Harry's giving HR a helping hand
Since last October, KBC staff have been able to go to Harry with questions they have on HR matters for which no complex answer is required. Harry's a chatbot created to give people a faster, improved service which in turn enhances the employee experience. The concept was tested from January to June last year by a hundred staff members who regularly put questions to Harry. The trial gave HR greater insight into what chatbots can do for us and what their limitations are, and the kinds of questions our staff like enough to ask through the chatbot medium. Harry is not the first chatbot that KBC has tried out. It has previously tested one for users of the K’Ching banking app aimed at young people.
Chatbots have the big advantage of being available night and day, and give you an answer immediately. And, Harry’s getting to grips with other subject areas, too. As well as HR, questions related to office facilities and straightforward IT matters are also supported and he'll ultimately be able to answer questions such as what all needs doing when a new staff member's expected to start work on Monday morning. Or, how you get to the venue if you're attending a training course. The aim is that Harry should get proactive and alert you if your remaining holiday allowance is on the high side of if one of your co-workers wants to hear what you think about working with them on a joint project of yours. All this is because, at some point, it'll integrate with our HR systems and be able to engage in more complex interaction. And it'll do all of that in the staff member's own language, so that taking a couple of days off before getting married will easily be recognised by Harry as what we call 'short leave of absence' at KBC.
Behind the scenes, there's a team at work making adjustments to Harry. Their goal is to shift the focus from replying to e-mails (in which it's often the same questions that come up, needing the same answers) to refining the chatbot en improving quality. Harry frees up time for HR staff to look into more complex issues like pensions and time credit, where personal contact still adds a great deal of value.
A look at the future that's been mapped out tells you just how fast things are moving: staff will soon be able to connect remotely and it'll then be incorporated with the HR and Facility Services systems. Incidentally, Harry's got a brother in the Czech Republic: starting in 2018, the HR team at KBC’s Shared Service Centre in Brno will be getting on-the-job assistance from Bicky.
A first in Belgium: timeline in mobile banking app for young people gives customers and others news and offers
K’Ching, our increasingly popular mobile banking app for young people, now has a timeline especially for them. It shows customers and others useful information on new features, as well as news, upcoming events, discounts and deals that might interest them.
Touch, our online banking service for tablet and PC users, now gives parents a family dashboard that lets them see and manage their children’s financial products. Parents can also give their children easy access to the K’Ching app using a QR code. Read more.
KBC launches a new partnership opportunity for the Belgian mobile banking app
KBC’s Belgian mobile banking app is used regularly by over 800 000 retail customers. To strengthen that service and to create the most engaging customer experience possible, KBC is looking to offer third-party financial and non-financial products and services to its mobile customers. KBC is committed to giving optimal support to the selected partners to ensure this happens. This call for interest is a first step in reaching out and teaming up. Sounds like something for your start-up? KBC welcomes your input on email@example.com by no later than 25 December.
Looking forward to partnering with you!
K&H mobile wallet to be launched soon
Digitalisation is entering a new era at K&H Bank: starting early November, several hundreds of thousands retail clients having a Mastercard or Maestro bankcard will be able to perform their card payments with the help of an NFC-enabled Android smartphone, meaning that they will not need their bankcards for most of the purchases. Mobile phones can be used for purchases at every location where contactless bankcards are accepted.
The introduction of the K&H mobile wallet is a new important component of the digitalisation process playing a key role in K&H Bank’s strategy. „One of the core pillars of our client centric strategy is to offer simple and smooth banking and insurance solutions to our customers for their daily finances. Simplification and digitalization are key to achieving this objective. By 2017, K&H spent HUF 6 billion on digitalisation-related developments.” Martin Jarolim pointed out.
Paying by smartphone does not require an Internet connection; only the NFC function must be activated. For every digital card linked to a mobile phone, a minimum 10 and a maximum 15 offline payments are allowed, so you may be able to perform up to 10-15 purchases offline; once these limits are used up, an Internet connection will be required to top up additional payment options, but the application will send a notification about this. For more information, visit the K&H website.
Corporate clients at KBC and CBC now able to monitor their cross-border payments using a payments tracker
Corporate clients at KBC and CBC had a general upgrade of their international payments capability. This enables them to monitor the status and cost of their outgoing cross-border payments by means of a payments tracker on their Business Dashboard.
This SWIFT initiative is designed to reduce the turnaround time of cross-border payments and at the same time enhance the transparency of the fees charged. Companies making cross-border payments are keen to know which bank is dealing with their payments and where extra fees are charged. Read more
3 New features on KBC Mobile
SurprisePay lets you personalise transfers when sending money as a gift to someone, like when they just became a parent, celebrated their birthday or got married. This unique, free-of-charge service also lets you send gift-wrapped transfers to people who don’t bank with us.
Pay bills in just 30 seconds with SmartPaste: This innovative service was developed by our Slovakian subsidiary, ČSOB and is now launched for our customers in Belgium. It lets you pay bills you receive by e-mail (like utilities bills) by simply copying the details into our Mobile app. Learn more at www.kbc.be/en/smartpaste.
Get alerted when money is put onto your KBC Plus Account: Our Mobile app now lets you stay updated on incomings on your KBC Plus Account, with pop-up alerts that tell you when payments appear on your KBC Plus Account (even when you don’t have the app open). Alerts show you how much you’ve received and who paid it to you, particularly handy if you’re waiting on a payment.
KBC/CBC/KBC Brussels clients can now pay contactless anywhere in the world using Android Pay and their debit card.
In December 2016 KBC Ireland successfully became the first entity within the KBC group to launch Android Pay. Today, it's Belgium's turn. Clients of KBC, CBC and KBC Brussels can now pay contactless using their smartphone. All they need to do is link their debit card to the Android Pay app. They can then pay worldwide in a high level of security without opening an app or entering a code. Clients hold their smartphone close to the payment terminal and Android Pay does the rest. You can read more here
K&H’s mobile token makes mobile and online banking faster and easier
The number of K&H customers relying on mobile banking for their daily banking operations is continuously growing. They expect from their bank an easy-to-use interface, while maintaining maximum safety for their data and transactions. To ensure a fast and easy operation coupled with high level of security both for its mobile and online banking service, K&H introduced mobile token identification for its retail and SME customers. Read more.
New KBC Ireland Onboarding App allows consumers to digitally onboard in 5 simple steps in less than 5 minutes
Consumers in Ireland will soon be able to open and activate a KBC current account with a digital debit card, a digital wallet and full mobile banking services in 5 simple steps and in less than 5 minutes. This innovation will be unique in the Irish banking market. The new onboarding app is part of a series of new banking innovations that KBC has brought to the Irish market following the launch of Android Pay and Apple Pay earlier in the year giving customers the chance to pay for goods and services with their mobile phone like a contactless card. Read more.
DZI insurance uses drones to assess crop claims more objectively, precisely and faster
In order to improve the service to its clients, DZI Insurance (Bulgaria) is currently making active use of drones to assess crop claims in agriculture. This professional solution gives DZI a complete, more precise view on the size and severity of the damage and to assess sizeable areas with damage.
Clients appreciate that the damage assessment and claims handling can be done much faster, more objectively and accurately.
Drones can also be used to assess the risk of large or complex properties such as factories, tall buildings (like churches), dangerous places (conservatory after natural catastrophe), or large areas (after floods) or places that are difficult to access. More
ČSOB (SK)’s Invoice Scanner allows client to automatically convert invoice into payment order
CSOB’s Invoice Scanner is unique on the Slovak banking market. As of 26 June 2017, it will offer Mobile banking users an easier way to pay invoices received by e-mail. When the user accepts the invoice, the invoice details are immediately prefilled on a mobile payment order for further processing. The app is available for Android and iOS.
Invoice Scanner is convenient for the customer: it is fast, effortless, secure and paperless. Moreover, it was developed as a result of direct customer feedback. More.
CSOB’s unique Investment Platform lets Czech clients go online and mobile
CSOB launched the Investment Platform that allows clients and bankers to trade all major investment instruments (funds, bonds and investment certificates) online and on the go. The platform brings the client’s investment portfolio in CSOB group under one digital roof – including assets in Patria (as from mid-July), CSOB’s equity house.
CSOB Investice as a first omnichannel investment solution on the Czech market provides clients with a seamless and unified customer experience whether they invest online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or at a branch.
This unique platform allows CSOB to better and more proactively serve the client, better respond to his personal needs in a more tailor-made way and help him make better investment decisions, using today’s digital opportunities. More
KBC clients getting a more proactively service due to Beacons
This year, clients visiting KBC Bank branches are able to receive information on their smartphones by means of Beacons, which are small devices that emit a Bluetooth signal. For instance, they may receive a welcome message or be told that they can use their smartphone to withdraw cash or make a mobile payment. Clients that actively use KBC Mobile and have activated Bluetooth will automatically receive this information on their smartphone when they come within range of one of the Beacons. This year, KBC will fit around 500 Beacons across its branch network.
Clients are free to choose whether or not they want to receive these messages by simply changing the relevant KBC Mobile setting.
 Beacon messages can be turned off in the KBC Mobile app by going to the 'more' menu, selecting 'profile' and tapping 'location-based services', where your can turn the use of Beacons on or off. Read more
From ČSOB: The best defence against cyber-threats is your own knowledge
To reduce risks in the digital financial environment, ČSOB has launched a long-term education project Digital Intelligence in partnership with the Slovak security company ESET.
The microsite www.digitalnainteligencia.sk presents users with clear information on the digital threats lying in wait for them and how they should defend themselves against them. Visitors to the site can also measure and improve their DQ or digital quotient. For more on this story, read the press release of 18 May 2017 on the ČSOB website (English version at the bottom of the text).
Bolero Crowdfunding launches first projects under new tax shelter
Bolero Crowdfunding has launched two crowdfunding campaigns falling under the new crowdfunding tax shelter: Dagvers and ArtAssistant.
The tax shelter allows investors tax relief when they invest in start-ups through a recognised crowdfunding platform. Bolero Crowdfunding is the first such Belgian crowdfunding platform to be recognised by the FSMA (Financial Services and Markets Authority).
In less than two weeks, Dagvers has already reached 80% of its target and ArtAssistant has clocked up 46%. Potential investors like the savings offered by the new tax shelter. Read more.
KBC Bank Ireland launches Apple Pay
KBC Bank Ireland launched Apple Pay, which is transforming mobile payments with an easy, secure and private way to pay for goods and services that’s fast and convenient. This digital innovation is in direct response to customers’ needs as mobile and online usage by KBC customers rose by 74% in 2016.
KBC Bank Ireland continues to offer our clients the best in class digital solutions as we evolve into a digital- first client centric bank. KBC Bank Ireland is now the only bank in Ireland to offer both Android Pay and Apple Pay, which means greater choice in how consumers want to bank and shop. Read more.
MasterCard and CIBANK launch contactless ATMs
MasterCard and CIBANK have joined forces to launch the very first ATM in Bulgaria to accept contactless cards and devices. It offers MasterCard contactless cardholders an innovative, quick and safe way to withdraw cash and make cashless payments at CIBANK’s new generation of ATMs, regardless of bank that issued the card.
Peter Andronov, CIBANK CEO: ‘The rapid pace of contactless payments growth in Bulgaria is a sure sign that people embrace them as easy to use and really comfortable. So we decided to go a step forward in innovations introduction and to provide this convenience for customers who withdraw cash via contactless ATM. CIBANK launches the first contactless ATMs in Bulgaria because we believe in innovations that improve people quality of life.’
CIBANK is installing contactless ATMs in 21 branches in 13 cities around the country, with the intention being to extend this to 45 by the end of the year. Each of the new generation ATMs will be branded with a special contactless symbol and will contain instructions for users. For more on this story, read the press release on the CIBANK website.
Seven Banks Plan Blockchain Platform to Help European SMEs Increase Trade
The award winning innovation will significantly simplify international trade transactions. KBC and 6 other banks have agreed in principle to develop a ground-breaking shared platform that aims to make domestic and cross-border commerce easier for European small and medium-size (SME) businesses by harnessing the power of distributed ledger technology. Read more.
KBC SmartHome: peace of mind when you’re out
We all worry sometimes when we’re outside the home... did we forget something that could cause a fire or water damage? To increase safety in the home, KBC is launching KBC SmartHome on 1 March in collaboration with fifthplay*. The new package consists of a smoke and a water detector, plus a gateway device to provide an internet connection. An app then warns the user if smoke or leaking water are detected. Householders can also use the app to turn appliances on and off using smart plugs, staying in touch with their home even when far away. Users can extend the package by adding further smoke, carbon monoxide and water detectors and smart plugs through fifthplay's online shop. The same platform is used to pay for the service itself, costing 209 euros (including a gateway device, smoke and water detectors, smartphone alerts, regular software updates, new features and remote support).
* fifthplay is a subsidiary of the NIKO group. This Belgian innovator and trendsetter in the smart home field is national market leader in electric plugs and sockets.
KBC joins its clients in jumping aboard the digital express.
KBC clients are increasingly discovering the digital highway for a range of products including home loans, instalment loans and pension-savings funds. Testimony to the fact that KBC has become even more accessible and reachable for its clients in recent years. Read more.
If you need a business loan in 24 hours, KBC's the bank for you.
What people in business really want is to get the job done fast and without hassle, and to avoid getting tied up in paperwork. At KBC, we hear them loud and clear and are the first bank on the market to offer loans in 24 hours. We've streamlined the loan-decision process to the point where businesses can now get the funding they require within as little as 24 hours, through their KBC Bank branch or partly using digital channels. Read more.