“Outdated systems must retire, and burdensome bureaucracy must go down in history”

“Outdated systems must retire, and burdensome bureaucracy must go down in history”

Mobile banking has come to the fore due to the closure of branches during the pandemic, but its essential attraction is that it allows us to take care of all kinds of financial tasks – whenever we want and wherever we are.

The banking industry is in the digital “arms race”. For traditional banks, online and mobile channels have become very important, if not more important than branches and ATMs. According to the data of the National Bank of Serbia, the number of users of electronic banking has increased by 12 percent this year, and the number of users of mobile banking by 33 percent, compared to the previous year.

The pandemic has led to a huge increase in digital payments and mobile banking, which, in turn, has created high customer demand for more innovative services. However, as we learn from Marija Popović, member of the Executive Board of Mobi Bank, the digitalization of banking has deeper roots and will not slow down the end of the covid pandemic.

  • What does the digital transformation of banking mean?

Digital transformation is a complete re-examination of every aspect of banks’ work, which will raise services to a fundamentally higher level. I will illustrate this with a practical example. So far, over 100,000 completely online loans have been realized in Mobi Bank. Of course, we are primarily a digital bank, but until recently it seemed unthinkable.

Until recently, we had to collect all the paperwork for issuing loans “on foot”, in a complicated process that required a lot of time and patience.

But now, with the eGovernment service “My data for the bank”, all the necessary data for issuing cash loans, cards or allowed deductions can be collected and forwarded to the bank of your choice – fully automatically and digitally.

“My data for the bank” is a great example of how banking keeps pace with the times and changes the world for the better. In a very short period of time, more than 1,000 people digitally sent us their data and we issued more than 1,200 credentials for registration with eGovernment.

  • Why did this digital banking revolution come about?

I believe it was necessary. New platforms for transportation, food, streaming services… everything has become available in one click. Why wouldn’t there be banking too! Mobile banking has come to the fore due to the closure of branches during the pandemic, but its essential attraction is that it allows us to take care of all kinds of financial tasks – whenever we want and wherever we are. Phones are at our fingertips at all times, and mobile banking allows us to pay bills via QR code, transfer money to an account or even take out a loan, at any time of the day or night. You have a bank in your pocket – and all that without crowds and returning from the counter because you are “missing another piece of paper”. There really is nothing you can’t do faster but equally efficiently from the comfort of home. This is exactly the new level we have reached thanks to digitalization, after which it is difficult to return to the status quo.

  • What new can we expect in the banking market in the future?

The pace of change will continue to accelerate exponentially, as is the case with other new technologies. One of the main reasons for this is the growing competition for banks from financial technology startups (FinTech). Costs will have to be reduced, outdated systems will be retired, and burdensome bureaucracy will go down in history.

Also, the backbone of a healthy banking market in the future is the regulations of the National Bank. This was best shown during this worst pandemic. With a well-thought-out strategy, the governor and her team adopted and then recently extended measures that protected the Serbian economy from the impact of the crisis, but at the same time made it easier for banks to provide microcredit tailored to the digital age.

In the end, banks will have to become better at their key task of mediating the economy. As the first digital and mobile bank in the region, we have, in cooperation with Telenor, since 2014 credited the purchase of more than 750 thousand modern devices in the amount of 228 million euros. It is our most massive product, which we believe has further encouraged further digitization. In a similar way, every bank will soon have to find its niche, so that we can all go one step further and open the door to socially responsible banking.

  • When it comes to social responsibility, one of the pillars of Mobi Bank is the concept of “human banking”. Can you tell us more about that?

Human banking is the existence of the awareness that what we do represents much more than money management, as well as that our actions have a direct impact on the whole society. That is why we strive to contribute to the well-being of the community in which we operate through innovations that make people’s lives easier, but also through philanthropy and honest employment practices.

We are proud that we did not fire people during the pandemic. On the contrary, we hired over 130 people in one year, mostly women.

I am especially glad that, in addition to corporate responsibility, our employees have a role in designing innovative actions. One of them is the collection of over 300 thousand dinars of aid for the “Be Human” Foundation in the “Kilometer of Messages” action.

Source: BIZLife Magazine


Source: BIZlife by bizlife.rs.

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