ProCredit Bank, which has a reputation and tradition in Serbia, has devised a completely new concept of cooperation with its clients. As Igor Anić explains, “direct” banking is a way for all users to have available additional comfort and freedom in managing their financial resources and in using banking services.
– We created a completely new environment and offered clients the possibility of managing their savings, cards and funds on all their accounts independently, at any time and from any place. Likewise, thanks to our 24/7 Zones, all clients of ProCredit Bank can now withdraw money from their Dinars and Euro accounts at any time, and thanks to our modern internet and mobile banking services, all clients can independently manage their savings accounts, or rather add funds to their savings account and withdraw money whenever they need it. This great flexibility is accompanied by our new price list, which we have made simple and extremely clear for all clients. We are the only bank in Serbia to have presented its rich offer of services to the population on just two sheets of paper.
“Direct banking” has come to life in many Western countries, including Germany, where your group’s headquarters are located. How applicable is such an idea on the Serbian market, bearing in mind that we are largely “traditional”?
– Lifestyle habits and the ways in which we do many things have changed a lot in recent times. In that sense, Serbia isn’t lagging behind other countries of the world at all.
More than half of Serbia’s citizens use smartphones and numerous applications on them. Almost three million of our citizens have made at least one online purchase in the last six months, and it is estimated that by 2021 our country will have about four million regular online buyers.
At the same time, in the domestic banking world, electronic transactions have outstripped the number of monetary transactions made by citizens via paper slips. All of this together best illustrates to us the extent to which our market is “digital” and modern. Simultaneously, notions of “tradition” are something that is decreasingly valid for our financial market and users of banking services in Serbia.
The concept of “direct” banking is a concept that responds fully to the juncture in which we are living and an ever-increasing number of clients recognise its values and advantages in relation to traditional “counter service” banking
Another thing that makes ProCredit different from most other banks is the policy of promoting the culture of a relationship towards money as not being an end in itself, but rather something that is directed towards improving quality of life in the broadest sense. Why have you opted for this “educational” role, considering that profit is the sole aim of the majority of banks?
– Our attitude has always been to not promote spending, rather actually saving. This is not always the simplest way, but is usually the most correct and most responsible. When you try to provide your clients with new and innovative solutions, such as “direct” banking, it is always essential to pay a lot of attention to education and patiently familiarising users with different values and the numerous benefits that these new solutions bring them. Educating the market is always the most expensive option, but that’s not a reason for us to stop innovating and attempting to provide our clients with solutions and approaches that are not only modern, but which add value to our cooperation in the best way.