Growth in the usage of digital banking services is a sustainable trend, Postbank recorded in its 2018 annual results.
Mobile banking (m-Postbank) transactions registered 103 percent growth on an annual basis, and the newly registered customers of the online banking (e-Postbank) increased by over 60 percent. The download of the mobile app (m-Postbank) went up by 80 percent, and the amounts transferred through the mobile banking increased by 113 percent. The bank's statistics also showed that the two digital channels are most actively used by customers with higher education aged 31 to 45.
"An increasing number of people use our digital banking channels – 2018 saw doubling of the ratio of transactions performed online to those carried out in an office. That shows a sustainable change in the consumers' attitude, who increasingly prefer the digital financial services, because they are secure, cheaper and can be used at any time and in any place around the world. Postbank continues to upgrade its digital banking to meet as much as possible the consumers' expectations for remote consulting and full online servicing. We offer many new possibilities online, such as opening of an account, issuing a password, absorption and repayment of credit lines, and others. We will continue introducing innovative products and services in 2019 as well, which will make the daily banking as fast and convenient as possible. The global trends in that field that come to Bulgaria include the development of the mobile wallets, the digitalization of bank cards, which will allow the users to make contactless payments, etc. The objective of our digitalization strategy, which we have implemented successfully, is to enable the customers to fully manage their finances 24/7 from various points. We understand that the everyday life is busy and our efforts are focused on providing the consumers with an easy, intuitive, fast and always available remote access to all services of the bank so that they can have more time for their families and hobbies," Postbank commented.
The financial institution's data showed another trend – the customers are becoming increasingly active in searching loans online. Consumer loan applications filed online increased by 70 percent in one year, and the total amount of the consumer loans issued through that channel went up by over 100 percent. The conclusions have been supported also by the results of the first banking loan chatbot on the Bulgarian market, developed by Postbank – EVA (Electronic Virtual Assistant).
11,000 unique users have contacted the loan chatbot, which is available in Facebook Messenger 24/7, from the launch of the service in September last year until the end of 2018. This means an average of nearly 100 people per day. 52 percent of the conversations with EVA concern the possibility to fund a renovation or to purchase cars and consumer electronics, and 35 percent of the consumers are interested in acquiring additional funds to paycheck or in funding smaller purchases. The average age of the users who contact EVA is 34, as the number of men and women is equal.
"The successful launch of EVA proves that the consumers highly appreciate Postbank's modern and innovative services because they make the communication with us more comfortable – one example for that is the fact that 40 percent of the conversations with the chatbot are conducted outside of the business hours. Our chatbot will continue developing this year in order to provide the consumers with the best financial solution for them. The future of the banking technologies is in the use of artificial intelligence and we are happy that we were the first among the banks in Bulgaria to introduce the chatbot technologies for the customers' convenience," the financial institution said further.
In 2019 Postbank will continue introducing the best global practices and offering increasingly innovative and attractive financial services. The institution's goal is to be a trusted long-term partner to its customers and to help them make their audacious plans and dreams come true now. There are many successful projects in 2018 as shared by the consumers, which have been implemented through funding provided by the bank – among those projects are plans for education, for owning a home, trips, purchase of agricultural equipment, cars, etc. Some of the most interesting cases include that of a father who applied for a loan for the first time in his life with the aim to help his children – twin girls, to study abroad, and that of a farmer who applied online for funding to buy a tractor. Their applications were approved.