Interview with Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, Director and Chief Executive Officer of BNP Paribas - by...
Once upon a time, when individuals needed to transfer money, they had to wait for their local bank branch to open. But those days are long gone: banking services are now available 24/7 on every bank’s website or mobile app. This constant accessibility is the primary advantage of “e-banking” and “mobile banking.” Let’s learn more.
E-banking: a growing success…
Banking is going through its “digital transformation”: just as e-commerce is winning over more and more consumers, e-banking and its range of online banking services are gaining an increasing number of users. More customers are turning to online banking services so they can complete everyday transactions (checking their account balances and activity, money transfers, etc.) from the comfort of their homes and at any time of the day or night.
Mobile banking services are also on the rise, as smartphone ownership takes off in France and around the world. Some of the most loyal converts even check their account balances every day on their smartphones.
This fundamental trend has also fueled the fast rise of fully “virtualized” online banks, which do not operate any brick-and-mortar branches. In countries where “traditional” banks are much less popular, including much of sub-Saharan Africa, mobile banking services have earned rapid success by offering a solution that is accessible to everyone, even in more remote areas.
…confirmed by the numbers
In France, consumers have opened more than three million online bank accounts.
In 2015, the penetration rate of “e-banking” in Europe reached 48%. But this average conceals several wide disparities. For example, the level is as high as 90% in Norway or 86% in Finland, but only 28% in Italy and just 5% in Romania. France remains above the European average with its penetration rate of 58%.
In 2016, 27% of French customers checked their accounts via a mobile app and 77% via Internet, while 27% never avail themselves of their local branches (except for the ATMs).
But “cross-channel” customers are certainly the most common. Indeed, in France, fewer than 10% of French customers regularly visit their local branch, 24% use online services exclusively, and 4% only use mobile services. That means the rest use a combination of different channels to meet their different needs!
In Africa, mobile networks have expanded rapidly—driven by the absence of fixed telephone networks—and have helped combat financial exclusion. As a result, Mobile Banking is now used more frequently in Ivory Coast than the United States! Similarly, in Kenya, only 19% of adults have a traditional bank account, while the mobile financial services (money transfer, payment, etc.) offered by “M-Pesa” are used by 35% of the population, generating annual money streams representing as much as 35% of the country’s GDP!
“Mobile Banking” will serve two billion users by 2021*.
*according to Juniper research
Which services are available?
E-banking and mobile banking are gaining users by offering a wider and more elaborate range of 24/7 services.
Of course, users can complete all their basic transactions: consulting, checking, savings and investment accounts; transferring funds (instant or scheduled wire transfers and debits); managing payment methods (debit cards, electronic cards), etc.
They can also use more complex services, such as requesting a loan (consumer loan or mortgage), submitting an order to buy or sell stock, or taking out a life insurance policy.
In addition, users now can also access a range of truly innovative services from their secure accounts. They can interact with bank representatives by e-mail, chat or videoconference; send or cash online checks; use budgeting tools (account management, spending reports, etc.); or even set up a system of text alerts.
Traditional banking cannot offer any of these new services.
With Hello Bank!, BNP Paribas has launched an online bank to offer its customers a full and varied line of services: checking accounts, payment methods, savings accounts, consumer loans or mortgages, savings solutions, insurance, online investing, alerts, instant or scheduled transfers, etc.
Customers can manage this vast range of services online or from a mobile app. In addition, its digital banking offer is enriched by the fact that Hello Bank! representatives are available by chat, e-mail, Twitter, Facebook or phone, six days a week, until 10 pm… It’s the best of both worlds!
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