BankBulb Monthly Report_March 2021

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THE MONTHLY REVIEW OF NOTABLE BANK INNOVATIONS, PRODUCTS, SERVICES, & CAMPAIGNS MARCH 2021 PERSONAL BANKING 02 - 08….….Digital, Innovation & Customer Experience 09 - 16.….....Products (Deposits, Cards, Loans, Payments)

INVESTING / WEALTH MANAGEMENT 17 - 19..........Innovations, Products, Services and Campaigns

BUSINESS BANKING 20 - 24……..Innovations, Products, Services and Campaigns

GROUP BRAND 25 - 28…..…News and Campaigns Highlights from this edition: • Finspo shows users how costs of their banking and savings tips (p.2) • ikigai proposition combines banking and wealth management (p. 4) • CBA data model supports customers facing natural disasters (p. 6) • Bankwest boost transparency with T&Cs in comic format (p. 7) • Santander launch Savings vs. Investments calculator (p. 10) • Barclays new credit cards with cashback on medical expenses (p. 11) • Mogo promotes 1% bitcoin cashback rewards card (p. 13) • SoFi credit card helps pay down debt with APR reduction (p. 14) • OCBC new eco-auto loan with reduced rate and free charging (p. 15) • Athena AcceleRATES helps borrowers pay off loan sooner (p. 16) • Sugi users can see if portfolios meet global warming target (p. 17) Notes: • Produced by BankBulb a marketing brand of Otaara Ltd. • Featured advertisements and marketing materials are sometimes shown without the accompanying disclosure copy. This is done for space layout reasons. • Articles marked with a point to a particularly noteworthy initiative.


DIGITAL, INNOVATION & CX

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Finspo shows users how much their banking and loans are costing them along with ways to save (Australia) Finspo is an app set up by ex-bankers with the purpose of exposing the hidden banking fees and unnecessary charges that Finspo users may be incurring across their range of bank accounts and home loans. The free app's pitch, with such pronouncements as "Loyalty to your current lender could be costing you $1,600 a year" and "Save on your banking and pay off your home loan faster" provides users with: • Finspo Bill: a single view of a user's accounts, balances and transactions across all linked banking providers, to help them easily see what their banking is really costing them; • Finsights: Personalised insights that show users how much could be saved by banking differently, including how to avoid fees and pay less interest; • Alerts for when their banks and lenders charge fees, or their interest rate changes; • Rate my rate: compares a user's home loan against similar home loans along with easy to follow actions on how to save and how to get a better home loan rate.

Finspo will also prompt users if it’s time to pay something down – or top something up – in order to avoid charges, and show them where they’ve got ‘lazy’ cash. “You might have money sitting in a savings account, but have interest being charged on your credit card too – but the interest being earned on the savings account is often far less than the credit card interest rate. Finspo brings that information together so users can clearly see how they could get a better outcome with their money,” Angus said. “People have fitness coaches, career coaches, life coaches … and now there’s Finspo – a ‘coach’ to help Australians save money on their banking.” “Many Australians have accounts, loans and credit cards with different banks and lenders – which means they don’t have a consolidated view of their banking,” said CEO Angus Gillifan, a former National Australia Bank executive. "Through Finspo, users can link their accounts in one place and get a much clearer picture of their banking, and receive smart insights to help them save.” BankBulb opinion: Finspo’s proposition hits a couple of classic FinTech start-up themes: banks are greedy and we know how to save you money. The “greedy banks” trope doesn’t typically prove much of a catalyst for customers to switch, so the question for consumers New advertising creative: Money can be found centers on how easy is it to save money and how much money can be across banking, home loans and savings saved? Finspo’s answer is “very easy” and “a significant amount of money” both of which suggest that Finspo could quickly gain traction. While it should always have been the case pre-pandemic, in today’s COVID-19 economic reality it is obviously vital for bank customers to feel that their bank is working to improve their financial position, whether it be through fee-reduction recommendations, budgeting features, savings management, and life goals planning tools. There are numerous recent moves in the industry to help customers with fee reduction recommendations, such as on utility bills, mobile-phone fees and many banks and lenders work to help their customers avoid fees, through such features as low balance alerts, upcoming payment alerts, and grace periods. However, the open banking enabled Finspo app is offering users a distinctive service with its transparency and personalisation that could genuinely encourage customer switching. Two recommendations we’d suggest banks and lenders consider when faced with such a [Finspo] “challenge” are: (1) implementing a pledge for savings, rates and/or fees, guaranteeing to always be within a certain threshold. This can be a simple and effective tactic to help customers feel confident and stop worrying about the idea they should consider switching to another bank based on fees or rates. The second is to look at implementing subscription models, whether for accounts or borrowing. For example, Monzo’s Premium Account, Santander’s One account or NAB’s StraightUp credit card and CommBank’s Neo credit card, which as we reported last month have both achieved positive customer take-up results.


DIGITAL, INNOVATION & CX

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U.S. Bank half time taken for customers to open a bank account with functions such as prepopulate and autocomplete (USA) US Bank recently reimagined how customers open digital accounts, overhauling and streamlining each step. As a result, the time taken to complete an application has more than halved. Following launch of the new application experience US Bank has seen a nearly 200% increase year-over-year in digital checking account openings within the first few months alone. When customers apply now, they experience an easy, intuitive process. The application prepopulates information for existing customers, and also incorporates other best-in-class functions such as address autocomplete – which saves time and minimizes errors. The application is also significantly shorter, reducing the number of screens by nearly two-thirds, synthesizing common questions together and removing information that’s not needed to open an account. That’s true whether a customer applies on their own or with the help of a banker, both of which they can do from the comfort of their home, helped by technologies such as the Cobrowse screensharing feature or Text-to-Apply capability, which US Bank has embedded into this new platform. US Bank used an in-house team to build and launch the new experience in just six weeks. BankBulb opinion: What strikes us is the fact many of the changes and updates are really comparatively simple prepopulating, address autocomplete and reducing the number of screens by nearly two-thirds. The relative simplicity being proven by the fact an internal team managed to do this in just six weeks.

FNB adds more functionality to nav» platform on the FNB super app (South Africa) FNB recently introduced more functionality to its nav» platform, unveiling smart budget, home services and wellness within the main banking app. The nav» ecosystem of tools was introduced in 2016, with the bank describing it as the 'financial GPS' that provides customers with smart ways to make the most of their money. With these latest features, through nav» smart budget, customers can now manage their money better through “dynamic” budgeting, says FNB. According to the bank, the tool uses its data capability to create a level of accountability, as well as real-time coaching. As a result, FNB says customers can set a number of different budget limits, ranging from fixed alerts to smart alerts and get timely notifications. FNB describes nav» home services as a digital marketplace for FNB-banked SMEs, enabling them to offer home services such as electrical, building, plumbing and alternative energy to over three million users of the FNB app (watch introductory video here). In addition, individual customers can select from over 1500 SMEs that are already part of the marketplace, and once the job has been completed, payment can be done on the app. For nav» home, the applet will now also connect FNB businesses to FNB customers, allowing customers to list to sell their property, either with an FNB Business-banked real estate agent or privately. This, says the bank, will provide customers access to thousands of FNB pre-approved buyers as well as access to special deals on new property developments. In addition to online car licence renewals, nav» car will offer FNB-banked customers access to a list of offers, brands and vehicles, as well as streamlined pre-approved finance from WesBank via the banking app.


DIGITAL, INNOVATION & CX

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ikigai launches proposition focused on young and affluent, combining banking and wealth management (UK) ikigai, founded by two McKinsey alumni, announced its official launch in the UK with the promise of empowering its clients ”to spend well, save well and invest well.” Offering all the personal financial tools now expected of a digital bank, ikigai also provides wealth management features that allow clients to invest in fully-managed portfolios of exchange traded funds, built and managed using asset allocation guidance from BlackRock Maurizio Kaiser, co-founder of ikigai, says: “when it comes to wealth, incumbents and challengers keep chasing the same audience with their same one-size-fits-all offerings. It doesn't make sense. There’s a growing number of young and affluent people who are currently overlooked by banks of all sizes and platforms. That’s why we’ve built ikigai. Our clients are people focused on the purpose of wealth, not it’s mindless accumulation. They associate self-care and financial wellbeing with success and self-confidence. And they’re entering their prime earning and spending years, but the tools available right now simply don’t meet their increasingly complex financial needs. They’re underserviced and underestimated, but ikigai is here to change that.” The app design is elegant and clean, with a brand aimed at the young and affluent. ikigai is charging a membership fee of £10 a month for which they say every client is set up with a relationship manager who provides a high-touch, human connection that digital banks and fintechs today don’t offer. Once onboarded, the app design helps easily separate money into accounts for spending, saving and investing through the Everyday, Nest, and Wealth features. The “Everyday” account is where clients see all their day-to-day details, including how their money is flowing in and out of their account. Transactions are automatically categorised, providing high levels of financial clarity when it comes to spending. Money can be added to the Everyday account through a bank transfer from another bank, or if a client’s ready to spend some of their savings, with an easy tap and transfer from their ikigai Nest. Savings are put aside in the “Nest” section of the app, this is a separate account with it’s own account number, International IBAN and BIC codes. This can be topped up from the ‘Everyday’ account with just a couple of taps, or similar to the ‘Everyday’, have transfers made directly from another bank account. ikigai also provides investment portfolios, found under ‘Wealth’. With goals-based investing, clients can define their ambitions and select these ready-made portfolios that take into account both risk appetite and the nature of what they want to achieve. From buying a property, growing their wealth, building a business or starting a family, there’s a portfolio designed to meet their needs. All portfolios are built and managed in collaboration with BlackRock. The ikigai launch press release states "Usually, with investing platforms, the more money in a portfolio the more a customer is charged, despite the same amount of work going into managing a smaller portfolio as a larger one. ikigai’s flat-fee structure removes Instagram ad this issue as well as any question of upsells, hidden fees or surprise costs (such as additional management, entry or withdrawal fees) that can eat up big chunks of investments over time." BankBulb opinion: As the press release states, ikigai charges a [monthly] flat-fee of £10, rather than a management fee based on asset size. That sounds great, but if we take a £15,000 investment, the monthly cost to a client would be £1.50 in Custody fees, £3.75 in Product fees then £10 in Membership fees, equalling £15.25 a month. To compare £15,000 invested with: • Barclays Plan and Invest along with a free Barclays bank account would cost $14.38 a month (which as with ikigai also has investing and banking in the same app). • Nutmeg would cost £5.16 and Wealthify £9.50 for investing only, but of course people have the option of a free bank account with almost all other bank providers, and then with Open Banking that is omnipresent in the UK it is easy to manage accounts with different providers from within same app. Consequently, the ikigai flat-fee can be considered "fair and transparent" but ikigai is not the cheapest option or unique in offering investing and banking from a single app. The main distinction is the promise of a relationship manager, whatever the client's deposited amount, and then it will be a brand question (like so many of the new neobanks) as to whether they can acquire a client base of the "young and affluent."


DIGITAL, INNOVATION & CX

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Tinkoff’s voice assistant now available in Clubhouse (Russia) Tinkoff has integrated its assistant Oleg into Clubhouse, making it the first voice assistant, speech recognition and synthesis solution available in this audio-chat social network. Oleg will be a full-fledged user helping room creators to communicate and moderate discussions in Clubhouse utilising its text-tospeech and speech-to-text capabilities (Tinkoff VoiceKit) in real time. Tinkoff’s voice assistant will be able to enter rooms, transcribe speech in real time, and stream the text in his Oleg in the Clubhouse Telegram channel. He can also moderate Clubhouse rooms, voice questions to speakers, remind users about time limits, regulations, etc. Oleg made his debut appearance in Clubhouse on 11 March converting speech to text and streaming the results from the Tinkoff Investments room where Oliver Hughes and other of the Group’s senior executives held a conference call for investors and journalists. Snapshot of Oleg in Clubhouse audio (translated) The room was created to discuss Tinkoff Group’s financial performance and record net profit in 2020. Pavel Kalaidin, Director of Artificial Intelligence at Tinkoff says "our voice assistant team is currently experimenting with various user scenarios in Clubhouse to determine how room creators or listeners can benefit from our technologies. We have already successfully tested Oleg’s ability to transcribe audio calls in real time streaming them in his Telegram channel. The feature was piloted in the Clubhouse room created to discuss Tinkoff’s 2020 financial results. Oleg can also come in handy when listeners are unable to voice a question to speakers, for example when it is too noisy or they do not want to interrupt them. For such cases, we are designing an interface through which users can forward their questions to Oleg’s Telegram chat. Oleg will then voice the question with perfect pronunciation, keeping the user anonymous, if necessary. One of the challenges in group speech recognition is the summarisation of information. Interjections, fillers and incoherent speech make reading even a good transcript difficult. For that reason, we are looking into ways of processing the text and capturing the gist of what is said to create a shorter and more readable transcript. We are open to working with Clubhouse communities to make our voice assistant a useful tool for content makers and listeners."

86 400 promoting first-inAustralia feature for paying bills from a savings account (Australia) 86 400 introduced what it called "an Australian game changer" by enabling customers to schedule payments, pay bills and make transfers directly from their Save accounts. Customers no longer have to choose between having enough money available to make regular payments and locking it away to earn interest in their savings account, and they will no longer need to make internal transfers between their Save account and Pay (checking) accounts. Travis Tyler, Chief Product & Marketing Officer of 86 400 stated at the time, “Whether it’s to BPAY a phone bill, send money to a mate’s PayID, or direct debit an electricity bill — all of these payments can now happen directly from our Save account. This means our customers can keep earning interest on their money, right up until the second it leaves their account.”

Instagram posting promoting the new feature


DIGITAL, INNOVATION & CX CommBank's new weather data model supports customers impacted by natural disasters (Australia) CommBank customers impacted by natural disasters can now expect same-day tailored support solutions from their bank thanks to a new purpose-built data model solution. The new technology solution uses custom-built algorithms to monitor, in real-time, a mix of data points from official emergency sources and weather alert systems to offer sameday 1:1 support to those customers impacted by natural disasters. The new smart data model analyses and interprets a range of data sources to help the bank accurately contact affected customers the same day to offer assistance, wherever they are located. CBA’s Chief Analytics Officer, Dr Andrew McMullan, said: “Natural disasters can come out of the blue, and whilst sadly we can’t prevent them, we can help notify customers so they can prepare, as well as offer affected customers immediate and personalised support. Using the power of our Customer Engagement Engine we can connect with customers who may be impacted and also offer support that aligns to their needs, such as deferring a loan or offering an emergency overdraft.” “CBA’s Customer Engagement Engine runs around 400 machine learning models across 157 billion data points in real time so we can add value to our customers in terms of relevance and personal experience – whether that’s through messages and live in-app chats using the CommBank app, or having relevant conversations inbranch or over the phone." Most recently, the bank was able to offer same-day personalised support to 80,000 customers who were impacted by the Perth bushfires. “Being able to anticipate our customers’ needs and contact them on the same day that a postcode is identified as being at risk from a substantial weather event is a gamechanger, and something customers in Perth told us they appreciated during the recent bushfires” said Dr Andrew McMullan.

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Cheese launches with focus on Asian communities and includes a 30 day 3% interest rate for referrals (USA) The latest neobank promising to solve the needs of a specific segment is called Cheese which launched to the public on 10 March, hoping to support and attract the Asian immigrant community. Co-founder and CEO Ken Lian came to the United States from China in 2008 to attend college and expresses frustration that Asian-Americans are often subject to discrimination and “an unequal playing field” in America. Along with co-founders Zhen Wang and Qingyi Li, Lian told TechCrunch “We understand Asian users much better than anybody else because we are the user. [Traditional] banking didn’t understand me or my culture or my lifestyle or what matters to me. Our needs are different.” Unfortunately, Lian doesn't go on to describe in the article, and neither is it clear from the website, what these needs are and/or how Cheese is going to service them. Lian does say that he paid thousands in bank fees over the years and got rejected for numerous accounts, despite a very good credit score, so Cheese is not charging monthly fees, has no minimum balance and no fee MoneyPass ATMs nationwide. This is now a common offering among challenger banks, and even large banks, so Cheese won't stand out for its fees stance. Similarly, Cheese is following other challenger banks - like Chime, Varo, N26, Monzo - in offering 'Get Paid 2 Days Early' feature. Cheese's principal strength therefore seems to be in its marketing focus. To help appeal to Asians, Cheese has recruited actor Jimmy Wong as a brand ambassador and begun The Cheese Giveback Fund, a pledge to donate $100,000 in aid to Asian charities and businesses. An initial $10,000 has been donated by Cheese with a further $10 per new customer sign up to be donated.

One feature of Cheese that is notable is their referral incentive. Cheese says it will pay 0.3% bonus (what is otherwise known as interest!) on deposit balances but customers can earn 3% for 30 calendar days from the date that a new referred customer is onboarded.

Snapshot from product webpage

The Cheese debit Mastercard offers a basic 0.25% cash back on all eligible purchases with a daily $10 total reward cap. Cheese’s shows select vendors it is partnering with to offer additional cash-back rewards on eligible purchases for up to 10%. BankBulb opinion: It's curious that for its focus the proposition is so lacking in related benefits. For example, what about a card to help build credit, content and advice on getting an auto loan, advice on other services both banking and nonbanking, offers tailored to newly arrived citizens, and so on. Maybe this is simply a case of Charlie rushing to get a proposition out the door, with a host of new features to be added shortly, but for any banks looking to appeal to newcomers, we'd suggest benchmarking against the big banks in Canada who each offer exceptionally robust newcomer packages (See BMO, CIBC, RBC, Scotiabank, TD).


DIGITAL, INNOVATION & CX

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Bankwest boost transparency by encouraging customers to read their T&Cs through comic format (Australia) Bankwest has reinvented terms and conditions in an Australia-first innovation, converting the Bankwest Easy Transaction Account product schedule into a visual-style T&Cs format to be more engaging for customers. Bankwest conducted extensive testing on the Bankwest Easy Transaction Account product schedule last year with more than 900 participants to better understand preferences and document effectiveness. The Visual T&Cs were found to be more engaging and easier to read, with 69% of participants finding the format was far more preferred. Bankwest developed its Visual T&Cs with the aim to reimagine and deliver key product information to customers in a more engaging style and manner than the traditional text formats often provided. The result was a visual-style product schedule for Bankwest’s Easy Transaction Account, with key product information for customers, presented in a simple, friendly, and engaging manner. Bankwest Chief Customer Officer Paul Vivian said: “Customer needs are changing, and our research shows many customers don’t engage well with lots of text when choosing a banking product. “The Visual T&Cs project has allowed us to reimagine how we present critical information to customers in a far more simple, friendly and engaging way to support them in improving their financial wellbeing. “However, we’ll continue to produce the traditional style of contract to offer customers choice.” BankBulb opinion: Framing the T&Cs (small print) in such a visual manner and removing jargon is clearly an effort to encourage customers to actually read the terms, so undoubtedly is a positive move by Bankwest in its commitment to improving transparency.

Islandsbanki first to provide customers with carbon footprint tracker (Iceland) Íslandsbanki is set to launch an innovative green banking solution that enables Íslandsbanki’s mobile banking app users to track their carbon footprint. Using Meniga’s Carbon Insight solution integrated into the Íslandsbanki banking app is expected to drive customer engagement, boost loyalty and a robust environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategy. Meniga’s Carbon Insight solution will provide Íslandsbanki customers with: • An estimate of their overall carbon footprint based on their spending profile, broken down into spending categories and time periods • A broad understanding of the specific aspects of their spending that are the most detrimental to the environment • The necessary information and knowledge to alter their spending behaviour, boost their personal savings, and crucially, help save the planet


DIGITAL, INNOVATION & CX

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Axis Bank launches WhatsApp Banking to offer basic banking services (India) Axis Bank customers can now seek information regarding their account balance, recent transactions, credit card payments, fixed and recurring deposit details, and get their queries answered in realtime, all through WhatsApp. By using WhatsApp Banking, customers can now chat with Axis Bank for their queries related to their banking transactions, information like nearest branch, ATM or loan centre location, and can apply for various banking products as well. They can also block their credit or debit card using the secure end-to-end encrypted messaging channel. Commenting on the launch, Mr. Sameer Shetty, EVP and Head – Digital Banking, Axis Bank, said, said: “Our objective is to re-define the role we can play in the life of our customers, by elevating digital banking to new domains of customer engagement. This technology will not only enhance customer experience, but also provide a seamless and personalized experience to all our customers, as well as non-customers.’’ To get started with WhatsApp Banking, customers just send ‘Hi’ to 7036165000 on WhatsApp.

Axis Bank launch Wear ‘N’ Pay range, first bank in India with own wearable contactless payment devices, with 10% cashback on 5th transaction monthly (India) Axis Bank has launched its own range of wearable contactless payment devices, which are exclusively available on the Mastercard platform, and is the first bank in India to have its own range. The ‘Wear ‘N’ Pay’ branded range currently consists of a band, key chain and watch loop and available for Rs. 750. The wearables are directly linked to the customers’ bank account and function like a regular debit card. On the launch, Sanjeev Moghe, EVP & Head-Cards & Payments, Axis Bank said: “Contactless payments are the future of payments industry in India. To tap into this market, our Wear ‘N’ Pay program brings in convenience in contactless payments at a budget friendly price point, offering a safe and secure mode of payments on the go.” Watch the introductory video here. To help drive activation and usage, Axis Bank is offering 10% cashback on first 3 transactions (totally Rs.600 or above) within 30 days of issuance of the device and 10% cashback up to Rs.100 on the customer's 5th transaction (purchase transactions of Rs.200 or above) every month.

OCBC Bank enables customers to use their face as verification at eight ATMs across Singapore (Singapore) OCBC Bank has become the first in Southeast Asia to enable face verification for ATM banking transactions. The first transaction which can be performed using face verification on OCBC Bank ATMs is account balance enquiries, which will be first rolled out on eight ATMs around Singapore. OCBC Bank will extend face verification for cash withdrawals to all OCBC Bank ATMs in Singapore progressively. A customer’s scanned face is matched and verified against Singapore’s national biometric database containing the images and identities of 4 million Singapore residents. This convenient access to ATM banking services is a secure alternative to using physical ATM cards. Face verification is embedded with security features to prevent fraud, including liveness-detection technology that detects and blocks the use of photographs, videos, or masks during the verification process.


PERSONAL BANKING DEPOSITS Barclays encourages people to 'Make money work for you' this tax season (UK) In advance of the 5 April deadline, Barclays is running in heavy rotation the following advertising, tied to their 'Make money work for you' positioning, encouraging people to use their £20,000 ISA allowance by depositing and investing with a Barclays Investment ISA, which the bank positions as a simple way to invest for the future.

09 TymeBank GoalSave gives increasing interest rates the longer money stays in goals (South Africa) TymeBank allows customers to create up to 10 TymeBank GoalSaves with each GoalSave given a name and earning interest, with no restrictions, fees or penalties. Customers can add money to their GoalSaves as often as you like up to a maximum of R100 000 in total across your GoalSaves. With that, the money in GoalSaves earns interest at a rate that grows over time (see table below right) from 4% for interest in days 1-30 days to 6% for 90+ days, then if you give 10 days’ notice after 90 days customers can earn as much as 7% (or 8% if the customer's salary is deposited into your TymeBank Everyday Account).

WeLab Bank's "socially driven" time deposit GoSave increases interest rate with the more people who open an account (Hong Kong) WeLab's GoSave, billed as "Hong Kong’s first flexible, socially-driven savings product that harnesses the power of the community," is getting an extra push this month with promotion across social channels. GoSave offers customers an interest rate that starting at 0.7% p.a that rises based on the number of people joining GoSave, giving all customers an added incentive to get friends and family to open an account. The creative (shown right) features an animated Warren Buffet with the copy referring to his analogy of compounding wealth through the snowball effect (i.e. add more people for your savings rate to increase!). Watch the GoSave introductory video here.

WeLab Bank GoSave Instagram posting


PERSONAL BANKING DEPOSITS

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Santander launch first-of-its-kind Savings and Investments calculator for users to learn & compare returns for cash savings vs. investments (UK) Santander has launched a first of its kind Savings and Investments calculator helping users to understand and compare how the returns on their money could perform in both cash savings and investments. The calculator, available for free on Santander’s website, asks users how much money they want to put aside, and how long for, to create a graphic1 showing the difference in potential returns between cash savings and investments. For those new to investing, the calculator highlights that it is a long-term commitment and that the amount of money invested can go down as well as up, while cash savings will provide a more definite return. Users are then able to explore their options, which include both advised and non-advised investments. Research carried out by Santander found that more than a quarter of people (28%) want to improve their financial know-how as a result of the pandemic. As the new tax-year approaches, and with data from the Bank of England showing that lockdown continues to drive increases in consumer deposits, with an £18.5 billion increase in January 2021, consumers looking to put money into an ISA will be reviewing their options. However, Santander’s research found that people who have never invested before are being put off with one in ten believing it is just for those who are experts in finance, while others believe investing is Video screenshots from Facebook posting exclusively for those who know which stocks and shares to pick themselves. Alexia Kilby, Head of Savings and Investments at Santander UK, said: “With the new tax year approaching, and the change we’ve seen in consumer savings as a result of the pandemic, people looking to put money aside will be thinking about how they can make their money, and their tax-free allowance, work harder for them. Our innovative Savings and Investments calculator will help people be more informed about their options, improve their understanding of investments and help them on the way to deciding the right next step for them.” Santander has seen increased interest in its investment channels since the pandemic and has seen more women aged under 35 signing up to its service in 2020 than any other audience segment.

YES Bank launch YES Essence a holistic banking proposition for women across customer segments (India) YES Bank has launched YES Essence which they bill as a holistic banking proposition for women across customer segments – homemakers, salaried professionals, entrepreneurs and senior citizens. The proposition offers a range of solutions including complementary healthcare benefits, preferential pricing on loans, earn on auto sweep to FD, fee waiver on demat and trading account, wealth management, offers on upskilling through partnerships, lifestyle and shopping offers and more.

Instagram posting


PERSONAL BANKING CARDS

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American Express introducing cell phone protection to suite of cards starting April 1, 2021 (USA) American Express is launching a new cell phone protection benefit on 12 U.S. consumer and small business cards that can reimburse you for damage or theft of your eligible cell phone. This new benefit will be effective on April 1, 2021 and help you offset repair or replacement costs, subject to terms. The launch will mark the first time American Express cards provide cell phone protection.

Amex’s cell phone protection plan offers coverage if your cell phone is stolen or damaged, including a cracked screen. You can be reimbursed for the repair or replacement costs for up to two approved claims, with a maximum of $800 per claim or $1,600 per 12-month period. The coverage amounts are generous compared to cards from other issuers that generally offer $600 per claim or $1,200 per 12-month period. While there is a $50 deductible per approved claim, this is standard since cards from other issuers charge $25, $50 or $100 per claim. In order to benefit from coverage, your cell phone line must be listed on a wireless bill and the prior month’s wireless bill must be paid with your eligible card.

Barclays new AARP credit cards (for 50+) include cash back on medical expenses and benefits to promote physical and mental wellbeing (USA) Barclays announced the launch of a new suite of cobranded credit cards — The AARP® Essential Rewards Mastercard® from Barclays and the AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard® from Barclays which are now open for applicants. The third card in the suite is the AARP® Mastercard® from Barclays. The cards make it easy to earn cash back and travel rewards for everyday spend in categories that are important to AARP members related to health and wellness as well as travel, medical expenses, drug store purchases, gas, restaurants, hotel, airfare and more. The AARP Essential Rewards Mastercard from Barclays provides the relatively unique benefit of 2% cash back on medical expenses which along with 3% cash back on gas and drugstore it a compelling card for those with regular medical expenses and prescriptions.

The AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard from Barclays with is obviously geared towards travel benefits offering: • 3% cash back on airfare, hotel stays and car rentals • 2% cash back on restaurant purchases, including food delivery services • 0% foreign transaction fee

Both the AARP® Essential Rewards Mastercard® from Barclays and the AARP® Travel Rewards Mastercard® from Barclays offer: • No annual fee • 1% cash back rewards on all purchases • 0% introductory APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening • Earn a $100 intro bonus with $500 spend within first 90 days • Easy rewards redemption for cash back, statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, and AARP memberships starting at $16 in rewards • No limit to the rewards that cardmembers can earn and rewards never expire as long as the account is open and in good standing • $0 Fraud Liability Protection With all cards Barclays will support the AARP Foundation's efforts to equip older adults with the tools they need to stay physically & mentally healthy and connected to their communities. Branded as 'Essential Connections Powered by Barclays', Barclays will donate $10 per new account opened and 1% of all eligible electronic and telecommunications purchases to AARP Foundation to support social connections work, up to $1 million annually.


PERSONAL BANKING CARDS

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Varo Bank introduces Varo Believe credit card for building credit with no upfront security deposit, no monthly fees, and no APR (USA) Varo Bank has unveiled the Varo Believe Program*, a credit building product that includes a Visa credit card and credit monitoring. The Believe Program is aimed at the 45 million Americans who are "credit invisibles" - meaning they have insufficient credit history to qualify for credit - and the millions more who are seeking to improve their credit score. The Varo Believe Program credit card program is linked to a Varo bank account to help avoid runaway debt. The card reserves the money that is spent from a linked Varo bank account in real-time into a secure Vault Account to pay your credit card balance on time and in full every month. What helps distinguish the Varo Believe Program is no upfront security deposit, no monthly or annual fees, no APR, no application fees, and no foreign transaction fees. Varo then reports your payment history to the three major credit bureaus and customers can view and monitor Snapshot from product webpage their credit score directly in the Varo Bank app for free. The Varo Believe credit card must be repaid on time to avoid late charges with continued use of the card contingent upon timely payment. The credit limit for each transaction using the Varo Believe credit card is equal to the outstanding balance in the customer's Varo Bank Account or $10,000, whichever is less. To apply for the card, customers must have a minimum monthly direct deposit of $1,000 to their Varo Bank Account or Varo Savings Account.

OCBC customers can now order predeparture swab tests and certificates through app (Singapore) With many countries requiring a negative PCR test as a prerequisite for boarding an inbound flight, OCBC cardholders can purchase a predeparture COVID19 test via the OCBC HealthPass app. A swab test will cost S$135 with appointments availa ble at 37 clinics islandwide. OCBC cardholders get a S$20 discount by using the following code at checkout: OCBC + first 6 digits of your OCBC credit card. The offer is running to 30 June 2021.

Starling Bank introduce UK's first recycled debit cards (UK) Starling is introducing a recycled plastic debit card. The new card is the first UK Mastercard debit card to be made from recycled plastic (rPVC). The material, which is sourced from EU industrial waste from printing and packaging industries, makes up 75% of the card. ​Starling is asking customers not to cancel their current cards for the new version, as the design will remain the same and it will create unnecessary waste. Existing customers will receive the recycled card when their current one expires and new customers will be issued the card upon joining the bank.

Instagram posting

Instagram posting


PERSONAL BANKING CARDS Mogo starts promoting their new first-ofits-kind 1% bitcoin cashback rewards card (Canada) In January 2021, Mogo extended their Bitcoin Rewards Program to include the MogoCard, so cardholders earn 1% bitcoin cashback rewards for every purchase made on their MogoCard in Canada, and 2% for foreign transactions – with rewards deposited in cash monthly into the customer's Bitcoin & Rewards account. The below print ad doesn't highlight the fact the 1% bitcoin cashback rewards program is available exclusively to members who refer a friend to Mogo. The reward is another feature of the MogoCard, which is also the first and only card in Canada (debit, credit or prepaid) with a carbon offset program that automatically offsets CO2 with every purchase. In addition to having carbon offsetting and bitcoin cashback, the MogoCard was designed to help Canadians get in control of their spending and stay out of debt.

13 Barclays launch Avios Rewards programme with British Airways with emphasis on points collection for future travel (UK) Barclays Premier and Wealth customers have started to be invited to join the new Barclays Avios rewards points program in partnership with British Airways. It is the only way to earn Avios from a UK current account. Barclays Avios Rewards allow members to collect 1,500 Avios each month on top of the Avios earning they would already be eligible for. The program which will cost £12 per month also provides members with an annual British Airways return flight cabin upgrade voucher, which can be redeemed within two years on an Avios reward flight booking.

Snapshot from product webpage In order to join Premier Banking and be eligible to opt into the Barclays Avios Rewards programme, you’ll need to be a Premier Banking customer or have a personal wealth current account with Barclays. A Premier Banking account requires an annual gross income of £75,000 or more paid into a Barclays current account or a minimum of £100,000 saved or invested with the bank. There a joining bonus for switching to Barclays Avios Rewards of 2,500 Avios for existing customers, and with 1,500 Avios for £12 fee (just 0.8p per Avios) it is a good deal. For new customers, 25,000 Avios is offered. To receive this, you’ll need to move your existing current account to Barclays via the Current Account Switching Service, within 3 months of joining Barclays Avios Rewards.

Print Ad in National Post on 12 March 2021


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SoFi introduce credit card that helps people pay down debt with APR reduction for 12 on-time payments and 2% cashback for redemptions on loans (USA) Following a soft launch in October 2020, SoFi is now "broadly" launching its first credit card, which aims to incentivize healthy financial habits. Carrying no annual fee, the Mastercard® credit card provides up to 2% unlimited cashback when redeemed into SoFi Money® or SoFi Invest® accounts, or used to pay down SoFi Student Loans or SoFi Personal Loans. The SoFi Credit Card allows people to pay down debt with rewards that are earned for spending. Members will also be able to set up automated redemptions into their account of choice, creating a frictionless way to redeem cash back, pay down debt, invest, or save for the future. The card also rewards responsible usage and payback patterns with a sustained 1% APR reduction after 12 consecutive ontime credit card payments, as long as ontime payments continue.

According to SoFi, "since its limited release to SoFi members in October 2020, the SoFi Credit Card has already shown that it can drive members to engage in vital financial behaviors that credit card debt may have prevented them from taking in the past: 17% of reward points have been invested with SoFi Active Invest, 60% have been redeemed into SoFi Money®, and 15% have gone into paying down SoFi loan debt. Additionally, in response to member feedback, SoFi has revised the SoFi Credit Card’s cashback methodology to make it easier for users to see how many points they have earned. In addition, SoFi plans to implement redemption options for purchasing cryptocurrency in the coming weeks."

CIMB extends 0% instalment plans from 24 to 36 months to help credit card customers with debt management and economic "recovery" (Malaysia) As part of CIMB's efforts - encapsulated in their 'Moving forward' initiative - to help ease customers' financial constraints brought about by the economic challenges of the pandemic, the bank now offers customers the ability to shop and pay for their purchases on their CIMB credit card in monthly 0% instalments of up to 36 months at participating merchant outlets. CIMB makes clear their rationale for how their Easy Pay instalment plan benefits cardholders with three key attributes: 1. Spend Smart: manage purchases without dipping into savings 2. Bite-Size: break down big purchases into budget-friendly buys 3. Purchase with a Plan: Manage finances via a planned monthly charge

Instagram posting


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CommBank unveils new Buy Now, Pay Later offering with no additional BNPL costs (Australia) CommBank has unveiled a new Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) offering which can be used anywhere debit and credit card payments are accepted. It will begin rolling out to eligible CBA customers from mid-2021. The new BNPL links to a CBA bank account, with no ongoing fees and at no additional cost to businesses. “Customer needs are evolving and this new BNPL offering is about giving customers more choice around how they choose to pay and when, depending on the option which suits them best,” said CBA’s Group Executive, Retail Banking Services, Angus Sullivan. “When making a payment, customers will have additional flexibility to use it for their everyday spending for smaller purchases as well as split over four instalments to help smooth payments for bigger purchases. “Additionally we know transaction costs are important considerations for businesses. Unlike some other BNPL providers which may charge a high fee, there are no additional fees to businesses when customers choose to pay with CommBank’s BNPL,” Mr Sullivan said.

With industry average BNPL costs to businesses at around 4 per cent per transaction, BNPL fees are costing Australian businesses hundreds of millions of dollars a year. When customers shop with CommBank’s BNPL, businesses will pay no additional fee above standard merchant service fees. Eligible customers will be able to apply for the product where they show evidence of a regular salary deposited into a CBA transaction account which can cover repayment instalments. CommBank’s BNPL will only be available to customers following internal and external credit assessments. The development of CommBank’s new BNPL offering follows recent research showing 76% of Australians who currently use BNPL are interested in using a BNPL service offered by their main bank. The research showed BNPL users feel a bank-provided BNPL service would be more secure and reliable. “We are excited to announce the first BNPL offered by a major bank which will give customers access to cash flow in a way that meets their changing preferences and expectations,” Mr Sullivan said. CommBank’s new BNPL features include: • A limit of $1,000 • Use for everyday spend for transactions less than $100 • Four fortnightly instalments for transactions higher than $100 • A new card issued to customers’ digital wallet on their mobile, so no need for a physical card • No ongoing fees[ • No foreign exchange fees • Late fees of $10 per missed instalment repayment. And caps are in place to minimise the amount of additional fees charged • No additional merchant fees above standard merchant service fees

OCBC follows DBS Bank in launching an eco-auto loan with discounted rates, free charging and partnership with Jaguar (Singapore) OCBC Bank has launched its enhanced electric vehicle loan (called OCBC ‘Eco-Care’ car loan package) at a preferential pricing of 1.68% per annum flat fixed rate for the entire tenure of the loan, compared to more than 2.00% for petrol and dieselpowered vehicles. In addition, leveraging OCBC Bank’s strategic partnership with Charge+, an operator and provider of electric vehicle charging solutions serving a range of property segments comprising residential (landed, condominiums and public housing), commercial and industrial buildings, OCBC Bank ‘Eco-Care’ car loan customers will get up to 12 months of free charging at all Charge+ charging stations. Those staying in condominiums who buy an electric vehicle from Jaguar under Wearnes Automotive will also receive an additional 6 months of free charging whereas Customers staying in landed properties will get a free Charge+ charging station and its installation. OCBC joins DBS which likewise now offers green auto loans at 1.68% p.a. to all customers purchasing new and used electric (EV) and hybrid vehicles. DBS is also Tesla's "preferred" financing partner in Singapore.


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Athena campaign promotes their home loans AcceleRATES program that helps borrowers pay it off sooner (Australia) Athena’s new 'Take me Home Loan' campaign is set up in the style of a TV matchmaking show. The premise helps Athena set up direct comparison of its home loans versus that of its competitors, referred to in the campaign as “Beep Bank”. The two main points spotlighted in the ads are: (1) Athena’s lack of fees and (2) Athena’s AcceleRATES program - an Australian first - that lowers a borrower’s rate based off how much they’ve paid down their loan. Athena AcceleRATES are based off three LVR (loan-to-value ratio) tiers. When the borrower pays down their loan to reach the lower LVR tier, Athena will drop their rate - automatically! See the AcceleRATES introductory video here. The full campaign consists of three humorous TV commercials in which a potential home loan customer asks a question then gets to decide whether they’d enjoy being tied up… for decades of debt, or would prefer something short and sweet and without fees from Athena Home Loans.

Boursorama Banque stress the fact that about half new their mortgage applicants are referred by existing clients (France) Boursorama Banque is promoting their impressive referral rates - and "interest rates among the lowest on the market" - in new campaign creative shown below. The online bank consistently highlights their referral rates and as shown in the new TV spot, featuring boxer Mike Tyson, also often use high profile celebrities to help amplify this message (Brad Pitt was used in a 2019 campaign - see our article here). In the print ad, Boursorama Banque claim that almost half of clients are referred to them on the advice of existing customers. This the bank says is made easier for the fact that its mortgage rates are amongst the lowest on the market. In the TV spot, the voiceover suggests that you'd think it wasn't possible to recommend a bank, but since Boursorama Banque began, it's been proven that anything is possible, even fighting Mike Tyson. Well, OK....that may not be possible the voiceover continues but recommending a bank where a mortgage can be applied for online and has among the lowest rates on the market, is certainly possible.


WEALTH MANAGEMENT & PRIVATE BANKING 17 Sugi launch feature for retail investors to see whether their portfolios are aligned with the 2°C global warming target (UK) Sugi, the world’s first app to show everyday investors how green their investments really are and help them build a greener portfolio, has now launched 'portfolio temperature' feature. For the first time, UK retail investors can see whether their portfolios are aligned with the 2°C global warming target. Portfolio temperature is described as: "whether the underlying companies in your portfolio over or under emit relative to their own apportioned carbon budget (based on the Sectoral Decarbonization Approach or the Greenhouse gas Emissions per unit of Value Added approach) over a 12-year time horizon and each company is evaluated separately, with the result aggregated to your portfolio and – to the extent your portfolio includes funds, ETFs or trusts – to those collective holdings." Sugi is a free platform that launched in beta in Q4 2020 with the purpose of helping retail investors understand the carbon impact of their investments and how they can easily improve it. Sugo is not a broker, asset manager or investment adviser, simply providing factual information relating to the carbon impact of your current investments, which should not be treated as any form of financial, investment or other professional advice or recommendation. Using Open Banking, Sugi connects to a user's existing investment platform - whether they have an ISA, SIPP or trading account - so they can: • • • •

discover the environmental impact of your portfolio learn how your individual investments affect the planet compare your impact with similar investments take action to improve your impact

KBank highlight their new sustainability focused K-Climate Transition Fund, Thailand's first climate transition theme fund (Thailand) KBank Private Banking, in strategic alliance with Lombard Odier, began in summer 2020 an effort to spark interest in sustainable investment opportunities in Thailand, starting with hosting a virtual seminar on August 26 themed “Sustainability Revolution: A Call For Action”. Now, the parties have a new sustainability focused fund called the KCLIMATE TRANSITION Fund, which they started advertising this month (see ad on right). The K-Climate Transition Fund which invests in LO Funds – Climate Transition, (USD), I Class A and is Thailand’s first and only fund under the climate transition theme.

Facebook ad - started running March 22, 2021


WEALTH MANAGEMENT & PRIVATE BANKING 18 BMO add Premium level one-to-one relationship advisor for investors using adviceDirect platform (Canada) BMO InvestorLine has introduced a new offering, adviceDirect Premium, for clients with $500,000 or more in investable assets to be paired with a dedicated adviceDirect Advisor and have access to a wide range of BMO resources and Wealth planning solutions advisors to develop comprehensive wealth plans. The new offering is designed for clients who prefer to invest online and are also seeking advice via a one-to-one relationship to support with more sophisticated financial needs. "The demand for digital advice has increased significantly in recent years and the momentum continues to build. This is a great opportunity for innovation by building on our extensive experience with digital investing solutions and personalized advice to create new value networks for Canadian investors," said Silvio Stroescu, Head, InvestorLine, BMO Financial Group. "adviceDirect Premium is a hybrid solution which combines the best of human advice and technology to meet our clients' needs across the wealth management spectrum." With the new account, clients will receive: • Dedicated hybrid advice: A one-to-one relationship with an adviceDirect Advisor will help clients stay on track with their goals and complement recommendations received digitally through MyAdvice. • Access to Wealth planning: BMO Wealth planning professionals are accredited wealth planners and are available to help clients develop a holistic plan that complements their investments and is tailored to their unique needs and goals. • Exclusive resources: Clients will have access to exclusive research and investing articles from BMO Capital Markets, Morningstar and MarketGrader.

Lloyds Bank position their mass affluent investing service on the insight that many people have saved money during lockdowns and will be keep to better plan for the future (UK) This new Lloyds Bank ad focuses on their Schroders Personal Wealth brand, which was established in 2019 as a joint venture with Schroders, catering to mass-affluent audience for people with £100,000 in investible assets. The ad copy refers to the face that “The last twelve months have been challenging to say the least” continuing based on the fact many people who have kept their jobs during the year have actually “managed to put some money aside” and of course are now primed to think “how better you can plan for the future”. BankBulb note: In the 2020 Lloyds Banking Group annual report the bank highlights its ambition for Schroders Personal Wealth to become a top three UK financial planning business by 2025. One key factor for achieving this is by better integrating the Schroders Personal Wealth offering across the bank's Retail branch network. This ad reflects that ambition.

Print ad in The Sunday Times


WEALTH MANAGEMENT & PRIVATE BANKING 19 Affin Bank introduce Affin Invikta, a Premier Banking service with preferential interest rates, Infinite card, and servicing benefits (Malaysia) Affin Bank has introduced a new premier banking proposition called Affin Invikta, an invitation-only suite of banking solutions and privileges, such as personalised financial advice, and the new Affin Invikta Visa Infinite Credit Card. Affin Invikta offers its members preferential interest rates through its Affin Invikta Account, earning you 0.95%p.a. for deposits above RM50,000 and 2.2%p.a. for deposits above RM200,000. The account can be started with a deposit of RM1,000 and also comes with a Visa Debit Card and AffinOnline access. The Affin Invikta Visa Infinite Credit Card earns 5x Affin Rewards Points for overseas retail transactions and 1x for local retail transactions. Affin Rewards Points can be used to redeem items from the Affin Rewards catalogue, or converted into airmiles like Enrich Miles, AirAsia BIG Points, and Malindo Miles. Besides that, Affin Invikta Visa Infinite holders can get unlimited complimentary green fees in Southeast Asian countries, as well as unlimited complimentary airport lounge access to local and overseas Plaza Premium Lounges – if you have a minimum spend of RM2,500 in your latest credit card statement. For Affin Invikta members, the annual fee for this credit card is waived for life.

Cover and page 1 print ad from The Star on 10 March 2021 Other premium privileges offered by Affin Invikta include access to a dedicated relationship manager and: • Priority application of banking products with faster processing time • Priority lane services at Affin Bank branches nationwide • Private invitations to rewarding business and leisure events • Market insights on the latest news and trends.

Snapshot from product webpage

The membership criteria for Affin Invikta consist of a total RM200,000 in assets under management (AUM), a monthly salary of RM15,000, a mortgage amount of at least RM800,000 or a hire purchase loan of at least RM200,000 with Affin Bank.


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Scotiabank Healthcare+ promoting solutions designed with physicians in mind, like mortgages based on estimated future earnings (Canada) Scotiabank Healthcare+ has ramped up advertising for their Physician Banking Program with messaging primarily focused on offering early career physicians a mortgage based on estimated projected income.

Facebook ads - started running March 11, 2021

Also being promoted to physicians is the ability for doctors to meet with a Scotiabank Financial Advisor to discuss their mortgage needs at a time convenient for the doctor's schedule.

NatWest in industry-first with Open Banking enabled sending of payments and customer refunds (UK) NatWest is to use Open Banking to allow businesses to send payments of up to £250,000 directly to customers without needing their bank details. The service is made through NatWest’s Payit brand, which launched open banking payments last year. The feature aims to replace the use of cheques and bank transfers when sending money to customers, allowing for instant payments to be made when issuing refunds or customer service payments, as well as for specific uses such as compensation payments and emergency cash requirements. This is said to be an industry first.

Payit launched in early 2020, first allowing businesses to collect payments from customers online using Open Banking. James Hodgson, head of Payit by NatWest says: “The need for businesses to send their customers money often occurs at the most crucial moments, and yet the typical methods can be slow, inefficient and expensive. We’re aiming to transform that experience with Payit, which now allows businesses to send payments that are credited to customer accounts in a matter of seconds, and all without the need for their bank details” He says the bank is currently working on plans to enhance its Open Banking compatibility by launching an API proposition, allowing merchants to integrate Payit directly with their own technology infrastructures.

Starling Bank's new guide on hiring anticipates the next stage of help needed by profusion of new entrepreneurs and freelancers (UK) With the UK witnessing a surge of new businesses being registered (62% more businesses registered in London in 2020 than in 2019 and a 14% increase for the whole of the UK), Starling Bank's latest business guide - Hiring your first employee - is well considered and timed. The guide explains that when it’s time to hire your first employee there’s lots to work out, from working out who you need, to the hiring process and registering with HMRC. The content is available to anyone and housed on the bank's Business Guides webpage.


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HSBC rolls out mobile business banking app, Kinetic, intended to simplify banking for sole traders (UK) HSBC has officially launched HSBC Kinetic after a year in Beta during which time it worked with 3,000 businesses to develop and refine the offering. HSBC Kinetic is a mobile banking app intended to help facilitate banking for sole traders and single director limited companies. Customers can both apply for an account in minutes, and easily manage business direct debits, standing orders and future payments.

They can also see where their money is going with spend categorisation and cash flow insights and a suite of products including, credit card, same day overdrafts and a savings account that can all be applied for in-app.

The insights include automatically categorised spending overviews, account insights complementing HMRC tax coding, monthly breakdowns of cash flow and useful hints on spending patterns, as well as in-app customer service. Through the use of APIs, HSBC Kinetic can be easily integrated with other leading finance solutions and accounting software providers, namely such as Xero, QuickBooks, and Sage.

HSBC digital business banking channels global head Nadya Hijazi said: “More than just a bank account, HSBC Kinetic is a truly mobile-first banking service packed with features, useful insights, in-app customer support and offers all of the reassurances associated with being a part of a large bank that is able to support businesses at every stage of their growth. In the coming months, we’ll be introducing more features including a small business loan and International Payments. As the needs of small businesses evolve, we’ll continue to help them through HSBC Kinetic to create and support the next generation of businesses.” There will be no monthly account fees for the first 18 months. However, there are other fees and charges that will apply. After the 18-month fee free period expires, there will be a monthly account fee of £6.50. HSBC has also teamed up with some brands that offer business solutions, like WeWork, G Suite and Aviva, to bring product and offers to customers. HSBC has pledged to roll out Kinetic to the Group’s other key geographies, such as Asia, and offer small business loans and international payments through the app.


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Revolut Business introduce Expenses product features offering additional layer of control over business spending (UK)

NAB targets SMEs with 'Make Ideas More' campaign to highlight bank expertise to help ideas become real (Australia)

Revolut Business is launching its Expenses product with new features that offer an additional layer of control over business spending, help businesses save time and stay organised. With Expenses, business owners have full visibility over their business finances and outgoings. Owners can receive spending notifications in real-time, they can also set up spending limits, block and freeze company cards. Expenses can be reviewed in-app.

NAB has launched a new campaign encouraging small and medium businesses to ‘Make Ideas More’. The campaign launches with a film that highlights the ability of business owners to see opportunities that others don’t, to see ideas that are hiding in plain sight, and ultimately, the ability to make ideas more. The campaign brings to life the bank’s longstanding More than Money brand platform and celebrates the ingenuity of business owners across the country as business confidence returns to the highest levels seen since 2010 in the NAB Monthly Business Survey and businesses are rehiring, ramping up production and creating new jobs. NAB’s general manager marketing, business, Elly Bloom, said: “We understand how passionate Australian business owners are and wanted to celebrate their creativity and ability to make ideas more. This is a commitment that NAB is here to support them in bringing those ideas to life via our team of business experts being our 6000 business bankers, specialists and support staff around the country.” Rolling out across Australia, the campaign brings to life the bank’s longstanding More than Money brand platform and celebrates the ingenuity of business owners across the country as business confidence returns to the highest levels seen since 2010 in the NAB Monthly Business Survey and businesses are re-hiring, ramping up production and creating new jobs.

No more missing receipts Employees won’t forget to submit expenses, as they will receive automatic notifications with reminders to submit receipts after each transaction. Revolut’s smart tech reduces the amount of manual work for them, it reads a receipt then automatically attaches it to the matching expense. Now staff can also add any out of pocket expenses. As a lot of transactions take place online, Instagram posting owners can forward digital receipts to the company Revolut Business account via email or upload them as a file. The new categorisation feature allows repeat expenses to be easily organised. Repeat expenses are automatically categorised into segments such as transport or subscriptions. Business owners or the assigned finance manager can then review expenses in-app. Accountants: Save files and sync with your software Revolut’s automated bookkeeping tools simplify a usually time consuming process. Now customers can use the fintech’s default categories and tax rates, or customise them should this be the accountant’s preference. This tool can reduce the hours accountants and finance managers spend on company books, and files can be quickly exported as a CSV file to use on any external accounting platform or software. Xero users can easily connect their Xero profile to a Revolut Business account allowing them to better manage their accounting and finances. To use Expenses, Revolut Business customers need to have one of Revolut’s paid plans, then go to the menu within their Revolut Business account and tap on ‘Expenses’.


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Standard Chartered launching sustainable trade finance solutions across Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Europe and the Americas (Global) Standard Chartered is launching sustainable trade finance solutions across Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. The Bank’s new Sustainable Trade Finance Proposition is designed to help companies implement more sustainable practices across their ecosystems and build more resilient supply chains. The Sustainable Trade Finance Proposition builds the Loan Market Association’s Green and Sustainability-linked Loan Principles into Standard Chartered’s trade financing framework, encouraging clients to improve disclosure, reporting and definition of use, while meeting their Environmental, Social and Governance goals. The initial focus will be on Supply Chain Finance, Invoice Financing, Receivables Services, Bonds and Guarantees and Letters of Credit, and the product set will be expanded in due course. These products will help global supply chain activities – estimated at USD19 trillion by the World Trade Organisation – become more sustainable. The new Sustainable Trade Finance Proposition allows the Bank to support the following: 1. Sustainable goods: Working with customers and partners to finance underlying goods that meet agreed sustainability standards. 2. Sustainable suppliers: Supporting trade for suppliers who meet acceptable thresholds against ESG ratings or metrics such as gender equality, responsible sourcing criteria and water use. 3. Sustainable end-use: Focusing on trade financing in sustainable industries including renewable energy, energy efficiency, the blue economy, sustainable infrastructure, water management and clean transportation.

Snapshot from SC 'Contributing to sustainable economic growth' webpage

4. Transition industries: Helping industries transition and reduce their carbon footprint by offering trade financing that recognises efforts to help reduce emissions.

Virgin Money launches Europe’s first sustainability-linked loans for companies (UK) Virgin Money is readying to launch sustainability-linked loans for all UK companies starting this spring. Virgin Money – which claims it will be the first bank in Europe to offer such loans in commercial banking - says its SSLs will reduce the cost of finance for those businesses whose core activities proactively help the economy transition to a more sustainable model. UK companies of all sizes will be able to get access to the loans based on a digital tool created in partnership with the non-profit Future-Fit Foundation, which works to help business leaders, investors and policymakers meet today’s biggest challenges. The bank says it will waive arrangement fees for eligible companies borrowing at least £250,000 and with a sufficiently strong environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) assessment. The loans will be available to both current and nonVirgin Bank customers via the bank’s website. Virgin Money has committed that 5% of all its business loans will be to firms driving environmental and social change by September 2022, as judged by the digital tool. Graeme Sands, corporate and mid-market director at Virgin Money, said: “While businesses overwhelmingly recognise the importance of sustainability many, especially SMEs, struggle to translate good intentions into a clear plan and are worried about the cost and time involved in implementing an ESG programme.


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Nedbank and Xero launch South Africa’s first fully digital direct API bank feed (South Africa) Nedbank and Xero, the global accounting platform have partnered to give small businesses and their advisors financial data through a fully digital API-enabled bank feed. The new feed is available to Nedbank small business clients with a Xero account, at no additional cost. This fully digital bank feed means that small businesses and their advisors can import their banking transactions automatically and securely, directly from Nedbank into their Xero organisation. This bank feed is different from those already available in South Africa because it uses an online connection process, allowing clients to connect their Nedbank accounts to Xero seamlessly. Businesses and advisors will be able to reconcile statements; create smart, shareable reports and online invoices; and review cashflow from anywhere. This will significantly reduce the time spent manually importing data, and give small businesses an up-to-date view of cashflow, helping them better understand business performance so they can make informed business decisions during these critical times. As shown in this digital ad, Nedbank and Xero are offering 50% off the cost of the subscription fee for the first four months. The offer runs until 31 March 2021. The new Nedbank feed has been built to Xero's API. Xero launched its Bank Feeds API in 2018, allowing banks to respond to customer needs nimbly by building connections to Xero. This partnership builds on Xero’s global leadership in direct bank feeds over the past decade. Xero has bank feeds with major financial providers across the world, including NatWest, Wells Fargo, Barclays and Westpac.

Zip now a BigCommerce Elite Partner, resulting in Zip BNPL payment option at 60,000 merchants globally (Global) Australian BNPL brand Zip announced it has been named a BigCommerce Elite Partner, offering Zip’s installment payment services to a global network of more than 60,000 merchants. “With so many options in today’s retail environment, merchants need to be thoughtful about decreasing barriers to purchase for their customers — including providing easy-to-use alternative payment methods at checkout,” BigCommerce Chief Commercial Officer Russell Klein said in a news release. “Zip is a trusted global leader in installment-based payments, and we are excited to welcome them as Elite Partners. Our merchants and their customers will benefit from Zip’s transparent Buy Now, Pay Later financing solutions.” Operating in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the U.K. and the U.S., Zip provides point-of-sale credit and digital payment services to 5.7 million users in industries that include travel, retail and automotive. Zip is now directly integrated into the BigCommerce platform.


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ANZ Support Band enables fans at home to send a "pulse of support" to athletes at the Tokyo Games (New Zealand) A new wearable device developed in New Zealand and designed to connect fans who can't travel with athletes at this year's Olympic and Paralympic Games, is now being offered to Games fans globally in a remarkable example of the Olympic spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play. The ANZ Support Band is a wristband that will enable fans at home to send a "pulse of support" to athletes at the Tokyo Games by tapping their device or directly through the NZ Team app. The device uses Bluetooth technology in a world first that brings athletes and fans within touching distance despite closed borders, social distancing and athlete bubbles. It's this lack of fan presence and the support they bring that has led to the decision by ANZ, with support from the New Zealand Olympic and Paralympic Teams, to open source the technology they've spent more than 18-months developing for the rest of the world to use. Watch how it works here.

Introductory video screenshots

"In Tokyo, all national teams will be facing the same challenges and we know the difference the support from fans and loved ones can make," says Antonia Watson, CEO of ANZ New Zealand. "This is why we wanted to make sure athletes wherever they are from could still receive that support. As New Zealanders we'd be proud to share this technology to help." The technology has been closely developed with the input from a number of current Olympians and Paralympians. Olympic Associations around the world can now get in touch to get the technology underway and ensure their athletes can be supported from afar.

Bank Australia unveil 'The People Australia Needs' campaign appealing growing market of socially conscious consumers (Australia) Bank Australia have launched a new integrated campaign, The People Australia Needs, highlighting a few Bank Australia customers who explain why they with their social and environmental mindset decided to switch to Bank Australia. This customer-focused campaign follows Bank Australia’s ‘The bank Australia needs’ 2017 campaign, with Bank Australia’s head of marketing, Nicole Hunter explaining “The strategy for this new campaign was shaped by the insight that our customers are passionate advocates for Bank Australia. This campaign amplifies the power and reach of customer advocacy by providing a greater platform for them to share their beliefs and explain the positive impact you can create, simply by aligning your banking with your values.” “We know that there is a growing market of socially conscious consumers who support purpose driven brands and this group forms our primary target audience. When they become aware that the money in their bank is potentially being invested in things that cause harm, this conflicts with their values.” The launch film is supported by three customer videos with each explaining how their experiences align with a value (gender equality, ethical banking and lending, waste reduction) of Bank Australia.


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HSBC challenges Singaporeans with ‘Why Stop Here?’ brand platform to encourage everyone to build a sustainable future (Singapore) HSBC Singapore's new ‘Why Stop Here?’ (WSH) brand platform that was introduced in Q4 2020 now has an accompanying brand film. The spot, narrated by a Singaporean girl highlights the innumerable accomplishments of Singapore and its people, from having "the number one airport in the world, the most iconic hotel, the safest streets…” to posing the brand platform question "Why stop here?" “Through this brand message, we want to convey that in a constantly changing world, the path to future prosperity is through applying a growth mindset and always looking for ways to improve.,” Tony Cripps, CEO, HSBC Singapore. "WSH is a provocation to inspire aspiring change-makers to break out of their comfort zones by turning their greatest achievements into challenges." HSBC Singapore says it is applying the WSH lens in engagements with employees, customers, society and the way it runs the bank: • Employees: Through empowerment to focus constant skills development, career management and well-being. • Customers: Whether that is through personal selfimprovement that will enable a more sustainably prosperous future or for corporate clients to be borderless in their thinking for how they will sustainably grow • Society: To encourage Singapore, as a society, to be conscious in building a more sustainable future. • The bank: To reinforce behaviours that are part of HSBC’s corporate values and aim to iteratively improve speak up, processes and build our people’s capability.

Screenshots from campaign video

Westpac launch new podcast series with Mamamia, What The Finance (Australia) Westpac is again working with podcast publisher and women’s content network Mamamia, this time on a production called What TheFinance. Westpac has previously worked with Mamamia on Hello, Bump (2017) where Mamamia’s Monique Bowley and media personality Bec Judd walked listeners through the 12 months of pregnancy as well as The Split (2019) for women going through separation or divorce. What The Finance will run for eight episodes, and is cohosted by ex-accountant and financial educator Melissa Browne, and actress, author and advocate Pallavi Sharda. The podcast will cover topics including savings, debt, housing, investing and relationships, with the aim of assisting young women to make more informed decisions about their finances.

‘What The Finance’ is an existing content hub on Westpac’s website and includes an online community, advice articles and promotion of Westpac’s products.

Print Ad from The Straits Times


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ING brings 'Do your thing' brand positioning to Australia with their lion brand icon remindful of Lloyds Bank - 'by your side’ (Australia) ING Australia has now introduced the ING group's brand positioning 'Do your thing' that was first unveiled in January, 2020 (read our original report here). Per ING Australia's head of brand Carly Yanco "'Do your thing' captures our desire to help Australians have the freedom and confidence to do their thing. We do this by removing the friction from banking and supporting our customers whenever and however they need us. "By definition the statement means different things to different people. As a modern and progressive bank, the statement also describes how we approach our own business, differently. You’ll see us celebrate this difference in the spirit and personality of our new ads.” A new TV spot aired on March 1 with more to be rolled out throughout the year. In each of the TVCs a CGI (computer generated image) of the brand's lion icon casually appears. ING’s orange lion goes back to the brand's Dutch roots. Orange is the national colour of the Netherlands, and the lion is the country’s national symbol. “Just like the lion in the TVCs, our people are always there in the background helping our customers to get on with their lives, without getting in the way,” Yanco says. The campaign is accompanied by The Sense of US Report, which delves into what Aussies do that make them uniquely them. It reveals that after a challenging year, many (31%) have turned to the optimistic plan of simply “having more fun” in 2021. The report also uncovers what career Australians desire to do most (scientist), what stimulates them creatively (music) and popular slang terms we use with “yeah nah” topping the list. “In order to be the bank that helps Australians to get on with the things that matter most to them, we really need to understand the things they’re doing that make them who they are," Yanco says. "This is why we created the ING Sense of Us report.” The report will apparently be used to fuel "meaningful" PR stories and engage with customers via social media throughout the year. There is also a new streamlined logo that is a nod to the banks digital heritage and encapsulates ING’s approach to enable people to bank without friction or fuss. BankBulb note: The new and prominent placing of the lion alongside customers is reminiscent of how in Lloyds Bank advertising the bank often shows their famous black horse icon by the side of customers, both to celebrate and reassure the people and businesses of the UK that Lloyds is always there for customers. In ING Australia's new campaign they are also referencing the same 'by your side' language that is actually a brand tagline of Lloyds Bank.

Brand icons 'By your side' - Lion for ING and Horse for Lloyds Bank


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Westpac's stunning new campaign presents their sense of purpose in helping Australians with life’s unpredictable nature (Australia) Westpac has released a stunning new brand campaign as part of its ‘Help’ brand platform. Called ‘Life is eventful’ the 1:00 minute TV spot portrays a montage of Australians experiencing a broad range of life events, reflecting life’s unpredictable nature, both the ups and the downs. While lift stage montages are frequently seen in bank advertising (see last month’s Halifax and ING Australia campaigns) this wonderfully emotive Westpac TV spot is beautifully shot with a perfect soundtrack and in our view will capture and demand people’s attention.

TV Spot Screenshots As the spot draws to a close a series of statements, such as “Life is [complicated / crazy / exciting / disappointing / emotional]” are rapidly scrolled on the screen that again reflect life’s unpredictability, with the final being ‘Life is eventful’ and closing with the evolved brand statement ‘that’s why we help’. Westpac’s 'Help' campaign from 2018 has stood out for focusing on life's more complex and challenging times such as divorce, death of a partner and immigration and has been excellent in linking these events to services that Westpac can provide to help in these situations. This new campaign is lighter in tone, including a brighter colour palate and some animation and levity.

Itaú Unibanco debuts profile on TikTok to help engage young audience (Brazil) Itaú Unibanco has now launched a profile page on TikTok commemorated with singer and DJ Pedro Sampaio transforming the Itaú's brand sound into a remix for TikTok. On the platform, the bank will address topics such as financial guidance, education, culture and urban mobility from the perspective of people's daily lives. “For years, we have been working on a relevant process of listening and connecting with society through social networks. TikTok has been growing recently, especially among young people, and offers us a number of opportunities for different interactions with the audience. We want to take advantage of this plurality of content to deal irreverently with matters that speak to our brand”, said Eduardo Tracanella, director of Institutional and Wholesale Marketing at Itaú Unibanco.


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