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Virtual branches and Facebook payments: Poland gets new digital bank

18 June 2012  |  20738 views  |  1 biometric  face pointer

Poland's first digital bank has launched, complete with virtual branch, mobile, app, Facebook payments, personal finance management tools and an "entertainment area".

Alior Bank unveiled its separate Alior Sync business last week, pitching it as a new type of financial services firm, available anytime, anywhere, for a young, digitally savvy customer base.

Alior Sync is replacing physical branches with a virtual one that can be accessed through its Web site. The site contains a tab showing users how many employees are available to talk and through which medium - video, audio or text chat. When a customer clicks on an option they are put through to a member of staff and a screen where they can carry out transactions.

In addition to regular online banking features, the new player has also developed Android and iOS mobile apps that let customers check their finances, transfer funds and pay invoices using their handsets' cameras.

A finance management tool, which can import account histories from other banks, is designed to help customers keep track of their budget while a payments assistant helps control spending and alerts users when transactions occur.

The bank has also worked with vendor IND Group on an app that lets customers transfer money directly to friends through Facebook photos without having to leave the page. The transactions are authorised using one-time codes sent via text messages and captcha. PayPal payments can also be made via e-mail.

Alior Sync has added an entertainment area to its site where users can watch films, listen to music and play games. People can also get discount deals and those who recommend the bank on Facebook will receive free movie tickets.

Having spent 50 million zloty and eight months on the project - working with IND Group, Alfavox, Oracle and HP - Alior Sync says it aims to have signed up one million customers and four billion zloty in deposits within four years.

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 19 June, 2012, 07:20

Good luck in signing up customers as a new bank - this has had only meager uptake in most other markets. Most people like to see the brick and mortar part as well - be able to walk into a branch and resolve issues F2F that have arisen even though they are happy to do transactional services over the web. Furthermore - one should not underestimate the value of the brand - as a startup the non brand is a disadvantage, especially in these challenging times for many banks in Europe. Who trusts a newcomer?

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