Thursday, December 13, 2018
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SBB Magazine 07

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Dear Reader,
In this issue of SBB Magazine, we share key insights and takeaways (pp. 26-45) from all of SME Banking Club’s main events in 2018, involving almost 500 SME bankers and experts
from the regions where we have a presence and generating many fascinating ideas and insights.

For the second year, we devoted a separate panel during our conferences to discussing cooperation models between banks and fintechs. We see that cooperation is evolving in the
CEE region. Alior Bank in Poland opened a special space this September in which, together with startups from the fintech industry, the bank will implement new solutions under its
RBL_START acceleration program (pp. 8-9). This year BGŻ BNP Paribas in Poland implemented a “Code for Cooperation with Startups” – changes that facilitate the Bank’s cooperation with new companies (p.6). Jelena Đurović (Societe Generale Srbija)
contributed to this issue with the bank’s first collaboration experience with a startup when creating an offer for freelancers (pp. 10-12).

The topic of digital transformation in SME Banking is a trendy topic all over the world and a guiding theme through all the articles in this issue. We drew up a Digital Transformation Study with the purpose of analyzing the digital transformation going on in SME Banking as well as digital strategies that banks have launched in the CEE region, thereby providing examples of how banks can digitalize services for their SME customers (p. 5).

Transactional Banking is the main starting point from which banks start their digital transformation. This issue of the magazine contains keynotes from the presentation made by Adam Walendziewski (ING Bank Śląski) during the CEE SME Banking Club Conference 2018 in Warsaw (October 29-30) about the omnichannel digital platform – ING Business – launched for SME, Mid Corp and Wholesale customers in Poland, which covers all banking
services and enables the electronic signing of documents (pp. 34-36). ING Business is an impressive example of the success of the Agile way of working in the bank. It was also implemented in and adapted for the Romanian market (pp. 14-15).

In creating an ecosystem of services which go beyond core banking, banks see an opportunity to obtain new sources of untapped profit and – just as essential – to deepen customer relationships and become an important partner for small businesses. We talked with Piotr Teodorczyk, Director of the Business Customer Department, about how this is done at mBank (Poland) (pp. 18-20).

I am eager to see more examples of digital strategies from the CEE region in 2019 as well as more openness to digitalization and cooperation with startups. Looking forward to it!
I wish you pleasant reading!

Sincerely,
Olena Gryniuk
CEE Regional Director at SME Banking Club

SME Banking Club is an association of business bankers aimed to provide relevant information on what banks and financial companies are offering for entrepreneurs, micro-, small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

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