Infotech Consulting Services | Why are this Turkish bank’s mobile banking initiatives the best in the world?
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Why are this Turkish bank’s mobile banking initiatives the best in the world?

More than most organizations banks are central to people’s lives. The advent of mobility has allowed them to stay central to the increasingly hectic lives of their customers. Mobile banking was one of the first major innovations in enterprise mobility. Mobile banking apps are now firmly embedded as cornerstones of a bank’s digital multi channel engagement strategy.

What is surprising however is that in practice and as rated by experts the best mobile banking application did not come from a mature market or a globally well known established bank. It belongs to the second largest bank in Turkey Garanti bank and its iGaranti app. There are some serious lessons for how to engage with your customers via a mobility strategy not only for banks but also for all B2C organizations.

So what has Garanti bank figured out? What is it doing right?

  1. Key transactions are online
  2. Easy and convenient onboarding
  3. 360 degrees mobile engagement
  4. Intuitive and context based customer centric experience
  5. Enabling a multi channel strategy
  6. Customer service oriented approach

Key transactions online: You can easily move money and pay bills with iGaranti. Facebook integration is built in and you can even send money to your Facebook friends! iGaranti also is a powerful digital wallet with location based attributes. This means you can use your smartphone to pay at retail outlets of iGaranti partners and indeed get specific relevant targeted offers based on when you are geographically close to the store.

Easy and convenient onboarding: You can register for Garanti bank’s digital services directly from your smartphones. Most banks have you login from a PC first and have numerous other needless checks and balances.  Garanti thinks customer convenience first and it lets you use the device of your choice whether a smart phone, a tablet or a PC.

360 degrees mobile engagement: You can interact with Garanti bank via sms. You can interact with them using your mobile browser. You can interact with them using the App on your smartphone. Whatever is your preferred way of reaching out Garanti bank supports it. You can use a PC and increasingly more importantly you can use your tablet. In fact iGaranti features a functional virtual assistant that can use your voice to activate many needed and often used features!

Intuitive and context based customer centric approach: Garanti bank is revolutionary in that it does not do business segmentation based on income demographics but based on age. This is because Garanti had bet its future in a highly competitive market as a bank that was built from the ground up with the customer at the center. This approach defines its digital banking efforts and its app. The iGaranti app is a selection of 23 mobile banking apps. It’s an entire banking suite. Customers can customize this according to their lifestyle and preferences by adding or dropping widgets just as they would do on their desktop sidebars or on their smartphone or tablets.

You can easily find transactions history, which is the number one requested feature on a mobile banking app, but you can also find other relevant information because the entire suite is searchable via native language search. Additionally iGaranti acts as your personal money manager forecasting balances as per expenses needs. This makes it a powerful partner to a customer on their life’s journey and helps the bank stay sticky and relevant. The app knows you so well that it offers you deals based on your payment history and behavior, taking contextual app behavior to new highs.

Enabling a multi channel strategy: Garanti offers mobile chat via its app that helps you move to other channels as and when needed like ATM’s and retail branches. Other app features allow you to find closest ATM’s and branches. iGaranti takes social channel integration to an unprecedented level by integrating payments with Facebook as well as clearly leading customer to its Facebook and Twitter properties if desired. You can interest customers with new banking product offers and apply from via app and close the transaction at their convenience by visiting the retail branches.

Customer service oriented approach: The iGaranti app allows you to use chat to reach the bank. All contact details for all channels whether email, contact center, closest branches are provided on the app. A powerful search function allows for immediate gratification to a customer’s need for information. The app comes with highly customized alerts for any and all banking transactions you wish to be notified about.

Turkey is a fiercely competitive market. It has around 49 banks of which at least 13 have more than 250 branches. Yet 45% of all mobile transactions in Turkey are Garanti customers. And 80% of all of Garanti’s banking is done via digital channels. Garanti has three times as many ATM’s (over 3400) as its branches in a bid to extend services to its customers and potential customers. Garanti bank has figured out a key fundamental insight; modern banking is not about managing your customer’s money, it is about meeting customer needs and the entire bank needs to be dramatically restructured around those needs.


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