18 September 2019
Openbank, which is Europe’s largest fully digital bank and part of the Santander group, is launching in Germany the first destination in an international expansion that will see the bank launch in the Netherlands and Portugal later this year, then a range of countries across Europe and the Americas in the medium term. Atits annual Media Day taking place in Berlin today, it will present a range of products and services, which will be fully operational in Germany by the end of the year with a waiting list currently open to clients.
The bank offers German customers a state-of-the-art platform and mobile app, featuring AI and machine learning technology, cloud-based systems and the highest security standards for usability and optimal customer experience.
To begin its activity in Germany, the bank has developed a new 360 degree socially responsible banking strategy in which all the products it offers fully support Openbank’s commitment to society in general and to the sustainability of the planet. It will provide a fee-free current account that allows free transfers to any EU country via the Openbank website or mobile app. This account comes with a free debit card that allows customers to use all mobile payment systems (Apple Pay, Google Pay, Fitbit Pay, Garmin Pay and Openbank Wallet).
All Openbank cards have a charitable purpose and are linked to a charity chosen by the customer through the first ‘charity marketplace’, made up of a group of charities, selected by the bank after going through a suitability assessment. The list includes charities such as Save the Children, Acnur, HePA and Theodora. When customers pay with their card, the amount spent will be rounded up to the nearest euro and the difference donated to charity. For example, if a payment of €10.40 is made, it will be rounded up to €11, donating the remaining €0.60 cents to the charity selected by the customer. Each user can set and modify the minimum and maximum amounts they wish to donate each month at any time.
The bank is also extending its responsible banking strategy to investment products. Managed portfolios will incorporate socially responsible investment (SRI) vehicles to the various strategies developed and monitored by the bank’s Investment Committee, in collaboration with BlackRock.
Openbank CEO, Ezequiel Szafir, said: “We believe that our responsible banking strategy, which is committed to the future of our planet and the well-being of our society, is the only way to understand the bank of the future. Because we want to anticipate what’s coming, we are launching this new approach in Germany, with investment products and payment methods that will be gradually rolled out in the different regions where we operate in.”
Amongst many other features presented today, customers can also turn on and off their cards from the website or app, as well as being able toblock their cards in a particular country and unlock them instantly. Users can restrict the use of their cards to particular channels, such as ATMs, online or physical purchases, while also being able to authorize or block devices from which their account has been accessed within the last 30 days.
This relentless customer focus has earned market recognition, with Openbank named Best Bank in Spain in 2019 by Forbes while achieving the best ‘Net Promoter Score’ (NPS) among Spanish banks.
100% digital automated investing
Openbank will place its automated investment platform at the fingertips of German customers. This new system allows anyone to access best-in-class investment management and advisory services, as it combines three services into one:
- A Robo Advisor, that continuously and actively manages the investment strategy to automatically align it with market movements. The Openbank Investment Committee, advised by BlackRock, is in charge of constantly monitoring the investments of every customer.
- Goal-based investing allows customers to define their financial goals, helping them save for a car, house, trip, higher education, or simply to increase or maintain their wealth. This new system allows users to create an investment portfolio for each goal, and adjust strategies to the desired amount and period.
- Micro-investing allows Openbank customers to save from one euro per day, week or month, automating a process that used to be tedious and time consuming.
The strategies that Openbank offers to its customers are composed of diversified portfolios with money market assets, fixed income, equities and real assets, not correlated to financial markets. With this launch, the bank has started to include SRI products in its various automated investment portfolios, in line with the responsible banking strategy developed in Germany.
This system, along with the ‘You Invest’ platform where Openbank offers more than 1,500 funds and ETFs from more than 50 different providers and stocks from over 25 markets, means anybody can have a state-of-the-art digital private banking service. To date, this type of service has only been available for high-net-worth individuals. This service simplifies the universe of investment funds, allowing access to these products in a simple, intuitive, transparent way which is targeted to achieve specific goals.
Password Manager Databank
Openbank is the first bank in the world to provide customers with a free password and data manager. The bank’s agility and high security standards mean that all customers are provided with an area inside the bank app (iOS and Android) to store key passwords and information.
The Openbank platform allows customers to store an unlimited number of passcodes with the highest levels of privacy and security. To do so, customers must first create their space to save their passwords with a unique access passcode. Even Openbank will have no knowledge of these passwords. When customers access their personal space, they will be able to view each stored password by swiping, or see more information by entering into the section created for each item.
The bank offers a comprehensive expense categoriser that simply, intuitively and visually classifies each customer’s expenditure into different categories to enable an efficient financial management. This tool allows customers to see their average monthly spend and compare different periods, while also being able to see if they are spending more at retailers, restaurants, hotels or petrol stations in the current month.
All this information is presented in simple charts and tables that show the evolution of expenditure in a defined period or in categories set by each user. Expenditure categorisation is automated, which means that customers do not have to do anything to receive and manage this data.
Openbank is the 100% digital bank of Santander Group, with more than 1.2 million clients and $10 billion in customer resources. Openbank has been recognized by Consumer Associations as the leading bank in customer experience, and has the highest Customer Net Promoter Score (NPS) of all Spanish banks. It has relaunched its new technology stack with full machine learning capabilities for its AML, fraud, commercial and credit risk activities. Openbank offers its clients a full range of retail banking products, covering from digital loans and mortgages to a fully automated and digital investment and brokerage platform with robo-advisor. Its customers access the bank through the web, mobile or 365 days open call center. For more information visit openbank.de.