The bank’s Deputy General Manager Işıl Akdemir Evlioğlu recently spoke with the Turkish edition of Fortune magazine to discuss Garanti BBVA's winning digital banking proposition.
Garanti BBVA recently hit a new record, reaching 14 million digital customers and having the most widely used banking app in the country. The bank also boasts the most customers using digital channels among private banks, and is constantly making investments to maintain this position. The key, according to Evlioğlu: “We focus on providing a perfect end-to-end experience by increasing the variety of products and transactions so that our customers can access their banking transactions and products on digital channels.”
The BBVA’s Turkish unit was the first bank to take steps toward the digitization of banking in Türkiye and is one of the pioneers in the sector, with a 25 year history in this field. Without a doubt, the most important foundation of this came from investments in technology, which continues without interruption, she added. Five years ago the bank’s digital transformation journey was focusing on moving products and services to digital channels, today “we are working on bringing the digital customer experience to a hyper personalized” level, Evlioğlu said.
Big data and artificial intelligence are the greatest drivers in this effort. The bank is using hundreds of models with very different algorithms in areas such as marketing and sales, pricing, fraud, credit evaluation, and customer satisfaction. “We are using these technologies to further enhance the customer experience,” she explained.
With more than 500 functions on its mobile app, the bank provides customer service with the simplicity and speed to allow customers to perform transactions on their own in everything from signing up as a bank customer via the app to applying for products and services. Customers can find solutions to their needs on our mobile channel as the first point of contact, with services such as our smart assistant Ugi, chatbot, and video calls. “We provide customer service with a hybrid structure in which human assistance can be provided at any time if necessary,” Evlioğlu added.
Garanti BBVA’s mobile banking app is currently the most widely used in Türkiye with approximately 14 million customers. Furthermore, 11.3 million of these customers do all of their banking on mobile channels. The number of transactions carried out on internet and mobile banking channels has been steadily increasing every year. In 2022, for example, there was a 41 percent increase (about 1.1 billion). The number of times Garanti BBVA Mobile is accessed continues to increase regularly. In 2022, there was a 37 percent increase (3.7 billion). In addition, 83 percent of the SMEs that are clients today are actively using our digital channels, up from 80 percent the previous year. If you look at a wide range of transactions such as currency exchanges, credit card and bill payments and money transfers such as EFT, FAST, or SWIFT, our SMEs carry out approximately 99 percent of their financial transitions on our digital channels, she said.
“The experience we provide our customers focuses on how to bring people and technology together in the best way. At Garanti BBVA, we enhance our ability to understand our customers by taking advantage of these opportunities that technology gives us, and by integrating advanced data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning into our systems,” she underlined.
One of the key areas where Garanti BBVA is also at the forefront of the Turkish banking system, is the use of smart, personalized content in real-time to help its customers with their financial health, giving advisory a key role in the equation. “Big data and advanced analytical models allow us to anticipate the needs of our customers and ensure that they can manage their finances with the least possible effort,” Evlioğlu explained.