PERSPECTIVES


How social media can offer a more interactive banking experience

Benjamí Puigdevall shares the great success CaixaBank has had with reaching younger, digital savvy customers through their launch of Linea Abierta.

Benjamí Puigdevall, general manager of electronic channels at Spain-based CaixaBank, explains how the bank is appealing to its large digital savvy customer base via its Línea Abierta solution on Facebook. CaixaBank is the winner of the 2013 Efma Accenture Distribution & Marketing Innovation Awards in the Global Innovator category.*

I understand CaixaBank has had great success reaching younger, digital savvy customers with their launch of Linea Abierta. Could you tell us more about it?

Línea Abierta on Facebook is a home banking app which allows clients to carry out their banking queries and transactions in a more visual, interactive and agile way. They can do this via a navigable dashboard which is integrated into the social network.

Clients can understand their account information at a glance and can also make basic transactions, all from a single page. They can also personalize their debit cards using photos from their Facebook profile; and make micro-donations, quickly and easily, to charities run by CaixaBank Welfare Projects.

What prompted you to create this program?

The proliferation of social media made us rethink the way we reach out to our clients. We had to reach customers where they spend most of their time and improve their digital and social network experiences with la Caixa. Línea Abierta on Facebook was born from an idea put forward by one of our employees as a means to achieve this objective and broaden the contact channels we have with our clients, while offering them innovative services.

Can you provide details about implementing the solution?

Línea Abierta on Facebook is a complex project as there are many factors in play such as security, established limits, the log-on as well as accounts/card/receipts services, and transactional features. This involves a transversal collaboration of a number of departments within la Caixa, and took us one year to develop.

What’s the next step for this solution?

Other developments include: prepaid mobile phone top-ups for LKXA clients; carrying out payments between friends; and being able to check points earned in the CaixaBank loyalty program ‘Puntos Estrella’.

If you could point to one thing that has made this innovation successful, what would it be?

The biggest thing that has made the innovation successful is the paradigm of going and finding our clients proactively wherever they are and offering them the most used financial services without needing them to stop their experience inside Facebook. This project is a big and important step forward in our multi-channel strategy.

The biggest thing that has made the innovation successful is the paradigm of going and finding our clients proactively wherever they are and offering them the most used financial services without needing them to stop their experience inside Facebook.

Do you have any other innovations in the pipeline?

We are currently working on many new banking services. Our aim is to maximize the value offered to our clients with the latest trends and technologies such as wearable devices, biometrics, big data or social media among others.

What is the next step for banks that want to innovate?

We are living in times of deep change. The information technology boom is playing an increasingly important role in shaping our society and the way we understand the world around us. On the other hand, the coming together of scientific development, technological advances and their implementation in the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services constitutes an essential factor to understand the speed at which we are experiencing this transformation.

Banks are no exception to this global trend. Therefore, banks that want to innovate must take advantage of these new trends and technology to make the most of the digital era. Nowadays, social networks, new wearable devices, big data or advances in biometrics offer very interesting possibilities for banks to continue innovating.

What is your attitude towards innovation? Do you want to be a leader or a fast-follower?

At CaixaBank we believe that innovation is the key to be at the forefront of the financial sector and answer the demands of an ever-changing environment. We understand innovation as an attitude towards work and we consider that to be successful we have to create the necessary conditions to encourage it and ensure it is present in all areas and levels of our institution. We work to create this specific environment for which transparency, commitment, perseverance and talent are essential.

*CaixaBank is a former winner of the Efma Accenture Distribution & Marketing Innovation Awards. Take part in this year’s program and submit your innovation at www.efma.com/innovationawards.

Learn more about Accenture Banking.