DIGITAL CUSTOMER SERVICES
The e-banking system for retail customers, Internet Bank, accessible at i.bspb.ru, is the principal online channel for the customers of Bank Saint Petersburg, offering increasingly better services and solutions at more favourable prices. The number of individuals who have signed up for i.bspb.ru showed a growth of 25% in 2017: from 770 000 to 960 000. One third of the city’s economically active population has access to i.bspb.ru, and every eighth client of the Bank uses the mobile banking application: the number of downloads exceeded 225 000. The share of users of the mobile banking application grew by 20% and reached 2/3 of the total number of Internet Bank users. Internet-Bank for individuals entered the Top 5 of the best Internet Banks
The most important innovation of 2017 was the launch of the mobile website which was created as part of the integrated environment based on BSPB Mobile banking apps for iOS, Android, and WindowsMobile. The new online engine provides solutions for the user’s daily tasks and improves overall banking experience: customers can find ATMs with cash deposit function or the nearest office, view currency exchange rates, apply for a card or loan and also can find a gallery of banking products, providing a wide scope of relevant information. The mobile website thus became the point of entry to the Bank for those users who decided to become its customers having reviewed the product-related content.
The conceptual decision to create a new product instead of customizing the existing website is in line with the current trends: according to TNS research group, a daily average of 20 mln Russians use only mobile devices to browse the web. The current product is targeted at individuals who form the bulk of website users. The next envisioned stage is a mobile website for corporates.
The number of users of Internet Bank i2B reached 47 000 in 2017. The e-banking system is currently used by more than 95% of the corporate customers of Bank Saint Petersburg, with 99% of payments and FX transactions being made online.
Starting from 2017, corporate customers can use Internet Bank i2B to obtain an enhanced encrypted and certified digital signature (a fully valid substitute of a handwritten signature). A fully automated solution allows customers to receive the certified digital signature at any time, without visiting the certifying center. The service is in demand by the market, since only with the certified digital signature the company can submit tax and accounting statements to state authorities, use electronic document circulation, and receive electronic services.
Internet Bank i2B supports the WikiPay service, which allows customers to significantly reduce the time to prepare payments. Customers need to enter the counterparty's INN only in the search field of Smart Payment and the WikiPay service will input the recipient’s other payment details. Then customers only need to complete the amount and purpose of the payment.
Since the end of 2017, Internet Bank i2B allows customers to issue powers of attorney to their authorized persons to represent interests to the Bank. Now, to perform regular operations (for example, obtaining various certificates), corporate clients do not need to provide hard copies of documents to the Bank's office, it is enough to send a request in Internet Bank i2B – and the power of attorney will be issued.
Based on the results of Business Internet Banking Rank 2017, Internet Bank i2B is recognized as one of the most effective for small businesses and, following the results of the survey, got into the Top 10 banks in Russia, ranking in the 4th place for ExIm companies, 6th place for trade companies carried out settlements in rubles, and 7th place for sole proprietors without employees.
Moreover, starting from 2017 MasterCard Business corporate cards issued by Bank Saint Petersburg support the cutting edge mobile payment technologies offered by Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. The new premium Visa Platinum Business card also comes with all forefront technology solutions (Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, contactless payments) and ensures maximum security of web transactions.
Among the priorities for 2017 was further development of various services available through the Russian MIR National Payment System: the Bank started issuing contactless MIR cards and became one of the first participants of MIR rewards program (the Bank allows its customers, both MIR cardholders and merchants, to join the program as well).
The Bank continues to broaden the range of services offered jointly with MasterCard and Visa payment systems. For instance, in addition to Apple Pay and Samsung Pay payment services, holders of MasterCards issued by Bank Saint Petersburg gained access to Android Pay in the reporting year. Visa holders can now enjoy the convenience of Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay.
Other innovations introduced in cooperation with payment systems in 2017 were:
- Visa Cash Back with extra cashback option based on Visa Rewards offered by Visa;
- Lounge Key service now available with the Bank’s card products, providing access to VIP airport lounges.
Furthering the development of payment infrastructure of the St. Petersburg Metro, in the reporting year the Bank increased the number of turnstiles accepting bank cards for metro fare payments and added MIR proximity cards to the accepted cards range. The turnstiles also support the cutting-edge mobile payment technology offered by Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay.
Moreover, all of the Bank’s ATMs now feature a graphic interface with touch input and voice messages. In the reporting year the Bank also equipped its ATMs with cash recycle function.
IT SUPPORT OF BUSINESS OPERATIONS
In 2017, in order to enhance the operational efficiency of access rights management and due to the growing volume of processed data, Bank Saint Petersburg migrated to a new high capacity IDM platform. This solution made automated identity management 8 to 10 times faster.
With the aim of boosting the immunity of the Bank’s IT infrastructure against possible natural and man-made disasters, the Bank conducted an emergency drill during which its information systems migrated between the main and backup data processing centers. The drill showed that the infrastructure and employees are well-prepared to ensure continuity of business operations.
The Bank began an upgrade of its front end system based on MS CRM Dynamics to increase its functionality and improve the user interface for individual customers.
2017 brought about the automation of the baseline corporate loan conveyor for standard lending programs. The conversion to MooS platform not only fast-tracked the loan applications review process, but also laid the groundwork for future full-scale computerization of the corporate business.
A joint project implemented in the reporting year with Navius real estate agency concerned the provision of comprehensive services to parties involved real estate transactions. The innovative project introduced an end-to-end customer services process coupled with a fully digitalized vault room. Transaction parties can also apply for a mortgage loan, arrange letters of credit or open escrow or deposit accounts.
The key innovations in the payments business are: escrow services offered to individuals, access to PayHD Customs Card computerized system for ExIm companies, and cross-border trade contract settlements.
Successfully countering present-day cyberattacks, which continue to grow in power and complexity, remains the single most important current task in this area.
In 2017, the Bank implemented a targeted attack protection system and significantly improved its defenses against possible information attacks and denial of service (DDoS) attacks against digital banking channels. The Bank continued to implement and enhance the systems designed to counteract internal and external fraud.
Increasingly wide-ranging and in-depth cooperation with the leading Russian and foreign companies providing cyber threat protection allows to efficiently identify new threats and promptly neutralize them.
In 2017, experts from one of the leading Israeli cybersecurity companies continued to audit the Bank’s cybercrime defenses and planned their development strategy for 2018-2020. This audit, together with other external audits performed in 2017 by the competent Russian entities to check compliance with the Russian and global information security standards, once again reaffirmed the high level of cybersecurity achieved by the Bank.