This article was originally published in the Winter 2018 issue of The Record. Subscribe for FREE here to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox.
VakıfBank in Turkey is focusing on getting closer to its customers by adopting and implementing initiatives such as doorstep banking to bring services to people’s homes and places of work. Doorstep banking has emerged as an alternative to traditional approaches to maintain relationships with its customers. Its direct sales team (DSA) is an important piece of this puzzle and used to rely on paperwork and manual data entry while lacking access to customer information or upselling and cross-selling opportunities.
When making technology investment decisions, VakıfBank is keen to ensure that its IT infrastructure supports its marketing efforts. With this in mind, it decided to start providing direct sales team employees with tablet computers that would enable them to sell products and give them a single view of the customer while also providing the ability to monitor employee performance.
After researching the market situation, VakıfBank found that VeriPark had already worked on similar projects and its approach to channel management in multichannel banking solutions was a key selling point.
“We were excited by a client looking at a new delivery channel for banking services and were happy to work on the project,” said Ozkan Erener, CEO of VeriPark. “We see this as the dawn and coming of new delivery channels, such as doorstep banking and we are well positioned to provide the software and technology to support it.”
VeriPark and VakıfBank worked together to develop an iPad application for the DSA which provides 360-degree view of the customer as well as a large number of banking features and products. The team also focused on creating an offline mode that makes it possible to save banking applications locally and then synchronise them to banking systems later. The application also offers a task management system for direct sales agents and location tracking to improve performance monitoring.
The application is used by 2,400 VakıfBank employees. Sales agents can now register new customers and offer a large number of services and products such as consumer loan application, credit card application, account opening and direct customers to use mobile and internet banking to perform their transactions. The application covers about 90% of all retail banking operations.
Customers can now carry out their transactions instantly and without having to wait and can communicate directly with sales agents and portfolio managers.
Digital approval is also an important aspect of the solution as it enables customers to use a web browser or mobile phone to approve contracts for products, such as personal instalment loans, overdrafts and electronic tolls. It has increased the quality of services offered to customers while the bank saves time and drives cross-selling efforts.
The DSA application also makes it possible to assign location-based assignments to the field sales teams and to enable the field sales personnel to move to the assigned locations and check the assigned tasks effectively through the application check-in.
The solution meets the high security requirements of VakıfBank by using VPN connections and encryption while also ensuring photos captured by tablet device are not stored locally to prevent attackers from acquiring them. DSA application is integrated with the bank’s CRM and DMS systems, loan and card systems and other transactional systems, ensuring it supports the bank’s omnichannel delivery strategy.
“DSA continues to contribute significantly to the profitability of our bank, delivering a return on investment in a very short time,” said Mehmet Serhat Keskin, customer relationship manager at VakıfBank. “The integration of technology in sales and marketing activities has had a positive impact on our brand and has grown our retail banking market share. DSA also drove the digitalisation of our retail loans, which are now 100% digital, meaning that our retail loan process is eight times faster and does not require paper anymore.”
By implementing a proactive approach, the bank has processed over 600,000 new applications for different products, a customer segment that might otherwise be left to the competition.
“We are now able to monitor, manage and support our sales agents and portfolio managers visiting our clients more effectively. Our agents aren’t waiting for local customers to come to the branch occasionally. They’re going after these customers where they work and increase the customer engagement,” said Keskin. “We wanted to ensure transactions could be made without the need of visiting the branch. Now, the DSA can deliver enhanced banking services across the country in line with our vision ‘We’re here where you need us to be’.”
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