Up to now, the Bank has launched a number of innovative products that allow customers, to seamlessly perform payments to merchants or transfers to third parties using their smart devices. Apple Pay, BoC Wallet and wearables like GarminPay allow the user to replace their wallet using smart devices. At the same time, QuickPay allows 1bank users to execute free transfers, instantly, to other 1bank subscribers by simply typing on their mobile phones.
Gregoris Savvides is Manager of Digital Product Management at Bank of Cyprus
Tell us what your company’s mission is and describe in brief the strategy that implements that mission?
The world is moving on a fast-paced path towards digitalization. Intense technological advancements in the last decades have driven people and businesses into a new interconnected and online reality, presenting them with many opportunities as well as challenges.
Bank of Cyprus mission was always to support our clients in the most important events of their lives and their daily needs. This mission is achieved by putting the customer’s needs first.
In today’s reality the aim is to offer our customers effortless and secure ways for facilitating their financial needs. The goal is to bring the bank to the customers, and give them the ability to perform every activity, securely, at the ease of their homes, businesses or offices, via the bank’s digital channels, starting from the onboarding of the customer and extending to every single interaction with the bank.
This is why, Bank of Cyprus, in the recent years set as a cornerstone of its strategy its Digital Transformation.
How does technology fit into the strategy?
Putting the customer’s needs first means being better, being safer, being quicker, being approachable and offering options. Digital Transformation is built around and fuelled by technological progress and the application of cutting-edge technological features.
This serves a twofold purpose for Bank of Cyprus. It allows the Bank, on the one hand, to provide better services, new products and more value to our customers and on the other hand, to improve the internal operational processes in order to become more efficient, more rapid and increasingly approachable to our customers.
On every part of this journey, technology is the fundamental enabler. From contactless payments and secure user identification to highly connected smart devices, 24/7 availability of operation and universal access, technology is driving our ability to shape how our strategy is implemented.
What is your philosophy of innovation?
Innovation is the driving force of progress: Using the means available and applying unconventional thinking to come up with solutions that would improve standards of living. It can be seen in the way we can review an older problem and see its solution through utilising newer concepts. The evolution of payments for instance, is an example of innovation. Starting from the initial concept of money as an innovative idea for addressing the need of transactions between individuals and improving it into today’s contactless payments.
Tell us, in detail, about the innovation itself and how it fits into your strategy?
Up to now, the Bank launched a number of innovative products that allow customers, to seamlessly perform payments to merchants or transfers to third parties using their smart devices. Apple Pay, BoC Wallet and wearables like GarminPay allow the users to replace their wallets in this way. At the same time, QuickPay allows 1bank users to execute free transfers, instantly, to other 1bank subscribers by simply typing on their mobile phones.
In parallel, understanding the need of moving towards the digital economy, the Bank offers the 1bank B2B APIs which allow companies to access 1bank services directly, to receive account balances and issue payments, payroll, monitor transaction statuses and other activities.
At the same time the bank is providing more services through digital channels like the Know Your Customer periodical update of customer data, the opening and management of accounts and cards, taking away the need to physically visit any branch.
All of the above are designed not only with customer experience in mind, but also implementing the latest security protocols and directives to ensure that customers enjoy the services without risk.
Tell us how your company will evolve in the future?
At Bank of Cyprus, the mission has always been about putting customer needs first and being the driving force of Cyprus Digital Economy. Based on our 122-year-old heritage, we understand that the means to achieve this can change, but the mission remains the same. As the customers are exposed to new and improved digital experiences, their expectations from their banking solutions are also rising. Addressing all these new needs and challenges will be achieved only through embracing the changes and progress in our technological environment and pioneering in innovation in our banking operations, as well as through supporting innovators in Cyprus, through incubators like IDEA or implementing in practice the concepts of Digital Economy through the Cyprus Online (CYON) initiative. Bank of Cyprus aims to be more than just a bank and to facilitate all customer needs both during inception and execution.