Attica Bank implements ambitious digital transformation plan

Attica Bank’s strategic digital transformation plan, currently underway, aims to offer alternative digital networks of banking services and products, such as upgraded internet and modern mobile banking, latest generation ATMs, digital kiosks in every geographical region of the country and a new series of said on Wednesday.

In an interview, Plagiannis said that the first steps of this plan have been taken already and results were beginning to show, noting that the digital transformation of a bank was a complex project as it required investments in new technologies and affected its structure and services as a whole. In order to be successful, it must take cautious and gradual steps towards IT systems, branches, services, products, and alternative digital networks and, of course, it requires proper training of human resources, Plagiannis said.

One of the first projects already completed in Attica Bank was the operation of a new website last autumn, improvement in the existing internet banking system, expanding the use of e-signature, and expanding the use of free wi-fi service in branches and external areas with the bank’s ATMs. Attica Bank offers same-day delivery of POS and is currently operating a network of 30,000 POS. Plagiannis said Attica Bank launched a cooperation with Euronet and EDPS (card processors), while – starting this month – it offers to its customers a Business Debit Card in cooperation with MasterCard.

The bank will gradually replace all its cards with new ones allowing contactless transactions and has launched a loyalty programme for its customers.

The next steps of the digital transformation project will become visible to customers with the launch of a new and upgraded user-friendly internet banking and mobile banking systems within the next few months. The strategic plan also envisages the development of a strong network of digital units to cover all of the country. Attica Bank was in the final stage of an agreement with an extensive ATM network in Greece, allowing the bank’s cardholders to use them in hundreds of ATMs across the country free of charge, in addition to the 78 currently operated by the bank which are currently fully upgraded.

Attica Bank is also considering the use of new-generation ATMs linked to smart phones.

Commenting on the impact from the implementation of a PSD2 community directive, allowing the entry of third players in the banking market and the dynamism of FinTech companies, Plagiannis stressed that this new data should become windows of opportunity to expand activities through a faster digital transformation and not taken as a threat. Banks do not have the adjustment speed that FinTech companies have, but they have the comparative advantage of enjoying customers’ trust over their personal data and their transactions. He added that Attica Bank, because of its size, has the ability to manage faster and more efficiently this adjustment in comparison with other Greek banks.

He stressed that Attica Bank was closely monitoring developments in PSD2 in the European and Greek space and participates in coordinating meetings held by the Hellenic Bank Association.

Plagiannis said that Attica Bank will offer Personal Finance Management and Business Finance Management services to its customers, exploiting a system that has artificial intelligence, and will offer trusted advisor services to private and corporate customers over a total management of their finances.

A digital transformation of a bank is a travel and not a destination, Plagiannis said, adding that the real challenge is not just to suggest and implement new innovative ideas but how to get rid of old ideas.