Voice of the Industry

It`s all about customer centricity - Open Banking approach by Komerční banka

Tuesday 29 September 2020 08:07 CET | Editor: Oana Ifrim | Voice of the industry

Martin Sladecek from Société Générale discusses Open Banking, how the "think platforms" mindset creates value for bank’s clients, Open Banking use cases and new business models

Komerční banka (KB), the universal bank of the Société Générale Group (SG) in Czech Republic, aims to be more than just a banking service provider, but also a partner, consultant, and facilitator. KB's Open Banking strategy is to be a digital disruptor and adopt a platform model. This approach opens its services to partners, startups and the fintech ecosystems by offering to interact through KB's digital channels. By aggregating banking and non-banking services into larger and more meaningful customer journeys, KB puts clients and users at the center of the relationship.

Advantages for the customer

KB's Open Banking approach aims to make the user experience the best of breed on the market. This customer-centric approach, instead of product-centric, focuses on the customer's needs rather than the bank's needs. The client feels the added value and can be satisfied daily even in unexpected situations, maximizing the client relationship via increased digital interactions with clients and extending the bank's distribution network to the 3rd parties' environments.

KB was the first Czech bank to have Multibanking (PSD2 aggregation readiness) for both Internet and Mobile banking for Individuals (MojeBanka and Mobilni banka) in 2018. Through aggregation of other banks' accounts, customers can easily access their finances and have a simple overview of family finances as well as easy access to all their business finances. KB holds the leading position in the number of integrated Czech and Slovak banks. During this summer, KB achieved another uniqueness when as the first Czech bank delivered Multibanking to business clients in MojeBanka Business internet banking 2020.

The MojeBanka Internet banking was significantly redesigned, to be ready for the aggregation of 3rd party products and services. The facelift made usage and administration easier, bringing together all products in one place on one sight just by logging in for more than 95% of clients. This made the client experience more enabling, simpler and more intuitive while preventing redundant client actions, following the best principles of the “zero-click” experience approach.

Core digital banking services of the KB enriched by KB’s partners creates the KB Open Banking ecosystem now, containing many different and even non-banking services today. It all started with Fakturoid online invoicing service in 2018 when, KB as the first Czech bank delivered real service of bank and startup to clients, nominated on behalf of SG EURO to SG Group Innovation Awards 2018.

Other examples of services responding to customer needs include: providing a compensation service for cancelled flights or lost baggage; online invoicing and accounting provisioning for SMEs; streamlined and digitalised KYC procedures of partners via shared client digital identity; and with the newest innovation delivered in June 2020: new SME client acquisition service via set up of new companies for clients.

Why is it strategic?

Having an active Open Banking ecosystem raises KB's brand awareness and makes KB more competitive in digital and innovation. KB's Multibanking leadership is recognised by the market and competitors in the Czech Republic and internationally. KB contributed to the Czech banking sector mobilisation, cooperated on legislative change, which catalyses the whole Czech digital transformation via bank identity and will open new opportunities in the future. The Bankathon 2019 event held in Prague co-organised by KB was the most visible Open Banking event of the year on the European market – 100 competitors – 27 teams – 14 countries – 350+ attendees. It was supported by many well-known partners, Czech Banking Association and the European Banking Federation. Participation in major events with active public speaking presence builds up KB's and SG's brand awareness in Open Banking and Innovation and strengthens digital leadership.

KB as the first in the whole SG Group released API portal for APIs as the regular business products following the "API as the business product" approach (2019). Its KB product API portal motivates 3rd parties to build their services on KB's APIs, with 18 external KB API services available now, to gain mutual success and is opening gates to SG Group's API services for third parties.

Outlook and next steps

KB expects the bank of the future to be similar to the App store on current smart devices where multiple consumer-led offers and tools will be assembled and selected by the customer. Consumers will be able to choose from a variety of products, tools and content that appeal to them and perfectly fulfill their needs. Based on intelligent analyses of client data on the bank's products, behaviour and aggregated 3rd party products, the bank is becoming more than ever the partner and advisor to clients via smart proactive advices, increased clients' digital interactions and a strengthened mutual relationship. 

"Creation of an Open Banking ecosystem pays off" says Martin Sladecek, acting as former KB Open Banking Leader and recently as SG Director of Digital Strategic Studies. Clients greatly (3x) exceeded expectations in aggregated accounts connected to KB. Users of the Open Banking ecosystem have a significantly lower (5x) churn rate compared to the average (eg Fakturoid online invoicing service achieved higher (2.3x) long-term benefits than expected). Non-banking aggregated services have achieved outstanding double digit click-through and conversion rates. The overall Czech banking sector is mobilised and the whole Czech digital transformation via bank identity is starting just NOW.

About Martin Sladecek

Martin Sladecek is the Director of Digital Strategic Studies in Société Générale recently and acted as the Open Banking Leader in Komercni banka Czech Republic formerly. Martin focuses on the agile leadership of Open Banking and PSD2 business opportunities within digital banking, definition of a new customer value in the new challenging era of banking. He evangelises related & up-to-date topics such as the open economy, shared and aggregated services and API business across the bank with the special focus on banking & financial innovations, innovation culture, fintechs, sustainability, and emerging market trends.

About Société Générale 

 Société Générale is one of the leading European financial services groups present by Komercni banka in the Czech Republic. Based on a diversified and integrated banking model, the Group combines financial strength and proven expertise in innovation with a strategy of sustainable growth, aiming to be the trusted partner for its clients, committed to the positive transformations of society and the economy.


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Keywords: Martin Sladecek, Société Générale, Komercni banka, Open Banking, platforms, digitalisation, fintech, digital banking, SMEs, digital banking, customer experience, open economy
Categories: Banking & Fintech | Online & Mobile Banking
Countries: Czech Republic
This article is part of category

Banking & Fintech