The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the development of mobile channels and changed SME & Corporate banking. Bank customers expect convenience and speed in handling banking products. As part of the digital transformation, BNP Paribas Bank identifies key customer needs and their ways of using remote banking.
Paweł Jaszewski, Director of Business Transformation and Digitalization Bureau at BNP Paribas Bank Polska, shared their latest implementation for SME customers.
‘By implementing new solutions, we co-create them with our customers. We use, among others, User Experience Design. Similarly, we also adjust the directions of our activities, based on the feedback received from our customers thanks Agile feedback loops. The flagship result of our work is the online eApplication platform, which provides the possibility to apply digitally for Bank’s products’– says Paweł Jaszewski.
‘The platform transfers the most important contacts between SMEs and corporate clients with the Bank to the digital dimension. Bank constantly enhances the self-service zone in our online banking platform (GOonline Biznes) that now gives business customers the possibility e.g. to open an account or add a new system user purely online. GOonline Biznes provides online access to all products, regardless of whether we are talking about transaction banking or loans’ – adds Paweł Jaszewski.
OMNICHANNEL IS A RIGHT DIRECTION
Customers can use various access channels and choose the most convenient ones. BNP Paribas customers (users of the GOonline Biznes platform) received access to leasing products, and access to factoring products is on the way.
GOonline Biznes platform enables a direct (host-to-host) connection of the entrepreneurs’ financial and accounting systems with the bank’s system. The Bank is going towards the connection of three worlds: mobile, online, and direct host-to-host integration.
‘Online banking became the main channel for SME and corporate customers, but so far it concerned mainly daily banking operations (transfers, statements, FX transactions, etc.). On the other hand, when opening a relationship with a bank, applying for a loan, adding a new product, customers used to handle the formalities mainly during face-to-face meetings’ – admits Paweł Jaszewski.
The pandemic significantly accelerated the digitization of these processes. It turned out, for example, that in the process of establishing a relationship with a corporate customer, you no longer need five face-to-face meetings, for which sometimes you had to travel a total in total of several hundred kilometers.
Digitization has an important ecological impact. Bank does not have to print offers and documentation. The terms of cooperation are therefore established online using generally available video platforms. Customers provide all data and documents via the electronic platform and finally can sign all necessary documents in an electronic form. As BNP Paribas Bank is a bank of green changes, it places even more emphasis on a positive impact on the environment.
In the fourth quarter of 2020, over 80 percent of new SME and Corporate customers started cooperating with the bank using the application platform (online channel). The same percentage of loan applications from business customers were submitted electronically.
‘The change is significant. Previously, in the case of corporate and SME customers, establishing a relationship with the bank without personal contact was not possible, moreover, from the research we conducted, such options were not positively perceived by both customers and bank sales employees’ – says Paweł Jaszewski.
It’s worth mentioning that in the process of establishing a relationship with the customer and remote after-sales service, the Bank’s cooperation with Autenti – a platform that provides a digital signature, plays an important role.
On the one hand, SMEs and corporate customers expect banking to be as easy as for individual customers, but at the same time, they realize that the products they need are much more complicated, so they expect an individual approach and sometimes direct contact.
‘This contact is necessary in critical moments, such as, for example, submitting complaints or building structured transactions. Business customers will not talk to a bot, because it may, for example, be an issue with an urgent transfer to an important tender’ – emphasizes Paweł Jaszewski.
Therefore, BNP Paribas Bank Polska chose a hybrid model of digitization. Digitization and automation are selective and applied to selected processes that will bring value to customers.
The bank invests not only in IT but also in employees because their support will always be needed in critical moments.
For retail clients offer of non-banking value added service from a bank is important. They are also appreciated by micro-companies, but for bigger SMEs and corporate customers, it is less important.
‘This group of customers primarily expects a comprehensive range of financial solutions (including leasing, factoring, and car fleet management). On the other hand, SME and Corporate customers are not willing to buy services completely unrelated to financial services from banks’ – explains Paweł Jaszewski.
However, there are exceptions. Bank offers its customers Autenti service, which customers often use – ‘it’s a complimentary service, because it relates to both relationship with the Bank and with the trust. So, we focus on additional services, but strictly financial ones’ – sums up Paweł Jaszewski.
Source: Bank’s materials, Bank’s website
Additionally on the topic:
See the Rating of the Best Online Banking solutions for SMEs in the CEE region in 2020 and get to know the winners of CEE SME Banking Awards 2020