The integration between CaixaBank and Bankia has resulted in the creation of the leading financial institution in Spain, with significant market shares in most of the country’s regions and the largest network of branches, ATMs and digital banking in the country.
The resulting entity faces the future with the aim of leading the transformation process of the financial system and, to this end, has an omnichannel distribution model, which combines face-to-face and remote customer service, to offer a service adapted to the needs of its more than 20 million customers.
CaixaBank is now undertaking the integration of more than 800 branches into other branches which, in more than 90% of cases, will be less than 500 metres away, enabling customers to continue to receive the full range of products and services in a personalised manner. Thus, the network of physical branches will reach 4,600 by the end of 2021, the most extensive in Spain.
CaixaBank will remain the only financial institution in 389 towns and cities, where it has pledged to remain in order to ensure the financial inclusion of their inhabitants.
In order to inform users affected by the change of branch, the bank is carrying out a process of accompanying and communicating with customers through physical letters, newsletters, push messages on CaixaBankNow, e-mail and SMS.
In addition to conventional branches, the bank has a model of 625 Store branches, with extended opening hours and a greater number of services. In these branches, customers have a personal reference manager, an expert in serving a specific customer segment, with whom they can make an appointment whenever they wish, at the times they prefer (uninterrupted opening hours mornings and afternoons from Monday to Thursday, from 8.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. and Fridays, from 8.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m.). The Stores have also incorporated innovations to make it easier for customers to meet with their manager by booking an appointment, as well as tools that help reduce waiting times.
The aesthetics of the Store offices are different from the conventional, with large spaces where physical barriers between clients and employees are eliminated. The office has differentiated areas to serve the client according to their needs, with a specific area for personalised attention, with the necessary technology for the client and manager to share a screen at all times; differentiated areas for greater privacy (meeting rooms and offices), and a Store Café area.
In combination with the branch network, CaixaBank offers a powerful remote customer service model -digital channels, ATMs and remote personal attention- which is already chosen by more than 71.4% of its customers to carry out their transactions.
On the one hand, the bank has CaixaBankNow, one of the most advanced digital banking apps in the world in its sector, which allows customers to operate and interact with the bank and even contact their personal manager via their smartphone any day, at any time and from anywhere without having to go to a physical branch.
CaixaBank’s digital banking has the largest user base in Spain, with more than 10 million people. The CaixaBankNow app was voted ‘Best mobile banking app for individuals in Western Europe 2021’ by Global Finance magazine. It incorporates innovative services such as Noa, CaixaBank’s virtual assistant, which uses artificial intelligence to resolve customer queries, as well as fintech services with clear added value integrated into operations and which help to make personal finance and investment management decisions. It also includes multiple card management services, ranging from controlling the movements made to splitting purchases, managing deferred payment or directly making payments from the same mobile phone via NFC.
State-of-the-art ATM network
Customers also have at their disposal the largest ATM network in Spain. The two banks have a combined total of more than 12,700 terminals. The ATM network is fundamental to CaixaBank’s strategy of using technology to improve customer service.
CaixaBank will thus continue to deploy its latest generation ATM technology, with innovations such as the facial recognition service, the first in the world designed to offer the possibility of making withdrawals without the need to use a PIN, and the ATMNow technology platform, which provides ATMs with a digital banking service of the same level of quality, image and service as the rest of the digital channels.
inTouch, specialised digital managers
For customers who only interact with the bank through digital channels, CaixaBank has developed the inTouch management model, which combines remote communication tools (video call, voice call, e-mail, Whatsapp, etc.) with the relationship of trust provided by an expert manager. The service is based on the figure of a specialized manager who, supported by CaixaBank’s technological capabilities, can attend to the needs of customers through all types of remote channels.
In addition to resolving queries, customers can also receive specialised advice on products and, if they wish, complete the contracting process entirely digitally. The inTouch team is made up of specialists from CaixaBank’s various customer segments: individual banking, Premier Banking, Business and HolaBank (international customers resident in Spain).
To this end, CaixaBank has just reinforced this service with the incorporation of 900 new managers, all of them coming from other positions in the bank, and with the opening of three new centers, located in Cordoba, Huelva and Leon.
inTouch will have a total team of 2,400 managers and 26 centres. With this structure, inTouch aims to exceed the figure of four million customers by 2022, compared to the 2.2 million it currently has.
Commitment to the territory and financial inclusion
CaixaBank has other branch models for the rural environment, which, as part of the reorganisation of its network, have a prominent position, while it also has teams specialising in the tertiary sector that offer their services through AgroBank.
In fact, CaixaBank’s forecast is that by 2022, 38% of the bank’s branches will be located in towns with less than 10,000 inhabitants. The bank maintains its commitment not to abandon any locality in which it is the only financial institution. It is present in more than 2,200 municipalities and is the only institution represented in 389.
CaixaBank also offers special initiatives to reinforce its service in rural areas through mobile branches that serve 270,000 people in 430 small towns, thus contributing to financial inclusion. This service is currently provided in Castilla y León, Valencia, La Rioja, Madrid, Castilla-La Mancha and Andalusia.