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Innovative KBC game reveals emotional side of investing

KBC Asset Management in Belgium is trialling a new web-based application with selected customers. At first glance, it looks like a game for investors. However, underneath its hood is an innovative way to more clearly identify investor personality types. The new application follows the popular trend of gamification: using classic game-playing elements for other areas of activity. For the time being, the new app is only offered to a selection of customers. 

The game is scientifically backed by findings from behavioural economics. These show that two investors with the exact same traditional risk profile may nevertheless have different attitudes to drawdown risk. The game aims to chart precisely that sensitivity to interim increases and decreases. In the long run, such investor self-knowledge can add an extra dimension to investors’ risk profiles and help them gain better insights into their personal, more emotionally related ways of managing their investments in an accessible way. Read more. 

KBC scoops Best Online Banking Experience at the bonker.ie Awards.

KBC Bank Ireland has been awarded Best Online Banking Experience at the bonkers.ie Awards. KBC beat off stiff competition at the ceremony in Dublin’s Mansion House.

KBC Bank Ireland’s Director of Innovation, Eddie Dillon, said: “We are delighted to receive this award for best online banking experience which acknowledges KBC’s market leading on-boarding app. Our revolutionary app allows customers to open a current account in five easy steps in five minutes and have instant access to a debit card and digital wallets. It’s never been easier to bank with us, 1 in 5 KBC Extra Current Accounts are now opened using the on-boarding app, and we’re excited for future developments to come.

“Our innovation hub in Dublin is the digital frontrunner for the KBC Group and we are continually developing innovative products that are first to market in response to our customer’s needs. In the past year, we were the first bank in Ireland to offer customers a suite of digital wallets with the launch of Apple Pay, Android Pay and Fitbit Pay.”

Bonkers.ie, an independent price comparison website, celebrate excellence in customer value across 13 unique awards categories including banking, utilities, energy suppliers, broadband and TV suppliers. The awards recognise the quality, choice, and particularly the value of the products and services now available to Irish households.

Read more about KBC Ireland's mobile app.

Chat with us using WhatsApp

As from 6 February 2018, KBC is the first financial institution in Belgium to offer its customers the ability to chat with their bank and insurer through WhatsApp. This will be using the number +32 9 331 78 16 and is part of our aim to be even more accessible to our customers.

The service is intended for quick, straightforward questions about our services. These will be answered by our KBC Live staff, just as quickly as if you called us. The service is available on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Karin van Hoecke, General Manager of Mobile First, explains: ‘Our customers have been able to chat with us for some time. WhatsApp is a very fast and easy to access chat app that’s already familiar and intuitive to many of our customers. Now that it’s technically possible to use it for business purposes, we’re proud to be the first to offer it to our customers so they get even better service and availability from us. We’re testing it first with our Dutch-speaking customers, before expanding to the other official languages in Belgium and English. We want to give our customers the ability to contact us in a variety of ways. From good-old-fashioned branch or insurance agency visits to contact through our website, Mobile and Touch apps or KBC Live for online banking, we want to be there for them. Messaging services like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp fit right in.’ Read more.

ČSOB Slovakia takes its SmartBanking app to new levels

ČSOB Slovakia has released an upgrade of its mobile banking app, introducing new ways to make banking with them even easier.

Moving house is a big event – and a big job. With all the packing and unpacking, the last thing you need is more paperwork. That said, you’ll still want to inform everyone of your new address as soon as possible. Your bank and insurer are no exception. Ensuring a smooth switch to contacting you using your new details is important. ČSOB now saves its customers a trip to their branch with a new feature in their SmartBanking app, letting customers change their address, phone number or e-mail address under ‘My profile’. ČSOB then confirms the updated details by e-mail.

Another new feature making everyday banking simpler to manage is the ability to apply for a credit card through the app. Customers with a pre-approved credit limit can apply in just a few taps. They simply choose the type of card, how to repay what they spend on it and any additional services (like card insurance). And that’s it. The bank then sends the card to the customer’s home address or branch, whichever is most convenient.

ČSOB launched its ČSOB SmartBanking app six years ago, regularly adding to its growing list of features since then. They continue to develop digital solutions for hassle-free banking.


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.