of service they require.

A multi-channel model is the response to these new requirements: the integration of all channels, physical and virtual, makes it possible to create a continuous bank-customer dialogue and guarantees an excellent experience thanks to the simplification of processes and more efficient and effective communications (see also the chapter “Human Capital - Training” @).

BRANCHES

The branches of Intesa Sanpaolo remain an important part of the distribution network, a physical place where customers can get personal support and assistance, particularly with regard to more complex operations. Given the diversification of solutions across the various channels, local branches must increasingly guarantee a focused, personalised and high value-added service.

In Italy, Intesa Sanpaolo supplies its services via a network of over 4,100 branches distributed throughout the country. The Group also has a selective presence in Central-Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa thanks to around 1,200 branches of its international subsidiaries operating in retail and commercial banking in 11 countries. It also has an international network specialised in providing support to corporate customers in 28 countries.

In Italy, where the Group carries out most of its business, the number of branches has fallen over the years with the banking services made available through other distribution channels. In any case, Intesa Sanpaolo’s presence in the various regions of Italy remains significant, with market shares of at least 12% in most Italian regions.

Updated in December 2015

With the introduction of the new Banca dei Territori Division service model in 2014, operations in the branches were diversified in order to support customers in the best possible way and direct them to the quickest and most suitable channel for their needs. There are now three types of branches in the territory:

  • TRADITIONAL BRANCHES: open until 1 p.m. and equipped with ATMs. At the end of 2015 around 1,500 branches had been converted to this type;
  • HUB BRANCHES: with traditional counter services open all day, self-service staff-assisted interactive banking and ATMs. At the end of 2015 there were around 1,000 branches of this type;
  • ADVISORY POINTS: employees provide advisory services to customers who can also carry out transactions using ATMs. At the end of 2015, 150 branches were already exclusively dedicated to advisory.

The aim is to allow colleagues to dedicate all their experience and energy to providing advisory and specialist support to increasingly demanding customers looking for new solutions to meet their needs.

The branches have also been physically transformed, creating open places for meetings, dialogue, communication and work. The new branch layout received the “Cerchio d’Oro Award for Financial Innovation” from AIFIn for the redesign of the branch model (1st place in the “Distribution channels and customer experience” category). For more information see “Offering a valued service to customers”, Box “The new branch model” [i]) .

Digitalisation of contracts

2015 saw the continuation of the project to digitalise contracts, which introduces a new way of signing documentation for the sale of banking, finance and insurance products and services that eliminates the need to print documents and contracts to send to customers and to file away. In fact, customers can use their tablets to view all of the documents relating to the operations they wish to carry out and can sign them using one of two types of paperless signature: with a regular signature made on an electronic tablet or with a Remote Digital Signature, which can be used by holders of multi-channel contracts that have activated their digital signature certificate (O-Key and PIN). Customers can then view the signed documentation, whenever they want, in their Internet Banking or email accounts.

The contracts and documents relating to numerous bank services, including the ordering of payment cards, services via the Internet, mobile phone and telephone, fund transactions, the purchase of Group bonds, investment certificates, treasury bill auctions and Government bonds, have already been digitalised in all Personal branches and sub-branches and in over 500 Retail branches.

This innovation makes it possible to improve the customer experience, reducing waiting times and simplifying processes. By digitally archiving all investment documents, it is estimated that, when fully functional, this practice will save Intesa Sanpaolo 7-10 million euro a year. The operating risks connected with checking the necessary signatures is also reduced immediately thanks to what is now an automatic procedure, while the ability to trace all contractual documentation is also guaranteed.

In 2015 the initiative received the international EFMA Accenture Innovation Award in the Physical Distribution category.

ATM TERMINALS AND SELF-SERVICE STAFF-ASSISTED BANKING

At the end of 2015 Intesa Sanpaolo had a network of more than 7,000 automated terminals in Italy (ATMs, MTAs and staff-assisted self service points).

Customers are provided with a vast range of services, from withdrawals using all card types to account and card queries, mobile phone top-ups, payment of the most common utility bills and taxes, BEU (Bonifico Europeo Unico – SEPA bank transfer) and the top-up of transport season tickets issued by the main Italian transportation companies (e.g. Mimuovo, ATM Milano, Trenord, GTT Torino). The “Donations” function is active on all ATMs, allowing customers to make donations to the bank’s main partner non-profit associations.

In 2015, the possibility of activating debit, credit and prepaid cards directly from ATMs was introduced, integrating this function with the service already available on the online banking site.

Since 2014 new self-service staff-assisted banking terminals have been installed in bigger branches to meet a number of specific customer requirements. Similar to ATM terminals but always located inside branches, these terminals allow users to make withdrawals, deposits and direct debit payments. There are various advantages to using the self-service terminals: they make it possible to deposit and withdraw large sums of cash (also coins) in quick time, as well as to choose the denomination of the banknotes you want to withdraw. You can also make deposits and withdrawals without using a card thanks to the assistance of an operator, who is available to support customers where necessary.

ON-LINE BRANCH

The On-line Branch operates via 7 branches located across Italy with almost 500 people.

Previously focused on the management of incoming traffic and the service, the On-line Branch has now become a commercial management venue that proposes products and services: operating via direct channels (telephone, chats, video calls, email and social networks), it provides customers with consultancy, making commercial proposals relating to cards, loans and investments. In fact, from late 2014 and throughout all of 2015, a new commercial interaction method, service-to-sale, was developed, with commercial proposals made to customers that call to request assistance. Thanks to Customer Relationship Management systems, the On-line Branch is able to solve customer problems and, at the same time, provide information or propose products. During the year over 6,200 sales of all products were directly finalised. These were joined by the contributions made to the sales of branches, achieved with meetings and quotes finalised by colleagues in branches, with over 23,000 products sold in 2015.

At the end of 2015 the “New Telephone Channel” project was launched for the management of unanswered calls in branches and for 2016 new functionalities in digital channels are in the pipeline.

INTERNET BANKING

Intesa Sanpaolo is the leading multi-channel bank in Italy (services via the Internet, mobile phone and telephone) with around 80% of its products available via the multi-channel platform, and in 2015 it recorded a 50% increase in the number of transactions carried out via direct channels compared with 2014.

In 2014 the “Il Mio Gestore” (‘My Manager’) section was added to the Internet banking home page through which customers can quickly and instantly communicate with the branch, booking and changing meetings or contacting their bank manager directly through the site.

In 2015 Intesa Sanpaolo launched co-browsing, which enables it to provide assistance relating to the browsing of its online services in a completely secure and comprehensive manner. Customers that log onto the website can share the content of their reserved area online with a manager thanks to the “remote assistance” function; the manager, seeing the same screen as the customer, provides operational support on all sections and functionalities and guides the customers in real time and in total security as they carry out their transactions. Intesa Sanpaolo is the first bank in Italy to offer this service.

The bank has also introduced new tools that, thanks to an automated process, allow customers to directly and conveniently acquire credit cards1 and loans via Internet Banking or through remote offers, also using mobile devices. In order to guarantee the safety of online transactions, customers can only carry out operations in their private area and if they are in possession of a valid digital signature certificate.

The key elements of the new card methodology are the automatic checking of the customer’s credit rating and the allocation of a maximum credit limit on the basis of their rating. Intesa Sanpaolo is the only bank in Italy and one of the few in Europe that assesses the credit limit it can offer a customer on an individual basis. New functionalities have also been introduced for the cards that allow customers to directly manage a series of services in the event of urgent or sudden requirements, such as, for example, the need to increase their credit limit during a holiday, cancel a lost card or change its usage settings when abroad.

As regards personal loans, the new credit process logic results in diversified paths and responses according to the customer’s rating and the amount requested, and makes it possible to provide a personal loan in just a few minutes. Before signing the contract, the customer also has the chance to carry out a product simulation and associate an insurance policy connected with the repayment of the debt.

Another important function added to the customer’s home banking site and the bank’s corporate website regards the possibility of carrying out your own mortgage simulations, modifying simple data such as the amount and the length of the loan, and the value of the property. The simulations can be reviewed or saved and used to make an appointment with your manager in a branch.

The Group has also further developed the Masterpass functionality in association with Mastercard, which allows for the digitalisation of payment cards (except for ATM cards) in a virtual wallet which, as well as information on the cards, also contains delivery addresses. Customers can therefore make online purchases with a few simple clicks of their mouse just by accessing their private area and selecting Masterpass as their payment method. This mechanism increases the security of transactions, redirecting payment functionalities to the Bank’s secure servers.

All in all, over 6,800 proposals for remote services (debit cards, prepaid cards, credit cards except for the Platinum card, loans and some investment services) were signed and subscribed to in 2015. “Digital” sales account for 3% of the Cards world and 10% of Per Te Prestito In Tasca loans.

1 With a limit equal to or below 5,000 euro or equal to the amount automatically proposed by the system.

MOBILE BANKING

Intesa Sanpaolo offers mobile banking services through the "La tua banca" app and an optimised mobile site. At the end of 20151, the app had totalled 2.9 million downloads and 1.7 million unique users had logged in (app and mobile site).

A simplified version of the “La tua banca” app is now available for mobile phones that use the Windows Phone operating system.

Group customers can use the app to check their account and card balances and movements, and manage their payment cards (change of Geocontrol profile for use abroad and temporary change of debit and credit card limits), make bank transfers, top-up their mobile phones and prepaid cards, pay bills, consult useful bank phone numbers and get quick access to information services.

In 2015 the Intesa Sanpaolo Group took a significant step forward in terms of electronic payments using mobile phones. In fact, with the introduction of the JiffyPay service, customers can now transfer small sums of money from their smartphone at the speed of an SMS and at no extra cost (no activation charge and no commission for transfers up to 50 euro), simply by choosing the recipient from their address book2. This service is designed to facilitate the transfer of small sums, transactions normally carried out using cash, the added advantage being its immediacy: the money is exchanged in real time, cutting out bank transfer processing times.

Still in the area of Mobile Payments, a new service based on Host Card Emulation (HCE) technology has been introduced that allows card payments to be made using mobile phones in total security. Customers with a next-generation smartphone with NFC (“Near Field Communication”) technology can make near-field payments simply by placing their phones close to contactless POS thanks to the digitalised cards associated with their HCE service profile. The security of the transactions is guaranteed by servers protected with cryptography in which the information related to the cards is stored.

In terms of security, for mobiles with iOS operating systems and biometric sensors it is now possible to access the reserved area of the “La tua Banca” app simply by using fingerprint recognition technology. In this way access is quicker and easier for customers, who don’t always have to carry their username and PIN with them, also eliminating the risk of these credentials being lost.

1 Starting from the publication date of the individual apps in stores.

2 To receive and send money customers have to activate the service on their online banking account or by using the “La tua banca” app. 

“YES, I TAP”

TAP refers to the act of placing an NFC smartphone close to a reader to make a transaction. The “TAP MOB” project was launched with the aim of evaluating the acceptance of Mobile payments and the knowledge of this payment method among store owners, and of enabling employees to experience innovative payment methods in first person. The initiative involved over 150 colleagues for around two months. Organised into 14 teams in 3 cities (Milan, Turin, Rome), the TAP MOB ambassadors went head to head, TAPPING away to see how many purchases they could make with their mobiles. This project enabled the employees involved to promote the service to co-workers and customers and the Bank to get the thoughts of users on this new service. In just two months, between May and July, over 4,300 transactions were made for a total outlay of over 75,000 euro. The TAPS took place in over 1,300 points of sale with 40 new participating stores. The Bank has also developed Wikipayments, an interactive tool to develop a culture around new methods of Mobile payments, created on the basis of the feedback from employees and customers during the project.

MULTI-CHANNEL SERVICES FOR COMPANIES

INBIZ is the name of the tool available to corporate customers for managing their financial, accounting and administrative activities online. Through a single online platform, customers can access the bank’s entire range of services, interfacing with the Intesa Sanpaolo Group’s national and international network, and, in Italy only, also make use of the interbank Corporate Banking services.

The new “Anticipo fatture Italia Web” service (‘Online advance on invoices Italy’) was launched on the portal in 2015 enabling customers to directly manage requests for advances on invoices in euro issued to debtors based in Italy. Also launched was “Inbiz Trade Services”, an innovative service to carry out trading activities in Italy and abroad with regard to the management of credit and import/export documents against payment, domestic and international guarantees.

Customers that use Inbiz service can access a set of mobile functions from the M-site portal. Completely free of charge, the service makes it possible to manage the authorisation and delivery of flows, to view account transactions and the results of submitted orders, and provides an overview of liquidity. It also makes it possible to find your nearest branch or ATM.

Since the end of 2015 Kiara Cloud, a software and hardware package – customisable for the fashion, catering and fast-moving consumer goods categories - designed to manage the business of SMEs, as well as the specific needs of small-scale professionals, has also been available. Thanks to this package, customers have an innovative point of sale equipped with an advanced cash register with all necessary functions for sales and the centralised control of their stores. Kiara Cloud is associated with the mobile POS for transactions made with payment cards.

Web Platforms for Businesses

Intesa Sanpaolo wanted to exploit the potential of the Web to allow Italian companies to develop their business and take advantage of new development opportunities. To this end, partnerships and collaborations were launched with numerous counterparties in 2015 and various digital business matching platforms were made available.

PlatformFunctions2015 Results
Tech-Marketplace @ Platform developed by Intesa Sanpaolo that promotes interaction between start-ups, Tech SMEs and businesses, helping to match the supply and demand of technological innovation with the goal of fostering partnerships, business agreements and acquisitions. With regard to businesses, it supports the exploration of technologies and new solutions for their business challenges. For start-ups and SMEs that supply technology, it facilitates the search for potential stakeholders within a select network.

In 2015 Intesa Sanpaolo received over 5,000 contracts signed by Business and SME customers. At 31 December 2015, the platform had over 5,000 Businesses on the demand side and over 500 profiles of domestic and international start-up and Tech SME technology suppliers, segmented into around a dozen different sectors including energy, software, telecommunications, transport, agri-food and fashion.
The platform is co-promoted as part of the “Una Crescita Possibile” (Together for Growth) agreement with Confindustria Piccola Industria.

(* See also “Financial Capital”, “Agreements and solutions for business growth” chapter @).

Opportunity Network @   Allows companies from any sector and country to confidentially share business opportunities with select company partners at international level. The aim is to foster development opportunities abroad, attracting investment and identifying new business partners. Intesa Sanpaolo is the only partner bank in Italy. The platform registers a daily business countervalue of 66 million dollars with the presence of companies from 75 countries. At 31/12/2015, over 2,300 Intesa Sanpaolo business customers had subscribed with over 1,200 connections and various successful case studies.
Created in Italia @   E-commerce portal created by Intesa Sanpaolo. Promotes Italian excellence in the food and tourism sectors. It enables the Bank’s business customers to take advantage of a space for visibility and promotion on the national and international digital markets, in both Italian and English, for the publication of information and multimedia content on their activities. The initiative is aimed at leading companies in the sectors of Italian excellence: food, fashion and design. At the end of 2015 it contained a catalogue of almost 2,300 Italian food and tourism products that could be purchased online, had 25,428 registered users and had registered 185,000 euro of transactions. In 2015 a partnership was forged with Mercato Metropolitano - a company involved in the distribution of top-quality Italian culinary products - that will make it possible to combine its online presence with a physical presence (promotion and sale of Created in Italia products in Mercato Metropolitano sites).

During Expo Milano 2015, Intesa Sanpaolo was the only bank to sponsor Expo Business Matching, an online platform promoted by the Milan Chamber of Commerce, Promos, Fiera di Milano and Pricewaterhouse Coopers to foster B2B matching processes and the development of networking between Italian and international businesses. It also supported the Digital Solution for Smart Cities platform in association with Marker, XYZ Architects and Accademia di Belle Arti Aldo Galli - IED Como to promote “digital” initiatives aimed at young creatives from all over the world, with the aim of promoting artistic talent applied to the major challenge of smart cities.

SKILLS4BUSINESS

A training programme for business customers supplied via a dedicated web platform @, Skills4Business seeks to support companies in their strategic choices, transferring to them knowledge in multiple areas, such as internationalisation, the digital world, efficiency projects and the growth of new markets and sectors. Developed via Intesa Sanpaolo Formazione, the programme offers customisable solutions that can be used by small and larger businesses alike.

There are currently two training courses available to companies:

  • Think International”, focused on internationalisation issues and aimed at introducing entrepreneurs to new business areas, enabling them to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to project themselves into the international arena;
  • Think Digital”, in partnership with Netcomm, the Italian Consortium of Electronic Commerce, which brings together the most important companies in the sector. The training course, which will involve two thousand companies, is designed to assist them in their strategic decisions, providing them with the necessary skills to innovate in the area of products and processes, to grow in new markets and sectors, and to develop e-commerce projects, managing all of their various aspects, from strategic decisions to planning, management to logistics, including all legal aspects as regards online sales.

MULTI-CHANNEL SERVICES IN THE INTERNATIONAL SUBSIDIARY BANKS

In order to fully implement the goals of the Business Plan, the DigiCal (“digital channels + physical branches”) programme was developed, which seeks to strengthen the integration between the physical and the digital channel in order to provide Retail and Small Business customers of the International Subsidiary Banks with a new way of accessing products and services and getting in contact with the bank. The programme seeks to provide a standardised and unique product range to customers of the subsidiaries and help the banks to improve their digitalisation model.

Digical involves the introduction of new distribution channels based on new technologies (Internet banking and Mobile Banking App); the creation of new digital expertise in traditional channels, such as the Digital Desk used by affluent managers and the Digital Posters for the promotion of bank products and services in branch waiting areas; an increase in the number of products and services dedicated to old and new digital customers.

The following results were achieved in 2015:

  • Internet banking: launch of a pilot at Alexbank;
  • Mobile Banking: launch of a pilot platform at CIB Bank;
  • Digital Posters: introduced at Privredna Banka Zagreb;
  • Digital Desks: introduced at Privredna Banka Zagreb.

As regards the local initiatives of the International Subsidiary Banks, Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania launched a new Mobile Banking platform in February 2015 which was integrated with additional functionalities in May (payment of electricity bills). The bank also measured the satisfaction level of its customers via its Call Centre, registering good results.

In 2015 Banca Intesa Beograd, already active in the digital channels for years, introduced new methods of customer authentication (mToken and one time passwords1 via SMS). It also launched a completely new version of its mobile application (m-suite), which offers the same functionalities as internet banking. During the year the number of mobile transactions carried out trebled, coming to a total value of almost 100 million euro. The bank recorded a growth in both retail customers and companies registered and active in the e-banking area, as well as an increase in the transactions (number and value) carried out online.

Croatian bank Privredna Banka Zagreb is particularly active in the digital channels. In 2015 almost 30,000 customers activated its online services, around 10% of all customers with an Internet banking contract. The bank improved the security systems for online transactions and introduced new functionalities, including an innovative micro-deposit system (e-Kasica) that enables customers to develop money-saving habits in a simple, automatic and customised way. As regards mobile banking, the application was also made available for mobile phones with the Windows system. Over 60,000 new mobile customers were registered in 2015, around 34% of all of the bank’s customers in this segment. The "Wave 2 Pay Sticker” initiative also continued. This new contactless payment solution consists of a label containing a chip and an antenna that can be applied to Android, iOS and Windows mobile phones; almost twice as many customers activated this functionality compared with 2014. The subsidiary also continued to pilot another innovative form of contactless payment that allows customers to make purchases directly from their mobile phones by downloading a special application through which they can securely access their credit cards, which are saved in a virtual wallet.

Another bank that focuses closely on the digital channels is VÚB Banka. In 2015 the Slovakian subsidiary launched the “iAdvisor” programme, which involves the appointment of “digital ambassadors” in branches (at least one per branch) whose role it is to explain the nature and benefits of online services (mobile banking and digital payments) to customers and teach them how to use them in their everyday lives, beginning with the installation of the applications on their mobiles. The digital ambassadors have a smartphone and receive dedicated updates and training. The online sale of pre-approved consumer credit also began in 2015: customers create the product on their tablet, choosing the various parameters to apply (sum, duration etc.) and approve the purchase with a digital signature. The process is speeded up in this way, customers are more involved and paper savings are also made. Given the encouraging results of the pilot project, the functionality was also extended to mobile banking. VÚB Banka is also the first subsidiary to have developed InBiz, the corporate business banking platform already available to business customers in Italy, at local level. The platform enables Slovakian corporate customers to directly access the Group’s international services via a modern and easier to use interface. The pilot phase began in late 2015 and the migration of the bank’s 3,000 corporate customers is expected to be concluded in 2016.

1 Password valid for just a single access session or transaction.