CaixaBank, Spain’s leading retail bank headed by chairman Jordi Gual and chief executive officer Gonzalo Gortázar, has become the country’s first bank to present two digital solutions to accompany and facilitate banking for Spain's non-residents.
The new platform for digital on-boarding with the bank allows non-residents of Spain to sign up with HolaBank, the bank's program intended for the international community, in a digital way, from any device and anywhere.
The service, intended for Western European citizens with interests or property in Spain, enables them to complete the sign-up process in English through the bank's fully secured website and in six easy steps. With a video identification system and the signing of the contract carried out through SMS, new customers can have an HolaBank account within 48 hours and can sign up to CaixaBankNow online banking, where they can access all the benefits of the specific program for the international community digitally, as well as its financial and non-financial services. They can also receive transfers from abroad, make transfers within Spain, pay bills by direct debit, translate documents, and gain assistance with moving house or relocating, in addition to other services. Once the online process is completed, the new clients will only have to confirm their identity in a physical branch within 3 months.
The service, groundbreaking in Spain, has been acknowledged for its innovation at The Innovators 2020 awards by the US magazine Global Finance.
MortgageNow, an online mortgage application for non-residents
The new digital on-boarding comes in addition to MortgageNow, a digital mortgage application service for non-residents in Spain and international real estate brokers, and a pioneering service in the country. This service allows potential international buyers of property in Spain to apply for a mortgage from their country, in a fully secure way and with a feasibility response in 48 hours.
The platform includes the lists of documentation customised by country and the type of occupation in the customer's language and enables the registration of the documentation required to carry out the mortgage study, with no need to translate it into Spanish. In addition, there is a private space for real-estate brokers who can manage all their applications with the guarantee of a fast feasibility response.
Both the digital on-boarding and MortgageNow are intended for people with an interest or property in Spain who are residents of Europe, who want to progress in their banking and real-estate procedures. It is available for people living in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Netherlands, Finland, France, Ireland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
To use the MortgageNow program, it is not necessary to be a CaixaBank customer, but instead to simply live in Europe and have an interest in purchasing a property in Spain.
In Spain, more than 62,000 property purchase agreement operations were carried out by non-residents in 2019, according to data from the Spanish Land Registry. This represents 12.5% of the national total, with major importance on the Mediterranean coast and islands.
HolaBank has close to 445,000 customers from 15 Western European countries who spend long periods in Spain, representing a market share of over 33%.
Digital transformation and agile methodology to offer the best service at any time anywhere
Both the digital on-boarding and MortgageNow are a result of CaixaBank's strong commitment to innovation and digitalisation, enabling the bank to expedite innovative proposals for customers and potential customers, accompanying them in any country and through any service channel, adapting to the new constraints generated by the worldwide health crisis.
The digital sign-up process for non-residents has been conceptualised and created in just six months, thanks to the use of agile methodologies, with the involvement of various departments and companies of CaixaBank Group.
It has been developed in the Customer Lab area, a new initiative from the bank's business department to design and expedite innovative proposals focused on the needs of CaixaBank's customers in any setting and channel.
In Customer Lab, multi-disciplinary and autonomous teams work geared towards a specific need of customers to come up with the best solution, in an agile and reiterative way. This methodology brings to the development process the competitive edge of start-ups and small enterprises, which are necessary to compete in an increasingly dynamic, liquid and demanding market.
The teams work by incorporating design thinking as a core axis to focus on customers' actual problems. Once the challenges have been set out and the design assumptions have been validated, the teams work with agile methodologies that aim to develop the added value, obtaining testable and measurable results in the market in less than six months, from which point the solution is subject to gradual ongoing improvement and adaptation to suit the customer.
HolaBank, the CaixaBank program for international customers
HolaBank is CaixaBank's specialised program intended for international customers who spend long periods in or who want to move to Spain.
HolaBank accompanies international customers, offering them a comprehensive financial service, with a customised service model and consultancy to meet the needs of people who do not live in Spain. To do so, the bank has 164 branches deployed throughout 70 municipalities of the Spanish coast and islands, and upwards of 500 multi-lingual advisers who are experts in international banking and high-value financial advisory. As part of its online service, HolaBank offers a 24-hour service in more than 20 languages.
HolaBank also offers a portfolio of financial and non-financial products and services, especially designed to meet the specific needs of CaixaBank's 495,000 international customers. This is the case with HolaBank Club or HolaBank Living Solutions Account, with services in various languages, such as financial advice, telephone healthcare assistance, online translators and interpreters, a personal assistant and a domestic emergency service, among others.
In this way, CaixaBank strengthens its strategy of offering a banking model specialised into sectors, fully tailored to suit the needs of each customer profile, with the goal of always offering the best customer experience.