UniCredit Bulbank AD, the largest bank in Bulgaria, does everything possible to maintain its leadership position. A pioneer in providing online banking services to its over 1.3 million customers, UniCredit Bulbank saw an opportunity to provide
a far broader set of services, easier to use than ever before, and by doing so attract even more customers by developing a new online banking application using the modern user interface available in Windows 8.
||I think what is most exciting is the customer’s opportunity to use this very user-friendly app especially from mobile devices. Mobile banking is a new channel for payments and getting information from the Bank.
| Aleksandar Mitov
One of the primary needs of any enterprise is to continue to attract more new customers. This is felt as keenly at UniCredit Bulbank as it is anywhere.
Thanks to their long-time partnership with UniCredit Bulbank, their local Microsoft team brought an exciting new idea to them.
Given that they already had a large audience of online banking users, why not be the first bank in market to offer customers a modern interface experience in online banking by adding a new native application for it using Windows 8?
The Microsoft team observed that there was a great deal of information the bank would like to make readily available even to customers who did not use online banking.
Map guidance to nearby automatic teller machines, special promotions for new depositors, program introductions for existing customers, new investment products, bank news and much more.
Financial calculators designed to help customers evaluate investments, mortgage schedules, and other money management functions, could be designed and realized in the modern user interface far more readily than ever before. A Windows 8-based “free access
zone” would make all of this information easily consumable by even the most novice users.
At the same time, the modern user interface would make it easier for customers to take fuller advantage of many regular banking features and functions, including many that were not available in existing online banking applications. With their current online
banking application being delivered as a web-based solution, the speed and responsiveness of the application was dependent upon the configuration and performance of the user’s browser.
A native application would be far more efficient, far more consistent, and a far more enjoyable experience for users.
UniCredit Bulbank and their Microsoft team engaged Microsoft Partner DAIS Software to help develop the native Windows 8 app and required back-end components to enable Windows 8 online banking.
The Microsoft team and the partner DAIS Software that had originally brought new online banking ideas to the Bank, began the project by developing a comprehensive functional specification for the front-end app and back-end systems that included a thorough
and vivid description of the look, the feel, and the behavior of the app.
Once all of the planning was completed and approved, the app itself, first of its kind in Bulgaria, was developed by DAIS Software using Microsoft Visual Studio and the .NET platform connecting to an XML web services back end including a Microsoft SQL Server
Designed for the individual user, the app is made available through the Microsoft Store to make it as easy as possible for users to acquire.
Users may run the UniCredit Bulbank Windows 8 online banking app, called “MyBank” not only to perform regular banking functions, but also to learn about upcoming entertainment events and even purchase tickets for concerts and other events. They may examine
various potential investments, check foreign exchange currency rates, locate ATMs, even obtain financial advice.
Basing the application on Windows 8 and the modern user interface also means that customers can run the MyBank application on their Windows 8-based laptop computers, tablets, and even Windows Phones. This opens the application to an even broader audience.
UniCredit Bulbank began the Windows 8 online banking project with a major goal of attracting many new customers with many new capabilities and functionalities. With a long list of additional functions yet to be added, they have already seen tremendous response
to this first-of-its-kind introduction in the Bulgarian consumer market.
• The Bank has gained access to a tremendous and growing pool of enthusiastic Windows 8 users who have been highly responsive to Microsoft’s introduction of the new operating system. Being the first to introduce a Windows 8-based application has raised the
visibility and reputation of the Bank in their markets.
• UniCredit Bulbank’s Windows 8 online banking application makes it very easy for new customers to sign up for accounts online.
• UniCredit has already enjoyed cross-selling results to their existing customers using lifestyle functions, promotions, and new programs.
• Customers have been able to obtain a much broader scope of information about their accounts and account activities.
• Customers can perform money transfers quickly and easily without visiting the bank.
• Customer accessible reporting includes graphs and charts helping customers evaluate their income, expenses, and other advisory information which will help them perform personal budgeting.
• The Windows 8 native app, being resident on the user’s device, allows regular publication of promotional information that users can access even when not logged into the internet.
• The Live Tiles capability of Windows 8 displays useful information on the user’s display even when the app is not actually in use.
• Virtual Advisor allows customers to describe their financial needs and obtain valuable advice from the Bank
• Near-term additional functions to be added include bill payment, interest rate financial loan calculators and more.
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