Desislava Kalinkova, Head of Business Department “Small and Medium Enterprises” at ProCredit Bank
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How is digitalization changing banking institutions?
Banks are changing their thinking – from those who set the rules, gradually becoming a partner supporting the needs of their customers. They feel the challenges posed by the intelligent and modern consumer and entrepreneur. At the same time, the fintech industry is also pushing banks out of their traditional service model and way of thinking.
What is the new Digital Portal of ProCredit Bank?
– Functional – it is a web-based electronic questionnaire, through which a company account can be opened very quickly and easily in ProCredit Bank. Strategic – this is a bank on the client’s computer that can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
Our new Digital Portal completely replaces a physical visit to a bank branch and contact with a bank employee when opening an account. It is a virtual space in which the client can fill in the documentation for applying for a bank account, sign it remotely and send it to the bank to open the account. The process takes less than 20 minutes and the account is available within one business day.
What prompted its creation?
– We at ProCredit Bank are guided by the needs of our clients, who themselves share with us what is most important to them and their business.
Already 10 years ago, we implemented the idea of the Digital Portal in our electronic banking. At that time, we were creating it as a digital solution for payments and requesting various banking services, without the need to visit a bank branch.
As a result of this work model, customers increasingly began to look for remote filling of documents, minimizing visits to the Bank. This search naturally prefigured the digitization we are witnessing today.
Over the years, business life has become even more dynamic and the hybrid approach has had to be completely digitized. This is how our new Digital Portal was born.
Take us through the user experience in the portal. Is there a difference between individuals and legal entities?
– ProCredit Bank’s approach to customer service has always been the same. For us, every client – an individual or a company – should receive quality and timely service tailored to their needs.
Of course, businesses have more complex needs. The documents they work with are much more, therefore the digitization of services for them is more complex. The process of opening an account through the Digital Portal is extremely fast compared to a traditional visit to a bank branch.
ProCredit Bank is among the pioneers in the digitalization of services for small and medium-sized enterprises. For us, being digital doesn’t mean just being up-to-date. We want to make the complex standard banking services of the past fast, accessible and work for the specific needs of businesses. And more importantly, we are not afraid to share our experience in digitization so that our clients’ businesses can be competitive, adaptable, modern and stable. It is on the basis of all this that we managed to make our new Digital Portal extremely intuitive, and the feedback to us from customers is more than positive.
What are the benefits of the complete digitization of a banking service?
– A modern entrepreneur needs two things – time and human resources. There is always not enough time, and suitable people are very difficult to find today. Digitalization provides a solution to both problems. The main function of a manager is to develop his business and collect resources for this, instead of thinking about how to arrange a meeting with a bank employee.
Of course, we are talking about the complete digitization of standard services for which customers had to visit a branch until now. The services for which they need a consultation, a deeper conversation, namely what the needs of the business are, how to find the best banking service and product or to give advice as partners, cannot and do not want to be digitized. Consulting remains one of the most important services for ProCredit Bank and it is always personalized and specific to our clients.
Our bankers are not counter clerks, but banking experts.
In this sense, isn’t digitization a two-way process?
Categorically. Digitization gives time and opportunities. It works for the benefit of both our clients and our banking experts. We have time to analyze and optimize our banking services and products. When you move away from the usual, monotonous tasks, you start to unleash your creativity, think strategically, in perspective and how to add value.
This is the partnership – it is important for us in our relationships with customers to add value for them. Thus, entrepreneurs have time to create new directions in their business and conquer new markets, and the bank expert feels satisfied that he contributes qualitatively to the good business of his client.
How does the new Digital Portal optimize your internal processes for the benefit of the end user?
Our bankers invest the time saved from routine banking operations in an in-depth approach to their clients. We focus on them and look for solutions. We do not sell a product, but provide a solution to a specific need. The conversations are meaningful, they provoke growth and professional enrichment for both parties, which is extremely useful. To be a partner to our customers, it takes time to build an individual approach to each of them and share our experience with them. For example, in the field of digital security. Most clients do not have experience in this, and as a bank we have serious experience here and can help them build a modern digital culture. We offer our customers various innovations that facilitate their business. This sharing of ideas is not very typical of the environment, and it is precisely in this way that ProCredit Bank stands out from the rest. For us, shared experience is one of the most valuable processes that feed back and improve our own services.
In summary, what does the new Digital Portal give ProCredit Bank customers?
Time, freed resources and people for the realization of other ideas, optimization, efficiency, opportunity to pay attention to the important things for entrepreneurs. In a word – time for everything, for which they did not have enough until yesterday. But also one more thing. Our digital portal is logical, intuitive and guides customers step by step. They can request a banking service without even needing an expert to assist them. And within the joke – there is no one to argue with, because no one delays you, you don’t wait in line, you don’t carry unnecessary documents that you always forget, and you don’t depend on the time of others. And last but not least, our new Digital Portal is a great idea for our customers so how they can digitize their products and services so we can talk about a successful and modern business and more time to improve in what we do.