Unstoppable digital transformation: notes on digitisation in the Andorran banking sector

Unstoppable digital transformation: notes on digitisation in the Andorran banking sector

At MoraBanc our teams have taken the digital culture on board. We are constantly improving our technologies and we work alongside innovative partners to hold onto our digital leadership in Andorra.

This year we have received awards for the second year running as Best Digital Bank and Best Mobile Banking App from the magazine World Finance. We talked with the head of the bank’s digital transformation plan, Ignacio Martín, so that he could explain the details of the project and what it means to have received this recognition again.

You have spent two years working non-stop on the issue of digitisation. What would you highlight in MoraBanc’s digital transformation process?

We strive to be standard-setters in Andorra when it comes to digital banking. Like most sectors and businesses, we understood a while back that the future and present of banking involved the business and its customers fostering digital culture.

As we were sure of this, we were the first in Andorra to adapt to it through the MoraBanc Digital project, one of the main drivers behind the transformation that has made the bank a leader in the financial sector in an ever-changing environment.

This engagement, which has delivered unbeatable results, was one of the reasons that made us deserve the Best Digital Bank and Best Mobile Banking App awards from the magazine World Finance for the second time running.

What are the next challenges?

When you reach a point of excellence in digital transformation, if you’ve understood the situation it becomes clear that you can’t stop, as transformation is ongoing and that if you don’t make progress in this digital environment, you get left behind. This is MoraBanc’s biggest challenge, namely, continuing to be a cutting-edge bank in digital innovation in Andorra.

What is more important in a digital transformation: the people or the technology?

Getting people and the business to think digital is even more important than the technology. It is very clear to us that to be digitally competitive, the bank’s team must take part in the transformation and make the digital culture their own and, in that respect, MoraBanc has changed a lot over the past few years.

To reach our digitisation goals, we not only had to take on people with the technical know-how to do specific digital banking tasks, but we also had to involve everybody at the bank in one way or another to accept on an internal level that change forms an integral part of our DNA.

How did you change the way of doing things?

MoraBanc’s transformation started on the inside so that it could be different on the outside. We used the agile method to be more efficient and flexible. Having scrum teams enables us to form specific tactical teams at any given time to work on any cross-disciplinary project with the resources required and much faster than ever before.

This ability to adapt also carried over into internal tools as apps and programs such as Smartsheet, Jira and Trello that enable the various stakeholders involved in each project to monitor them and to manage requests, as well as technological and non-technological requirements.

How has this been passed on to customers?

The MoraBanc team is more digital and this of course is passed on to the products and services made available by the bank to its customers, and in the way we talk and communicate with them. Multi-channelling stopped being the only path for responding to the needs and expectations of our customers a long time ago.

We have developed and built digital tools and environments, such as MoraBanc Direct, that give customers a certain degree of freedom to do their banking without having to go into their local branch, whilst not losing contact with the bank. In this customer management system, a personal manager handles most banking matters using a number of contact options (telephone, secure chat and email) that in the past had to be done in person at a branch of the bank.

Constant updates and improvements are being introduced to online banking and the app for smartphones and tablets. In 2018, more than 25 projects were carried out amongst which it is worth highlighting the advanced electronic signature app, the internal module for managing alerts and messages between customers and their manager, the online chat room, being able to arrange a meeting with a manager, MoraBanc Direct and the possibility of making card payments in instalments.

Bank customers worldwide are becoming digital. It’s an unstoppable process and at MoraBanc we work to bring about this change and to be able to increase the proportion of digital customers at out bank.

How does your ongoing innovation process work?

Digital progress is being made at a staggering rate. Technologies soon become obsolete and adding or developing the structures to encourage their use is not easy and quite often impractical. To be a digital leader, MoraBanc is in contact with groups, entrepreneurs and companies that are just one step ahead.

By working with them, we are aware of the trends that can be disruptive and those that can add differential value to the business, and we endeavour to deliver a better service now and to prepare that tools that will make a difference in the future.

On the one hand, we are developing a highly innovative support program for entrepreneurs with the prestigious start-up accelerator Ship2B that is based in Barcelona. This is partly because this project is a mainstay in our commitment to society and entrepreneurship, but also because it enables us to be in contact with the world of entrepreneurs in Andorra and to feed off their ideas and vitality.

On the other hand, we seek out partners able to respond to the bank’s projects and specific needs without having to expand the organisation’s permanent structure too much. We work with fintech companies such as Ibenta, which helps us to come up with artificial intelligence solutions for our online and mobile search engines; with QuickBlox, which provides us with the latest proposals to enhance chats between customers and managers; and with Web Financial Group as the driver behind our online broker project.

We also sit on the ANDblockchain committee in Andorra devoted to blockchain technology and we belong to business associations in Andorra such as the Actinn initiative, promoted by the Government of Andorra in the framework of its Smart Country project. In such a specialised world we cannot take everything on at once and it often pays off to surround yourself with the most outstanding and innovative people from each field to implement improvements and the latest proposals.

What results has the digital transformation delivered up to now?

The figures back us up. Our income statement has grown for the first time following a number of years with a drop in profits. As for digital transactions, we are continuing to grow at double digit rates.

MoraBanc Digital is a project that would not make sense without the global transformation of the bank and its teams. The way of doing banking has been redesigned in response to the demands and expectations of today’s customers and there is every indication that this has been a great success.

The figures show that customers have accepted MoraBanc’s digital services and multi-channels, and that they take a positive view of them, as reflected by the 8-point increase in our NPS for our services this year.

Compared with the indicators for 2017, we are seeing that the main figures on the most frequent transactions continue to grow significantly: access to online banking has increased by 24%, cash transfers by 47% and the purchase or sale of securities by 68%, to give but a few examples. What’s more, the new card transactions that we have introduced, such as allowing payments to be deferred or transferring cash from a credit card to a current account, were extremely well received and customers use them a lot.

Would you like to add anything else?

You can no longer say that the future is digital because being digital has been the here and now for a long time. At MoraBanc we have introduced the digital culture to our day-to-day business through a permanent investment in technology and people. An effort backed up by indicators and results, and once again, for the second time running, by the World Finance’s awards for the Best Digital Bank and the Best Mobile Banking App in Andorra. The world is digital and so is MoraBanc.

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