Turkey is one of the leading countries in the world in digital banking

Garanti BBVA Deputy General Manager Ilker Kuruoz said, “Turkey is one of the leading countries in the world today, with its technological infrastructure and innovative products and services in the field of digital banking.”

Kuruoz evaluated the effect of the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic on the technological change in the banking sector to AA correspondent.

Stating that the Covid-19 outbreak is an important test for banking as it is in many sectors, Kuruoz said, “As it showed us our strengths, it also enabled us to reconsider our processes as a sector and institutions. While always focusing on newer and innovative works, it contributed to our acceleration to digitalize the works that need to be done in the branch during the epidemic by solving them within the regulations.”

Kuruoz said that with the epidemic, it was once again seen how much technology actually makes life easier and creates value.

Noting that even customers who have just started using digital banking services have discovered the convenience of making transactions very quickly and safely from the comfort of their homes, Kuruoz said:

“Therefore, we have a responsibility to our millions of potential customers and consumers, who have been relatively far from digital banking until today or have never met, but who need to be included in the system with this extraordinary process we are experiencing. As of May 1, 2021, the ‘remote customer’ period began, which allows us to include these millions in the system with a well-designed and well-designed experience in line with the new regulations. We see this process as a very exciting and important step in terms of banking. This process is also very valuable for banks to reach and serve more customers. This will both significantly affect the digitization figures and increase financial inclusion, facilitating the spread of digital banking services to the base.”

Ilker Kuruoz explained that as Garanti BBVA, they have been working hard on this issue in terms of both technical and customer experience for a long time and they have made significant investments.

Saying that this end-to-end digital process creates a fast, time and location-independent experience for the customer compared to traditional methods, Kuruoz said, “In this way, customers can easily perform any transaction they want, and they will also develop the behavior of changing their bank when they see a more suitable opportunity. Therefore, we believe that we should evolve to a point where we can provide financial consultancy to customers beyond offering products in order to differentiate in customer experience in the future. Therefore, our vision and strategy in digital is to take digital channels far beyond a platform where transaction and product applications are made. Our aim is to provide an experience that interacts intelligently with our customers at every point and creates a bond of trust with them.”

“Digital, especially mobile, is becoming the main channel”

Ilker Kuruoz said that digitalization and technology were actually an important part of the banking sector and one of the main agenda items even before the epidemic period.

Emphasizing that banking is already one of the leading sectors in Turkey that has adapted to digital transformation in the earliest and fastest way, constantly renews itself with advanced technology infrastructure investments, closely follows the latest technologies and trends and integrates them into their processes, Kuruoz said, “However, the epidemic period undoubtedly accelerated these processes, and the investments and applications planned for the next few years came into our lives in a very short time. We have seen once again how much technology makes our lives easier and creates value.”

Kuruoz stated that as digital usage increases, customer expectations also increase like never before. Expressing that users make comparisons using many mobile applications and want simpler and more useful interfaces that make their lives easier, Kuruoz continued:

“Therefore, the user experience will take a much more important place in our lives in the coming period. Users will also prefer the services of brands that achieve this. We can say that the demand of users for digital banking will increase even more in the next period. All investments and developments will continue to be mobile-focused, while digital, especially mobile, becomes the main channel. End-to-end experience and technology will serve people. New and emerging concepts such as Open Banking and being a digital customer will also allow us to offer hybrid solutions for consumers through collaborations from different sectors. In this context, we believe that in order to differentiate in customer experience, we need to evolve to a point where we can provide smart, accurate and personalized financial advice to our customers, beyond just offering products. For this, we work intensively on the basis of big data and artificial intelligence applications to develop financial insights that can help our customers. In the near future of banking, being able to process data in the most accurate way and providing personalized services will be an important factor that differentiates institutions in the eyes of customers.”

“Fintechs have become important and agile players contributing to the growth of the industry”

Garanti BBVA Deputy General Manager Kuruoz also shared his views on fintechs and the place of techfins in the future of the banking sector.

Kuruoz said that although fintechs in Turkey have not yet reached a similar size compared to their examples in the world, they have gradually become important and agile players that contribute to the growth of the sector. He stated that most of the successful fintechs are start-ups that specialize in verticals and that understand and solve the customer’s specific need in a subject very well.

He stated that there are many fintechs in different value chains, and that digital payments constitute the largest network of them.

In addition, Kuruoz underlined that fintech applications and companies have started to make their effects felt in the fields of credit provision, asset management, insurance, factoring and financial consultancy, and made the following assessments:

“We keep all kinds of collaborations that will create value, such as establishing partnerships with fintechs that we believe will grow together, receiving services or adding them to our structure, on our agenda and we implement some of them. Our basic approach is to make these collaborations at the right points. We see the highlight of this cooperation as the experience and benefit we will create for our customers. For example, we are already collaborating with some start-ups on the pension and technology side. Today, there are B2B Fintechs that do different things from banks and develop complementary business models. They are developing very good solutions in areas such as SMEs and commercial banking that will still have to go digitally. In technology service provider models, there are fintechs that can create cost, speed and agility advantages for banks. We can say that B2B models will grow rapidly in the coming period. Cooperation in this area creates an advantage for banks. On the other hand, there are fintechs that have the potential to increase digital traffic, bring banks and end-users together more, and create more added value for customers. With such initiatives, we evaluate cooperation opportunities in areas such as e-commerce and insurance.”

“As Turkey, we are shown as an example in terms of digitalization in the sector”

Ilker Kuruoz also commented on Turkey’s position in the world in digital banking. Emphasizing that the steps taken in the name of digitalization in the banking sector in Turkey, compared to the rest of the world, Kuruoz said:

“We clearly see this in other countries where BBVA operates, and as Turkey, we are shown as an example in terms of digitalization in the sector. Turkey is one of the leading countries in the world today in the field of digital banking with its technological infrastructure and innovative products and services. The vast majority of banking products and services in our country can be offered to customers through digital channels, and with the implementation of the ‘remote customer’ process in May, the final step in the end-to-end digital banking experience has been completed.”

Source: AA / Translated by Irem Yildiz

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