Scaling one of Europe’s youngest banks beyond half a million customers – without skimping on experience

Main visual : Scaling one of Europe’s youngest banks beyond half a million customers – without skimping on experience

Challenger banks pride themselves on offering a unique – and highly responsive – customer experience, and the disruption caused by the global pandemic has presented an opportunity to showcase this agility and flexibility.

For Banco CTT, the bank launched by Portugal’s national postal service in 2016, the pandemic has confirmed one thing - that adaptability is key.

Built on strong foundations

While Banco CTT is a young business, it’s part of an institution with a history that stretches back centuries. CTT Correios de Portugal, the Portuguese national postal service, was founded in 1520 and is the country’s oldest company still operating today.

That kind of longevity and dependability instills trust, even in the most uncertain times – and Banco CTT credits this as a key element for the bank’s growth.

A close working relationship with Portugal’s financial regulators has also proven beneficial, as the bank has been able to shape its offering in line with the more open, transparent, and customer-centric conditions the regulators are aiming to instill in the country’s financial services sector.

“Instead of seeing [regulatory demands] as a liability, we have to show excellence when dealing with these, take advantage of them and make that work for us and our customers.” - Nuno Fórneas, COO and CIO of Banco CTT

The growth paradox

The inescapable paradox of growing a business by being obsessively customer-focused is that expanding your operations can make maintaining high-quality customer experience more challenging.

Replicating that adaptability and the personalized experience gets harder the more you grow. And even more so when many customers’ worlds have been turned upside down, as they have in the last year.

Banco CTT now services half a million customers, looking after €1.5bn in funds. The bank has remained committed to maintaining a high quality of service whilst controlling costs and ensuring the sustainability of its offering as it grows. But such rapid growth can create considerable pressure.

The platform underpinning its internal workflows and customer interactions was struggling to scale as required - another option was needed.

Combining technology and operations

A Fujitsu and ServiceNow solution was already being used across a handful of Banco CTT premises, so it made sense to explore this as an option for evolving and operating at scale.

We sat down (virtually, of course) with Banco CTT’s leadership team and our partners at ServiceNow, to get a clearer understanding of what the bank required.

The aim was to develop a suite of standardized processes that could be replicated across the business as it continues to grow.

Banco CTT put a twist on the familiar ‘techops’ role, deploying it instead as a term to refer to the bank’s blending of technology and operations in its new processes.

The transformation would be both technological (changing the tools and means of working) as well as functional (adapting how teams from across the entire business would work and interact).

Working in partnership with Banco CTT and ServiceNow, we’ve been able to develop a robust, reliable, and efficient new services workflow platform – one that’s able to scale to meet changing customer needs as they arise.

This streamlined way of working allows Banco CTT’s employees to handle more customer queries or, where needed, to focus their time on more complex problems that require their full attention. These initial pilot results are an indication that the ‘techops’ approach is proving successful.

It pays to put customers first

Banco CTT’s customer-centric approach to innovation is a testament to the fact that it pays to put customers first.

And the best way to do that is still to create consistent experiences that exceed expectations, every time – in both physical and digital worlds.

While we’ve all been spending a lot more time at home than usual lately, Banco CTT has been able to bolster not just its digital services (for those banking remotely) but has used its post office heritage and network to offer an enhanced branch service too.

“My challenge now is to become a ‘chief experience officer,’ bringing everything [on both the IT and operations side] together and ensuring the customer has a fantastic experience with the bank.” - Nuno Fórneas, COO and CIO of Banco CTT

In spite of the disruption that’s defined the past year, the key tenets of the experience economy remain the same: treat customers like guests, to deliver memorable, personal experiences – wherever they are, and whatever they need.

Learn more about how Fujitsu and ServiceNow helped Banco CTT’s enhance the experience between bank and consumer here.

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