2 page Case Study
Posted: 9/16/2013
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Erste Bank Group Retail Banker Increases Sales, Improves Customer Relations with Windows Store App

Erste Bank Group provides retail financial services in Europe. To differentiate its financial services and increase market share and sales, the bank deployed Windows 8 Enterprise and developed a touch-enabled app called FinanceCheck. Both customers and advisors use FinanceCheck on a tablet during financial consultations. Customers love the new, empowering service paradigm.

Business Needs
Founded in 1819, Erste Bank Group is one of the largest financial services providers in central and eastern Europe in terms of clients and total assets. Along with serving private individuals, the bank provides advisory services and support for corporate clients in financing, investment, and access to international capital markets.

Erste Bank grew its reputation within the retail banking market by applying innovation to traditional banking services. “We want to establish ourselves as a hub for innovation and demonstrate that retail banking can be exciting, interesting, and engaging for our customers,” says Horst Weichselbaumer, Chief Information Officer at Erste Bank AG, the Austrian branch of the Erste Bank Group. “To support innovative financial products and new approaches to customer service, we strive to take advantage of the latest technologies available.”

Recently, Erste Bank turned to technology to support a new vision for customer service, one that brings the customer and the teller together on an equal footing to promote more interactive consultations.

“Today, a customer sits across the table from the advisor, who clicks through our financial applications, entering information on behalf of the customer,” says Weichselbaumer. “This creates a ‘top-down’ feeling and throws up barriers to more open, personal discussions that can lead to more sales.”

Erste Bank wanted a modern, mobile computing experience to foster its vision of a more equal interaction, for example, during a personal financial and budget planning review. Tellers perform three to five of these reviews every day with a goal of introducing new products based on a customer’s life situation. “We needed to find the right mobile device and the right operating system for touch-enabled, interactive computing to support the dialogue between the customer and the teller,” says Weichselbaumer.

Solution
Erste Bank turned to the Windows 8 Enterprise operating system to help make its strategic goals a reality. The bank evaluated other options, but Windows 8 interoperates better with its current IT environment, and IT staff members are familiar with Windows-based technologies. “Windows 8 runs on a variety of devices, and we wanted that flexibility in hardware choice to find a device to support our vision for interactive customer consultations,” says Weichselbaumer.

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* One of the wishes of our customers is to make banking transactions more comprehensible. The modern tablet and PC technology with Windows 8 offers us new ways to fulfill their expectations. *

Horst Weichselbaumer
Chief Information Officer,
Erste Bank AG

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The bank worked with Microsoft Services Consulting to create a touch-enabled Windows Store app called FinanceCheck and deployed it on 35 Samsung and Sony devices for 26 tellers to use at 12 urban branches as a pilot project, which began in November 2012. FinanceCheck replicates the financial and budget planning review on a tablet, and both customers and advisors use it during a consultation.

“We had a great experience working with Microsoft Services Consulting. It was impressive how quickly the team familiarized itself with our complex financial systems, and they were very helpful with style guidelines for the new, modern user interface,” says Weichselbaumer. “They were always engaged and supportive, and we wouldn’t have got the app done in time without their help.”

Erste Bank is expanding the FinanceCheck pilot project to rural branches across Austria. If that project goes well, the bank will deploy the app to 6,000 tellers. Erste Bank also deployed Windows 8 Enterprise running on Lenovo ThinkPad Helix laptops as a pilot project. The bank built its Internet banking app, that’s available on the Windows App store, to run on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

“With Windows 8, we can expand our presence in front of the customer through the use of multiple devices and across all smartphone platforms,” says Weichselbaumer.

Benefits
Erste Bank is using Windows 8 Enterprise to enable a new customer service paradigm that will set it apart in the retail banking market.

Differentiates Customer Service
With FinanceCheck, Erste Bank can enact its vision for a new style of customer service based on interactive financial consultations, improving service, and attracting new customers. Tellers share the screen with customers, who can touch the tablet and use the application at their own speed. “We link customers’ life situations with our products in a more personal, ‘shoulder to shoulder’ atmosphere that’s setting our customer service apart,” says Weichselbaumer.

Increases Customer Satisfaction
According to a survey that’s built into FinanceCheck, Erste Bank customers are giving the interactive financial review app their approval—90 percent of respondents said they would recommend FinanceCheck to others, and 84 percent liked the logical structure of the app. “Everyone responded well to FinanceCheck, from 20-year-old students to 65-year-old retirees,” says Weichselbaumer. “Customers are saying that the new style of interaction is empowering and helps them make better financial decisions.”

Improves Sales
In the six-month pilot project, FinanceCheck proved itself by helping the bank increase sales. “As soon as we began using the app, sales went up,” says Weichselbaumer.

Enables a Platform for Innovation
Erste Bank is thinking about adding features to FinanceCheck so customers can use it at home as a basis for family budget planning and then resume the discussion in the bank with their advisors. “We invest an exceptionally high amount of energy in the innovation of our customer processes,” says Weichselbaumer. “One of the wishes of our customers is to make banking transactions more comprehensible. The modern tablet and PC technology with Windows 8 offers us new ways to fulfill their expectations.”

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Solution Overview



Organization Size: 47000 employees

Organization Profile

Headquartered in Vienna, Austria, Erste Bank Group serves 16.6 million customers in the retail banking business through 2,900 branches in seven countries across central and eastern Europe.


Hardware

  • Lenovo ThinkPad Helix
  • Samsung Slate
  • Sony Slate


Software and Services
  • Windows 8 Enterprise
  • Microsoft Consulting Services
  • Client Solutions - Flexible Workstyle

Vertical Industries
Banking

Country/Region
Austria

Languages
English

Partner(s)
Microsoft Services

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