mBank – Take a bow

Few banks around the world have attracted as many glowing tributes in recent years for digital innovation as Poland’s mBank.

mBank – Take a bow

Off the top of my head, it has won awards for digital marketing, product and service innovation from Celent, BAI and EFMA of late and been commended in a number of Retail Banker global awards.

It will doubtless be a strong contender in the 2016 RBI Awards.

mBank’s joint venture with Orange and the forming of Orange Finanse, a mobile-only bank has been especially successful; ditto its mTransfer – a method of quick mobile payment to all mBank’s customers.

Celent has been particularly impressed with its mBank’s insurance sales model, hailed as the best in category “Innovation and Emerging Technologies”. Its sales model comprising more than 30 complete products is offered entirely by digital channels including internet, phone, mobile devices and video-calls.

mBank’s Everyday banking” (mOkazje) and mobile loan available in 30 seconds have also hit the headlines and impressed international awards judges.

So it is a special treat to welcome mBank’s MD Retail Banking Jacek Iljin to The Digital Banking Club Live Debate panel on 9 March.

This month, mBank beat analyst forecasts with another resilient set of annual results. While the business press has been beating up the banking sector with tales of woe, stories of job losses and plummeting share prices, mBank posted record net profits for Q415.

While mBank is best known for its digital prowess, the physical branch has not been overlooked.

In 2014, the bank started to roll out a number of light, ultra-modern units in Polish shopping centres.

Initial results are highly impressive. The new branches, located within shopping malls are selling three times as many basic branching products compared to traditional high street outlets with the first Light Branch taking over 60% of all orders performed by the customers of mBank in the region.

Light Branches are being visited by more than 200 customers every day with over 90% of visitors reporting a positive impression of the outlet.

mBank currently operates 9 Light Branches and aims to increase the network to 40 units by 2018.

The units combine the traditional notion of physical bank branches with ultra-modern multi-touch screens, motion-sensing and face recognition technologies.

mBank plans to invest more than €17m in the Light Branches project over the next two years and as part of a wider branch network reorganisation programme, the bank expects to achieve annual branch savings of around €12m.

One other recent mBank innovation deserves a mention. It has rolled out Poland’s first educational campaign concerning online security to promote digital security, the aim being to raise the public’s awareness of how to protect their personal data.

mBank’s campaign, entitled “If you don’t do it in real life, don’t do it online!” is aimed at those who use online banking services via their computers, tablets and mobile phones with the main goal of the initiative to make the public aware of the possible threats lurking online.

The educational ads are running on Polish TV and on the internet. The films have been divided into two categories – computer device security (including smartphones) and protection of sensitive personal data. They are all based on the concept of reflecting risky situations online in real life.

Additionally mBank is using a number of popular Polish bloggers as ambassadors of the campaign, explaining to their followers what some internet users do online that they wouldn’t do in real life.

The DBC debate on 9 March is sure to attract a full house – if you have not already secured your place, sort it out now before it is too late.