Innovation is a precondition of success for private banking in the present climate, and major names in the sector are embracing technology to boost both efficiency and customer satisfaction. On top of that, private banks in the here-and-now can ill afford to ignore the importance of the customer in informing day-to-day decisions, and customer centricity – as much as innovation – is critically important for survival.
“The banking sector has started to adapt and perceive the situation as a challenge”, Katarína Boledovičová, Director of the Private Banking Division at Slovakia’s Tatra banka, told World Finance. “Banking, as one of the most important parts of the national economy, is not static. It adapts to the continuous development of technological environment.”
Clarity and simplicity are critically important in today’s private banking sector, though innovation is seen not just by Tatra banka but many others in financial services as the key to success. The ability to spot new opportunities ahead of the crowd and listen to what it is consumers want, therefore, can often mark the difference between a good and a great bank.
Speaking on the opportunities for private banking, aside from the obvious, Boledovičová said she believes the brightest potential lies on the client side and in meeting their demands for better products and services. “We try to make the client’s life easier and more comfortable through innovations, and guarantee the utmost in professionalism and discretion”, Boledovičová added.
“In the case of investments, seven years after the beginning of the global crisis, we focus mainly on the risk of investment portfolios, the elimination of these risks, and the education of our clients.” Alongside standard risk questionnaires, Tatra banka also conducts behavioural questionnaires, which it expects to play an important part in the improvement of its wealth management division. “In this service area”, continued Boledovičová, “we have been working on automation of the subsequent internal processes in terms of our ‘MobileSign’ application, which will provide our clients with even more comfortable and secure execution of transactions.”
The ability to spot new opportunities ahead of the crowd can often mark the difference between a good and a great bank
Upgrades to portfolio reporting also pose a considerable challenge to Tatra banka, as the bank seeks new views on client assets, and yet another area of focus is the overall relationship shared with the client through the bank’s ‘AllExclusive’ application.
Speaking on what differentiates Tatra banka from other banks in the region, Boledovičová said, “We are the absolute leader in innovation. We are the first to launch new innovations that facilitate a comfortable life for our clients. We see our strength in the professionalism and education of our private bankers. We receive feedback from clients and respond flexibly through projects, in which private bankers directly participate. Thanks to them we’ve improved our processes and fulfil the customer’s needs. We are available to our clients 24/7, we provide networking and cross sell with the corporate segment.”
How to become a leader
Tatra banka has always focused on affluent and corporate clients, and, from the beginning, the bank’s services have been attractive for the more demanding client willing to fork out more for added value, which, in this segment, is nothing short of a requirement. All-in-all, Tatra banka manages the funds of more than 3,000 clients, with a total value of more than €1.8bn, and the amount of assets here grows substantially with each passing year.
“Each year we introduce a number of innovative solutions in order to simplify client communication with the bank, make the management of financial assets more convenient, speed-up entering orders for sale and purchase of securities and to ensure convenient transfers between accounts. We guarantee all these services with maximum confidentiality and security.”
Speaking about the key ways in which Tatra banka differs to its competitors, Boledovičová noted, “innovations are our main line”. The bank’s clients ask for nothing less and a commitment to innovation ensures their lives are made substantially more convenient. “We bring a lot of innovations and certainly, we don‘t want to give up.”
By focusing on innovation and the means by which it can hand the bank advantages ahead of the competition, Tatra banka has been able to thrive where others have not. “We want to meet their expectations. We are not afraid to change and innovate. We want to maintain our position as the innovation leader and stick to the motto: The best follow us.”