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Bank Austria draws on ideas of SmartBanking community

  • Bank Austria completes one-year innovative process of intensive customer dialogue in Web 2.0 with customers in the SmartBanking community
  • Customers were invited via crowdsourcing to propose innovative solutions and enhance their SmartBanking service model
  • Direct results of this process are the use of video telephony to intensify relationship manager contact from the autumn of this year and further improve document interchange in the secure OnlineBanking environment

With the support of Solvster (www.solvster.com), an Austrian company and social media tool, Bank Austria launched an innovative customer dialogue in July 2011 to enhance its SmartBanking services. The interactive dialogue with over 420 customers in the SmartBanking community was based on Web 2.0 solutions.

The approach, unique in Austria, comprised three steps. The first step was an online discussion among customers on innovative solutions provided by Bank Austria and on customers’ expectations of future banking developments in Austria. This was followed by the crowdsourcing community itself defining solutions to achieve these objectives. And finally, customers made test purchases of ideas developed by themselves in order to show those responsible within the bank what is really relevant.

“We are consistently pursuing our customer-focused strategy. An example is the involvement of the SmartBanking community in the development of our innovative services in this area,” says Rainer Hauser, Bank Austria Management Board member responsible for the bank’s private customers and small and medium-sized businesses. “In the autumn we will start to offer advisory services via video telephony. This will enable us to intensify contact of SmartBanking customers with their relationship managers. We will also further develop document interchange via our secure OnlineBanking environment. The solutions which we have developed were proposed by the community in the dialogue with Bank Austria. We are proud that we can start implementing ideas so soon. This is a further step towards becoming Austria’s best multi-channel bank offering a full range of advisory services.”

SmartBanking is Bank Austria’s innovative service for customers who prefer conducting their banking transactions online on a mobile basis. The service is currently used by more than 50,000 customers. Relationship managers of Bank Austria provide advisory services via OnlineBanking, telephone, mail, fax and – starting in autumn this year for the first customers – also via video telephony. Customers who intend to use the GoToMeeting video telephony solution of citrix, which is used in this context, will not need any special software or downloads; all they require is suitable equipment which is online.

Customer dialogue continues
In addition to a total of EUR 1,500 in prize money for the five winners of the Solvster customer dialogue, one of the winners was offered the opportunity to undergo practical training in Bank Austria’s development department in August. The customer dialogue launched by Bank Austria will continue. It is the starting point for future activities aimed at further enhancing Bank Austria’s customer orientation and proximity to customers in retail banking.

Enquiries: Bank Austria Media Relations
 Matthias Raftl, tel. +43 (0) 50505 52809
 e-mail: Matthias.raftl@unicreditgroup.at

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