It surprises me how often I find Spanish banks surprise me.
First, BBVA launch the first really cool Bank 2.0 apps two years ago.
Then Caja Navarra launches a fantastic hybrid Zopa-Bank styled P2P lending service.
More recently, Santander created a really interesting head office campus full of robots.
And now Banco Sabadell is one of the first, if not the first bank to launch an iPad banking service.
My good friend Pol Navarro, Director for Innovation at Banco Sabadell, tells me that they decided to do this because: “since we launched our mobile portal, at the end of 2009, we've seen a tremendous usage from iPhone users – about 60% of access – so we decided to develop a specific app for the iPhone/iPad.”
Certainly, that seems to be indicative of a core focus upon the customer as, in just three months since its launch, Banco Sabadell’s Mobile Service (BSMS) is being used by more than 13,500 customers of the bank and is expected to exceed their target of 35,000 customers this year.*
According to the bank’s blog – yes, they have a blog! – the “new version of BS Mobile for iPhone IPAD and includes all operations currently available in the BS Mobile service (consulting accounts and cards, transfers and transfers, purchase / sale of securities, signature files, etc. ..) for both the segment private customers and companies, taking advantage of new capabilities for interaction and usability that Apple devices offer and improving current features:
Tracking all current procedures of the customer (card applications, loans, etc …) to give the best customer service and information wherever you are.
- Higher quality maps and greater precision in the location of offices and ATMs, as well as Street View.
- New presentation of the application, Touch and more intuitive.
- Ability to save favourite operations and menu customization operations.
- Keyboard shortcuts to the operations of accounts, cards, data transfers and your personal manager.
- Option to call me back for easy access to the Contact Center.”
UPDATE: New and improved video
In addition, Pol tells me that they “think that the iPad has its own space, for consuming digital content online/offline (airplanes, garden, home, etc.) … the iPad version, has some specific functions, adapted to the terminal’s screen size, user interaction, maps navigation, etc.”
They are also developing the iPad further: “for example, product simulation of loans and mortgages, investment portfolios, video calls with your sales rep, etc. Also this kind of gadget can be used internally, for sales rep, private banking advisors, etc. We are just investigating in this side.”
All in all, Spanish banks never fail to impress me with their first mover experiments in social and mobile finance.
Definitely not a case of mañana my friend.
* Banco Sabadell has €82 billion in assets with 1,190 domestic branches and 9,466 staff