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Successful transition to the digital age: a key challenge for the banking sector

thumbnail hellenic bank csr (2)
Hellenic Bank building

By George Sklavos

The smooth transition to the digital age is one of the toughest challenges facing the banking sector in Cyprus.

We are living in a time when everything is in flux — the ways we operate in our day-to-day lives, how we communicate, and even how we shop.

sklavos hellenic
George Sklavos

Naturally, the way in which businesses operate is likewise going through a transitional phase, with most organisations having understood that digital transformation is intertwined with sustainable growth – meaning they’ll need to adapt their operations and services. The banking sector is no exception.

Having set customer as well as staff satisfaction as its top priority, Hellenic Bank is investing in upgrading its banking services, focusing on a new service model as it aims to fully and effectively transition to the digital age.

It’s a drive that’s progressing on three simultaneous tracks – digital customer service, internal processes, and optimising workplace culture.

Hellenic Bank aims to offer its customers upgraded digital services that are accessible on mobile phones or computers. Using Online Banking, bank customers can quickly and easily perform a number of tasks – create a virtual card for more secure online transactions, carry out free-of-charge SEPA transfers of up to €1,000, or pay 17 different organisations and over 1,200 types of bills.

What’s more, Hellenic Bank has developed the ‘Book a Meeting’ service, which customers can use to arrange an appointment with a bank officer through our refurbished website which offers improved customer experience and free access to account management – instantly and securely.

The successful opening of the City Centre branch in Nicosia, modelled on the ‘phygital’ concept that combines brick-and-mortar with digitisation, attests to Hellenic Bank’s desire to invest in people and in cutting-edge technology. Using innovative technologies, the bank ensures the ongoing upgrading of products and services while cutting down on red tape.

Hellenic Bank pays particular attention to internal processes and reducing the time customers need to spend in carrying out their transactions inside the bank branch.

The goal is to automate and digitise processes with tools like the digital signature, the Customer Credit Assessment Model for faster, streamlined and fairer lending decisions, or ‘Customer 360’ which generates a visualisation of customer traits, in this way ensuring a smarter way of anticipating customer needs.

Figures show that the transition to a new model of digital service, as well as the ongoing training and assistance we provide so that customers get familiar with the new way of doing things, have both been very successful. Customers have made a marked shift to the bank’s alternative channels.

In April 2023, 46 per cent of transactions were performed via Online Banking, 44 per cent at ATMs, and just 10 per cent at bank branches. Meantime, 98 per cent of funds transfers are done using Online Banking.

In addition, 81 per cent of deposits are carried out at ATMs – far surpassing the traditional way of making deposits at the counter, which now accounts for just 22.3 per cent. Also, 96 per cent of cash withdrawals are done at ATMs.

Finally, over the past two years, the number of Online Banking users has shot up by 51 per cent, the number of Hellenic Bank Mobile App users by 117 per cent, while transactions using ContactPay have increased by 103 per cent in a year.


George Sklavos is the Head of Corporate Communications & Branding at Hellenic Bank

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