Spain-based bank, La Caixa, is deploying a new in-house multi-channel platform created with web 2.0 communication tools. This pioneer development in the country is part of the bank’s plan to boost its growth in managed funds by 20 per cent and increase customer numbers by 2015.

La Caixa HQ, Barcelona, Spain

While many Spanish banks are struggling to see the light at the end of the ‘eurozone crisis’ tunnel, La Caixa has rolled out a new in-house web 2.0 communications platform, billed as the first in the country, as it seeks a 20 per cent boost to its business by 2015. This platform provides customised private and personal e-banking services, based on a multi-channel format that includes the bank’s own social networks, live video conferencing, full remote product and service contracting, online MifID suitability tests and consultancy contracts, among others. The project has been carried out over the last twelve months at its Madrid and Barcelona offices. 

The aim is to provide an ‘alternative communication channel’ to customers and managers when dealing with transactions, says Benjami Puigdevall, head of electronic channels at La Caixa. ‘Nowadays, it’s believed that being on social media networks such as Facebook or LinkedIn, where we are already present, is enough. But we wanted to go beyond that by integrating all our online services in an interactive platform for our high-value customers,’ he adds.

One new method of communication between customers and managers on offer is a feature called the ‘Wall’ (‘Muro’, in Spanish), based on a social media model, where both parties are able to share and discuss the customer’s operations via written messages or video conferences. According to Puigdevall, the key features of the platform enable clients to purchase services and products, use financial planning services, and view investment tracking reports and suggestions, ‘including the remote signing of forms under absolute confidentiality’.

Puigdevall explains that around four million transactions are carried out at La Caixa annually (according to 2011 figures) and 50 per cent of them are already being processed online. The second most popular channel for the bank’s customers is mobile banking, which has increased progressively, and, thirdly, ATMs. ‘Even though La Caixa bank has about 11000 active ATMs globally, the use of mobile phones has managed to move ahead of such an extensive network,’ he adds. 

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by IBS Intelligence